And it wasn't just that I love the way the verse sounded, or even the message behind it (both of which are true). It's that I was CERTAIN that I'd heard the verse before. And NOT in 1 Samuel.
After a bit of searching (Bible Gateway certainly makes THAT easier to do), I figured out why. I HAD read it elsewhere - or at least something incredibly similar. In the NEW Testament.
Wanna see? Below are the two verses, with the proper names removed. Can YOU tell which is OT and which is NT?
1. And ________ grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. (NIV)
2. And the boy _______ continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. (NIV)
Can YOU fill in the blanks? I'll admit, if I hadn't looked it up myself, I likely couldn't have told you which was from 1 Samuel and which wasn't - though I likely would have known which two names to slide into those blanks.
Just FYI - verse #1 is Luke 2:52, and is, of course, about Jesus. The second is 1 Samuel 2:26, and Samuel himself fits in that blank spot.
So, what's my point? I guess I have several:
- The Old and New Testament are ONE BOOK. One narrative, told through dozens of people over thousands of years - but still, one story. Jews will have nothing to do with the New Testament. Many Christians marginalize the Old Testament. In my view, they are BOTH wrong.
- The Perfect Son of Man isn't the only one who can grow in stature and favor of the Lord. Samuel was a person - not God's only Son. He wasn't perfect - in fact, it appears that, though he was a faithful prophet and priest, he wasn't the best father (1 Samuel 8:1-3). But still, he was a man of God, who pleased the Lord AND the people around him. Sometimes modeling my life after perfection (i.e. Jesus) can be disheartening. Here's a human being I can emulate.
- Growing in stature and favor is important to God. He doesn't waste words, and he doesn't repeat things just for the fun of it. If you find something in His Word more than once, give it double the attention - at least.
- I have an eye for detail. Yeah - I NOTICE minutia like this (need a proofreader? LOL).
We're discussing this here, and at Living by Grace on Facebook. Won't you join us?
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
Graphics courtesy of Christians Unite