1 Samuel 1

The Argument-As God had ordained in #De 17:14, that when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, he would appoint a king for them: so here in the first book of Samuel the state of the people under their first king Saul is declared. Not content with the order that God had temporarily appointed for the government of his Church, they demanded a king, so that they might be as other nations. As well they thought they would be better off, not because they could serve God better by it, but because they would be under the safeguard of him who represented Jesus Christ the true deliverer. Therefore God gave them a tyrant and a hypocrite to rule over them, so that they might learn that a king is not sufficient to defend them, unless God by his power preserves and keeps them. Therefore he punishes the ingratitude of his people, and sends them continual wars both at home and abroad. Also, because Saul, whom God had given to the honour of a king out of nothing, did not acknowledge God's mercy to him, but rather disobeyed the word of God and was not zealous of his glory, he was removed from his estate by God, and David the true figure of Messiah was placed in his stead. His patience, modesty, constancy, persecution by open enemies, feigned friends, and deceitful flatterers, is left to the Church and to every member of it, as a pattern and example of their state and calling. (Geneva.)


— Year from the Creation, 2833.
— Year before the Incarnation, 1171.
— Year before the first Olympiad, 395.
— Year before the building of Rome, 418.
— Year of the Julian Period, 3543.
— Year of the Dionysian Period, 351.
— Cycle of the Sun, 15.
— Cycle of the Moon, 9. (Clarke.)

There is no set answer as to who wrote this book.

Explanation: In these books of history, we have recorded God's dealing with his people who are identified as Israel. (See 1 Sam-Intro.wp for introduction to this book.)

First and Second Samuel and First and Second Kings were formerly called First, Second, Third and Fourth Kings. First Samuel records the birth of Samuel, and Israel's cry that God would give them a king so they could be like the pagans around them. God gave them their heart's desire, and Saul was that King. This book also introduces David, who will be the king of God's choosing. It also records Samuel's death and King Saul's death.

The date of the book is about 2833 years from the creation, and about 1171 years before Christ, and about 400 years before Rome was founded. There is no set answer as to who wrote this book.

Vv. 1-8

The book opens with a problem: One man and two wives.

Though the law of God for the family did not include polygamy, it did not forbid it. So the custom of those times permitted the practice. Despite the fact that Elkanah (i.e., "God has possessed" or "God has created") was a good man, he followed the practice, I am sure much to his regret at times. Every time we read of polygamy in Scripture, that family is greatly disrupted by the practice, e.g., Jacob, David, Solomon, &c.

Hannah, "grace." Penninnah, "jewel."

Elkanah went up yearly to Shiloh, where the tabernacle of the Lord was located before it went to Jerusalem under David. All the Hebrew males were required by law to appear before the Lord yearly.

V. 3, The Lord of hosts, or "Jehovah of armies." This is "first mention" of the LORD of hosts, and it will be used 235 times from here on.

The Lord God is presented as a Man of War. Heathen superstition surrounded the Lord's people in the "Promised Land," so the Lord presents himself as not only their Creator, Deliverer and Governor, but also someone who is at WAR against the surrounding heathenism. The Lord then and now is looking for people who will carry on that war against heathenism.

The word of God continually reminds us that our God is a God of warfare – war against sin and sinners.

The last mention of the LORD of hosts is in Malachi 4:3, at the close of the Old Testament.

NOTE here that the last mention concerns Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousness, v. 2. Then it continues on by saying that the wicked will be trodden under foot as ashes under the souls of your feet. This is at the end of the Old Testament, so those who knew the Old Testament could only think of the Sun of righteousness conquering his enemies in the terms of the Old Testament blood and guts. They could only think of war against paganism as the Old Testament records wars against nations such as the Philistines.

However, we see from the New Testament that the weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6. The power of God today is not exhibited as it was in the Old Testament through the power of physical weapons, but through the power of the preaching of the gospel of Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:18:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Conquering men since Christ is not a physical conquering, but conquering their wills and souls for Christ, e.g., Jane Fonda.

January 7, 2000
Jane Fonda
Radical political activist Jane Fonda has become a Christian, a report says. The former movie star, long-time activist for liberal causes, and wife of media mogul Ted Turner, became a believer in Jesus Christ through conversations with her chauffeur, WorldNetDaily, an Internet-based news service, said. ...Fonda s chauffeur began approaching her about his personal faith in Christ two years ago, writer Joseph Farah said. At first Fonda was uncomfortable with the conversations, but grew more open, and eventually attended church with the chauffeur, Farah said. She regularly goes to Bible studies and church, and her faith is "very real, very deep," a friend of Fonda told him. ...Her outlook is changing, friends say. Fonda is known for backing abortion on demand and is notorious for her support of Communist North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Although she has not publicly changed her political views, she reportedly refused to participate in a meditation ceremony at a recent environmental conference and said it would be better to "pray to Jesus Christ," Farah said. She alluded to her faith in Christ publicly at least once, in 1998.
...Her conversion is part of the reason for her separation from Turner, Farah said. The couple announced Jan. 4 that while they are committed to the long-term success of their marriage, they "mutually decided to spend some time apart," news reports said. Turner has often derided Christians and once called Christianity a "religion for losers." (I read a "People's Magazine" report about the separation, and Ted said that Jane expected him to be a saint, ed.)

Note: A right word at the right time can change those around us, even those who we think will not listen. Keep speaking up for the Lord at every chance.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Pro. 25:11.)

Our God is still the same God as he was in the Old Testament, the LORD of hosts. The difference under the gospel is his method of conquering his enemies. Since Christ, God subdues his enemies with the sword of the spirit, the word of God, rather than the swords of the armies of this earth.

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

1 Samuel 1:5, gave portions:

Gave portions... The offerer received back the greater part of the peace offerings, which he and his family or friends were accustomed to eat at a social feast before the Lord. (See JFB on "Le 3:3" and see JFB on "De 12:12"). It was out of these consecrated viands Elkanah gave portions to all the members of his family; but "unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion"; that is, a larger choice, according to the Eastern fashion of showing regard to beloved or distinguished guests. (See JFB on "1Sa 9:24"; also see JFB on "Ge 43:34"). (JFB.)

The offerer received back a portion of the peace offering for him, his family and his friends to eat. Because Hannah had no children, Elkanah gave a better portion to her. In this way, he showed his higher esteem for her than he did for his other wife, Peninnah.

Talk about complicating matters between Hannah and Peninnah.

How many times do we as men try to sooth over situations with our wives, or with others, and only make matters worse. We can rest assured that what Elkanah did did not make matters better between his two wives. Elkanah not only devastated his family by marrying two women, but devastated the family by honouring one above the other.

Note that just because our intentions are good, does not mean that our actions are the best under the circumstances. We need to think through what we say and do.

Obviously, Elkanah's actions lead to tremendous envy and jealousy on Peninnah's part, so she ridiculed Hannah for not having children. (The lack of children was a great reproach to Hebrew women, for each hoped to be in the line of the Promised Messiah.)

As the family went to Shiloh before the Lord year after year, Peninnah took advantage of the trip to provoke, or vex, Hannah in every way she could, especially over her lack of children. Peninnah did everything she could to stir Hannah to anger. Peninnah was so successful at provoking Hannah that Hannah wept and could not eat. Though he tried, Elkanah could not comfort his wife.

Obviously, Elkanah did not understand what was going on between his two wives, for men cannot think like women.

V. 8, better than ten sons. Elkanah tried to treat Hannah better for her lack of children. This would also have led Peninnah to extra effort in provoking Hannah.


V. 6, her adversary provoked her sore. We can rest assured there will be an adversary around to provoke us. He will tell us we are not right with the Lord, and he will give us all kinds of reasons. But what does God say?

We face a daily battle with the adversary, and our adversary is just as real as was Hannah's adversary. Our adversary is just as real as were the Philistines, who we will meet in chapter 4. And our adversary will be conquered by the sword, but not the physical sword. He will be conquered the same way Hannah conquered her adversary – faith and the promises of God as found in his word.

V. 7, year by year her adversary kept after her. It was not a short term thing. Again, we cannot imaging the stress Peninnah put the other wife, Hannah, under for these several years.

Note that Hannah did not "bail out" of this very distressing situation. She did not seek a way out of the terrible distress she was in, but she sought God's face in her distress. She found her peace in the distress, not by getting out of it.

In fact, what was meant for her harm by the stress her adversary placed upon her actually worked for the glory of God. If it had not been for the terrible distress she went through for years in vv. 1-8, Samuel would not have been raised in the Temple.

As we look back over the years of stress Hannah was under, we must say that stress was God's hand at work. Though Elkanah did not work according to God's perfect plan for the family, having two wives, we must say that his having two wives was in God's plan, for the stress that arose from the two wives resulted in Samuel.

Though Hannah could not see during those many years that God's sovereign purpose was at work, no doubt she could look back many years latter and say that it was all in God's plan.

To here, January 23, 2000

START, January 30, 2000

(Bad winter storm this week.)

1 Samuel 1:9-20, victory.

Eli the priest was sitting in the place of a judge of Israel, before the temple. However, the Temple was not built until Solomon's time, so this had to be the Tabernacle.

Pressed down in her soul over her adversary, she prayed and wept before the Lord. In her distress, she promised that if the Lord would give her a man child, she would return him to the Lord. That is, she would dedicate him to service in the Tabernacle, with a Nazarite vow upon him.

Samuel was of the house of Levi, so he was obligated to the Tabernacle service from the age 25 to 50. So the promise here is that Samuel would be in the Lord's service from birth to death, which he was. No razor meant a Nazarite vow that the person was the Lord's. (Num. 6.) The Lord Jesus was known as a Nazaene, but not because of his vow, but because he was from Nazareth. (Mat. 2:23.) Therefore, Samuel had long hair, as did Sampson, but Christ did not.

Hannah continued praying in her heart, only moving her lips. So Eli thought she was drunk with wine, and rebuked her. Hannah corrected him by saying that her spirit was sorrowful, and she was pouring out her soul before the Lord. Eli was content with the answer, and placed his "blessing" upon her and her request. Hannah's burden was lifted, and the sadness was gone.

After she made peace with herself and the Lord, she received the answer — she conceived and Samuel was born.


1) V. 10, prayer before the Lord and claiming his promises is the way to deal with a sorrowful heart, not wine nor strong drink. Drunkenness never solved any problem.

Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

Strong drink may lift the heavy heart for a short time, but reality will return. The problem with using strong drink to relieve the heavy heart is that one may will become dependant upon that strong drink, and never deal with the problem. Proverbs 31:6 is one of the very few verses that suggests that the Lord might condone strong drink. The overwhelming warning of Scripture is the dangers of strong drink. (Cf. Isa. 28:7.)

2) V. 10, note where the victory over her adversary came from — and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

There is only one place where there will be victory over the adversary.
There is only one person who can give that victory.
Her adversary provoked her.
She went up to the house of the Lord.
She prayed and wept before the Lord at the temple.
She vowed a vow.

3) V. 11, the vow was not out loud, but a vow in the heart. A vow does not have to be spoken (nor a prayer for that matter) for it to be heard by the Lord, and for it to be binding upon the one who makes it. (See my research on vows.)

Ecclesiastes 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

I have heard promises made to God that would make the angles rejoice. However, when the time came to fulfill those promises, the people saw them as unimportant. And some of those people have been in this church since I have been here.

Psalms 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Promises at times must be broken.

Sometimes promises are made as a person is overcome with a blind zeal. In other words, they might want something so bad that they do not consider whether or not that particular vow is lawful.

In Judges 11, Jephthah made a vow that if the Lord would give him the victory over Israel's enemies, he would offer as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that came out to meet him when he came home from the battle. The Lord gave the victory, and his daughter came out to meet him.

Jephthah's zeal motivated him to make a unlawful promise. Then the Scriptures say that he did unto his daughter according to his vow, v. 39.

What he should have done was, first, consider the lawfulness of the vow (a dog as a burnt sacrifice!). But if he did not have complete insight into what he was saying, when it came to his attention, he should have confessed the sin, and turned from it.

However, Hannah's promise was nothing like that — it was completely within the law, for her husband was a Levite.

To here, 1/30/2000.
Continue, February 6, 2000

4) Her vow was v. 11, I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.

Abraham, the father of our faith, did this. Can we?

How: Enforce godly discipline in our homes. Refuse to give them over to the public schools for antichristian indoctrination. Require godly actions from them.

5) V. 14, it is dangerous to "judge" according to appearances.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

6) V. 15. Is our heart heavy as a result of our adversity or hard times?

1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The adversary is looking for the chance to speak reproachfully against us.

7) V. 8, tells us that there is no human comfort. Many times those with a heavy heart because of the adversary look to human instruments for comfort. There will be none. Only pouring out the soul before the lord will bring comfort. Many times the adversary causes the oppressed one to move to another location, but that will not settle the barrenness.

8) The Lord, in his sovereign purpose for our lives, will bring adversity our way to force us to pour out our souls to him. Adversities are never without purpose:

A) they reveal our weaknesses, and force us to deal with them.
B) they make us into what we should be for the Lord, because we would not do it otherwise.
C) they also testify of the grace and power of God before the ungodly around us.

TO HERE, Feb 6, 2000

START, February 13, 2000

9) Vv. 16, 18, when our cry to the Lord is out of the abundance of the heart, we can rest assured it will be noticed by the Lord. Again, it was a silent pouring forth even an overflow of the abundance of the heart.

The Lord did not change her circumstances that had been used to provoke her sore until after she took it to the Lord. She poured out her soul before the Lord and left it there. She lost her sad countenance before her circumstances changed.

Why did she not do this years before? (V. 7.)

Maybe she tried for all those years to find comfort in human instruments instead of the Lord. (v. 8.) And only after the burden became so great was she able to take it before him out of the abundance of her heart. Only then could she leave it there.

She found assurance in the Lord, and was now confident that the Lord would answer her prayer, and give her the desire of her heart. Evidently, she refused to give up in her praying until she was assured the Lord would answer it.

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The world looks to the medical profession to solve the childlessness problem for couples. On the other hand, we commonly meet couples who have prayed for children, and the Lord has answered those prayers. The people quickly confess that their child is from the Lord.

10) 1 Samuel 1:18, confident the Lord had heard her heart's cry, her countenance was no more sad.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

It could be here that after she accepted her situation that peace came and the Lord answered her prayer. Though this is probably not the situation with Hannah, it is a major Bible doctrine.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I am afraid that the thought today is that if we are in circumstances which the adversary can use to provoke us sore, we are not where we should be. We then flee from it rather than learn to be content. Only after we are content can the Lord move (though we may move).

It was the pressure placed upon her by her adversary that backed her into a corner, and motivated her to ask for a son, and to commit that son to lifetime service to God.

Provoking and distressing situations have a purpose. And that purpose is to draw us closer to the Lord, or make us face reality, or call our attention to sin. Basically, the purpose is to make us into what we should be, and to accomplish God's will in our lives.

It is the work of a sovereign God that brings us to the place where we must yield to him.

12) V. 19, the Lord remembered her.

Matthew 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

(I heard a discussion on the radio last week, Moody Broadcast Network, where they were discussing what it meant to love God. The decision was that it came down to having a good emotional feeling about others.)

Note that Hannah's prayer was for a son, and the son would glorify God. No doubt a reason many of our prayers are not answered is because they reflect our own lusts, James 4:3.

Vv. 19-23

The next year, her husband and the family went up again to appear before the Lord. He offered to take Hannah, but Hannah did not want to go until she was able to fulfill her vow to lend the child to the Lord. So she stayed home with her husband's blessings.

Note that husbands need to be sensitive to their wives, and though they do not have to, they should place their blessings on their wives' desire to serve the Lord. Elkanah could have voided his wife's vow to God concerning their child, but he wisely did not.

1 Samuel 1:19, rose up early in the morning. I know this strikes some wrongly, but early in the morning is the best time to meet the Lord, particularly when facing a long journey, as this family faced. Though they had just spent several days in worship, they did not rest on what on what they did in the past.

We must not grow tired in doing what is pleasing in the Lord's sight:

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Vv. 24-28

Hannah fulfilled her commitment. When Samuel was weaned, he was taken unto the house of the Lord in Shilo, and left there to be reared in the Lord's service. I would assume the child was old enough to take care of himself, maybe 5 or so. But he may have been left in the care of Eli's wife.

V. 26, she did not remind Eli that he had thought she was drunk. Rather, she reminded him that she was the one who prayed. It is not good to remind others of their failures. (She did not say, "I am the one you accused of drunkenness; see, you were wrong.")

This chapter closes with v. 28, And he worshiped the Lord there.

Maybe it was Eli who worshiped the Lord by giving thanks to the Lord for Hannah. (Geneva)

Or maybe it was Samuel who worshiped Lord in the house of the Lord. Samuel was quite young when she left him in the temple:

A) it is never too young to start training a child for the Lord.

B) nor is a child ever too young to be made to sit up and behave in a church service.

Small children should learn early that the house of the Lord is for worshiping the Lord (MH); church time is not play time. Children must be instructed in proper attitudes and actions in the Lord's house. It does not come natural.

C) worshiping the Lord is identified with service, for Samuel worked in the temple – SAMUEL WAS THERE TO DO WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE.

Worshiping the Lord is not simply some worked up emotion; rather, it is physical work – cleaning and working on the buildings is worshiping the Lord, as is witnessing for him day by day.


The optional teaching here is that when she humbled herself, the Lord lifted her up – James and 1 Peter illustrate this truth.

When we finally give up, then he can change the circumstances and lift us up.

Ja. 4:6, 10, 1 Pet. 4:5, 6, (1 Sam 2:1-3.)

Notice that Hannah could not run from the adversary because the problem was inside her — not accepting her circumstances, barren.

No matter where she went or did not go, she was still barren. She could have quit making the offering; she could have stayed home from the temple; she could have moved to a different town away from the adversary of v. 7, but that would not have removed the circumstances that permitted the adversary to provoke her. The circumstances was that she was barren.

The adversary lost the power over her was when she turned it all over to the Lord – v. 18, let thine handmaid find grace.. "Here I am Lord; do with me as you please. If you want me to bear the shame of barrenness for the rest of my life, then here I am." Then the response to the adversary, "This is the Lord's will for me."

Esther said it like this: "If I perish, I perish."

Contentment in the Lord is the only attitude that will take away the power of the adversary from over us. This attitude is the attitude God wants us to have. This attitude will allow is will to be accomplished in our lives. He will allow the adversary to provoke us until we learn this, and then he can change the circumstances. But not until then. Notice that God did not remove the adversary, but he did change the circumstances, v. 20.

God help us to be content where we are, even if it seems like we are in prison. Let us sit still and do our best, and leave the circumstances up to God to change. Now, I am not talking about staying in a sinful situation by any means. But so often we use the circumstances that we do not think are right to excuse the fleeing from place to place.


I know a young man who was in a situation. He saw circumstances lining up not according to the way he thought they should be (Doug Gibbs). He said, "I am going to be gone before he gets here no matter where I have to go." And he was. But every since he has been battling that very thing, and his wife is paying a terrible price. He did not say, "I'm going to be content where I am until the Lord moves me," then wait for the Lord to work things out. Instead, he said, "I'm going," and opened his own doors. IT JUST DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

When Hannah became content (through faithfulness and prayer), God was able to move and give her her heart's desire. But our discontentment with ourselves is really discontentment with God and where he has us. Of course, this gives our adversary all the power he needs to drive us tot he nut house and from one job to another. From one town to another, never finding rest from the adversary. Why? Because the adversary (Pheninnah here, v. 2, Peninnah - only used here for the other wife of Elkanah. Not used anywhere else in Scripture. Penninnah, from a word meaning CORAL.)


This is an amazing use of this word, Coral, for me. I was stationed in Cuba for about 9 months at the big Naval base there. We relieved the Battalion who was there during the "Cuban missile Crises in the early 60s, so the tension was still high.

We built the bunkers on the front lines just across the fence from the Cubans, and we would watch each other. I drove a mobile concrete mixer truck. After we finished with the bunkers, we still had a couple of months to go before we were able to come back to the States.

There was a large river that flowed right through the base, and our SeaBee base was on the East side of the river.

On the other side was a smaller part of the Naval Station, but also there was a very large area of big trees and brush, which appeared to never have been cut.. This area was only 1-2 feet above sea level, and the Navy wanted this area cleared for a back up air strip for the Carribean. The Battalion I was in was assigned to do the job after we finished our other jobs with the bunkers.

The project involved a tremendous amount of dozer work, which almost everyone volunteered to do. I did not see any chance of getting it, so I did not even mention it. Of course, the popular fellows in the battalion got the job. There was a problem, however.

The area to be cleared was so low that it would be impossible to land a plan on it even with smooth runways. There was a tremendously high CORAL bank at one end of the area, probably 75-100 ft high, and covered as big of an area as the low area. So as we cleared the low area of the trees, we were to move the CORAL down into the low area. (There were no "headache" racks on the dozers, so a limb could fall on the operator, or brush scratch him.)

CORAL is made up of the remains of dead sea animals, and it is as hard as rock, but more like sandstone. We had large dozers (The largest made at the time, I H, TD 25s [between D 8 & D 9]), with rippers to beak up the CORAL, so it could be loaded in the pans (earth movers).

CORAL is poisonous to any open cut or sore. One of the men who had been assigned to the project was allergic to the CORAL dust, and he had a terrible skin reaction. As a result, after one day, he could not go back to the project. When the others found out that it was not an easy job, but very hot and dirty, they all decided they had done enough for that deployment. So I volunteered. AND IT WAS HOT AND DUSTY – IT WAS A MESS. The CORAL dust was so bad that after each pass with the dozer, you had to wait for the dust to blow away, so you could see where you had been, or what to do.

I never had any problems with allergies to the dust, but EVERYONE who worked there (about 6 of us) had to watch for open sores or cuts. Any thing, no matter how small, that was open on the skin would become infected almost overnight from the CORAL dust.

There was no problem with it (other than dust so thick we had to ware eye protection and respirators) other than on any open cuts.

Infections were not the CORAL'S fault, but the person's fault for having cuts or open sores. No cuts, no problems. The dust was terribly inconvenient, but no problem.


Notice: Getting away from the coral dust irritation did not solve the problem, because the problem was the open sores or cuts. The dust was an aggravation and inconvenience, but there was a job to do. All one had to do was watch carefully for the cuts, and avoid them. Once the cuts healed, no danger of infection. The coral exposed the cuts, no matter how small; it did not cause the cuts.

Hannah's adversary's name (v. 7) was derived from CORAL. Hannah's problem was not the CORAL, but her problem was the "wounded" spirit. The CORAL only exposed the problem. The problem was in v. 18 – she had not submitted herself, humbled herself, completely to the Lord: "Lord, I am your handmaid; do with me as you see fit." When the would was healed, the CORAL had no more effect upon her, other than an aggravation or irritation and inconvenience. Her countenance was no more sad.

Is our countenance sad? Are we ready to run and hide from that irritation? The enemy says, "The answer is to move; get a new job, new church, new wife, new husband, new environment." There is not answer but to do what Hannah did — get right with God in salvation, or in the situation where he has us.

The answer is taking care of the problem on the inside.

Salvation – upset with someone

It all comes back to somewhere we are not right with God.