What is the reason of your blessing?
1 Samuel 1:21, 22 -
And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.
In the start of the book of Samuel we read about the great Prophet Samuel and his birth. His mother Hannah cries to the Lord and she is blessed with a child who becomes a great Man of God and one of the most important Prophets. Samuel was the first to start a school for the anointed of God. He also had a great hand in getting the books of the Bible (before him and during his time) together and maintaining them. He started the tradition of forming a group of people who gave their lives to preserve the Word of God through the centuries.
I must have read this starting part many times before but today as I sat to write on this message there was something interesting I noticed for the first time and it was to do with the attitude his mother Hannah.
Hannah became desperate to have a child all because she was taunted by her husband's second wife Peninnah. We notice Hannah lives in good relation with her and they all went to the annual feast where everyone makes an offering for the vows they made for the year (some consider this as the feast of weeks). Yet we see in the dedication of the child at the temple in Hannah's prayer she still speaks of the enemy who spoke against her when her womb was barren.
We read after weaning her child she takes him to the temple and hands over the child Samuel to Eli. The word translated as young in verse 24 is not the young we think in English like lad or preteen. The Hebrew word 'naar' used here comes from the word to be tossed to and fro, which means he was still at cradle stage.
If one reads the words of Hannah carefully it is more about how the Lord kept her self-respect and saved her dignity before those who spoke against her and we know before Elkanah her husband married the second time, she was living comfortably and was never desperate for a child. It was only when Peninnah came in the picture and taunted in directly or indirectly that Hannah desired a child.
Scriptures say the Lord shut the womb of Hannah before and later it was the Lord who blessed her womb later when she cried to Him. Even though her purpose for a child was not really the child but her self-respect and dignity, yet the Lord answers her prayer when she desperately prays to the Lord.
We read in today's message even though we may have not the right purpose of God's blessing yet at times God answers our prayer when we pray desperately to God like Hannah. We see a similar case in the Luke chapter 8 where Jesus explains about prayer through a story. In the story a judge who has no regards for man or God is sitting over a judgment of a matter and we read the woman concerning this matter keeps on persistently petitioning the judge day in and out. The judge out of irritation does concede to the petition of the woman. Jesus says through the story there are times God will hear our prayer if we continually keep on pursuing it with God. But then Jesus ends this story saying when the Son of Man come will He find faith?
We should realize a short prayer of faith is more powerful and effective than a long persistent prayer. The most powerful prayers of Jesus were just simple 'Thank You, Father', for one to say such a prayer one requires great faith and it is only when our purpose and desire is according to the will of God, can we have such faith. Jesus said first believe to receive; and we can have the assurance to believe that we have received before we actually receive only when our purpose is right - according to God's plan.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are times when we struggle and struggle to receive from You. We keep praying and praying for it. Lord help us to be aware of the purpose of our petition with You and we prayer Lord that we desire all things according to your will and your plan in our lives. Although You turning all things to our good but because we do not desire or do according to your plan and will, we land up struggling and facing hurdles in our lives...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
1 Samuel 1:1-5, 9-16, 20-28
1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.
13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.
22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.
23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 2:1-10
1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.
9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
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