Where have we made promises to the Lord when asking for something? Do we hold our promises? Hannah did! And she was blessed five times for it too! Hannah cried out in desperate need that her heartache would be removed and from that she would give the very thing she asked for back to God.
I have pondered this book for quite some time to share it in my 1:11 Series. I read it over and over to try and comprehend how this story applied to my life. Then I realized how many times I had cried out to the Lord, pleading for my life in desperation. I have promised to do things if He would only give me this one thing. Ever been there? Yes, me too… that’s when I realized, my life wasn’t mine to give… But my blessings were.
How many times have we shunned His blessings because we didn’t recognize them as such? How many times have we thought something else would be better for our lives than what we were given? We choose the lives we lead, and then somehow blame God when it all goes wrong! Then, in haste, in hopes He can reverse our doings, we promise our devotion and souls for a blessing of correction. My mother, Cara, always used to say, be careful what you pray for. The Lord certainly brings correction to our lives, but not in the ways we hope for! So, when we have been corrected and receive true blessing, which are the Fruits of the Spirit, how to we then offer them back to the Lord?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
In 1 Samuel, the Lord blessed Hannah with a son that she prayed for, who she then offered back to the Lord. In the course of her life, her womb brought forth five more children as a bountiful blessing from the Lord for keeping her vow and offering Samuel, her first born, back to God as an offering. Her heartache she beseached Him on was a closed womb and treacherous teasing from her rival for her closed womb. The Lord granted her a son for the vow that she would give the boy to serve the Lord all his days.
Samuel served the Lord faithfully and brought forth a King, Saul, who would again bring Israel freedom by invoking their faith in the one and only true God.
The story brings great triumph through the life of Samuel in the 11th chapter of 1 Samuel where Saul is made King and the Lord again saves Israel from their enemies. It is the faithfulness of Samuel who listens to appoint God’s word into the life of a lowly man who had no scores to meet until God called him to his destiny.
Through generations we see how Hannah’s devotion to the Lord is carried out to bring the message that there can be only one God and one vow from one bride, His church. We learn time and time again, that no man’s will be served before His and that no man will reign over his people that He, the Lord God, does not divinely appoint. Even when the people of Israel shun the leader God had given them, He appoints another right under their very noses! Despite their disbelief, He arranges their humility to yet worship and praise His decision over their lives.
When Hannah made her promise to God, she made a very interesting vow though. Notice that her vow did not employ her own devotion, but the devotion of another. In evaluation, I asked these questions.
- Did she make this vow because she knew she was unable to carry out the will of God herself?
- Was the Holy Spirit praying for her?
- Was giving her first born a symbol?
- How many times do we see the first born sacrificed in scripture?
- Who was the ultimate sacrifice?
Jesus was too a first born. Not of mere flesh, but of Spirit as well! Then here, can we not mirror a foreshadowing of the work of the Lord in the great sacrifice on the cross?
Yet again, we see the same message that our Heavenly Father continues to instill in us as we read the good book. The sacrifice of Jesus came to us as a Promise to cover all sin, past, present and future, to uphold the promise God gave to man. Grace is his kept covenant to the world, for who ever believes in that sacrifice will have everlasting life.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Christ was the ultimate Sacrifice, the offering that was given to this world through a virgin womb by the Lord. The gift of birth, a miracle from a closed womb, given to Hannah, by the Lord. Both offerings given by God and received by God to complete His promise to uphold His people with a righteous hand.
You see we can become tools in this life to do the good will of God when we offer our Belief that God is our Head as the sacrifice. Hannah knew that by having a son, she would have the loss as well… But the loss became a great blessing on many and brought God’s will forth to His people.
Let this message remind us that when we are in desperate times, when we are in trouble, when we seek rescue, that we offer ourselves, our lives and our will to the Lord to bring forth His will in our lives. We have nothing more to offer than our brokenness, but think of what he can do with the lowly man! Samuel was a lowly servant to priest Eli. Saul was nothing before God appointed him King. And Jesus was a carpenter! A man who toiled and sweat with work for over thirty years before He was put to do the will of God! How many more men lived many years before God appointed them to do His work? Then how long should we keep our lamps burning, waiting on our appointment? As long as it takes for Him to call upon us.
So Believers, don’t be discouraged for your appointment is coming! You will see when you have offered yourself, the Good Lord takes sacrifice and returns blessing to gather and feed His people! The cycle of sacrifice and blessing, when done by the Lord, is a complete perfection and will always bring Glory and Honor to Him. Let us be the sacrifice so as to bless the church with that Glory! Rejoice Brethren! For He has called us by name and we come to join Him! Praise God!