Loving God

(1 Samuel 1 and 2) Hannah was a godly woman. She was also a persecuted one. The “other” wife, Peninnah had produced several children and Hannah none, and she wasn’t hearing the end of it. Elkanah, the husband, loved Hannah, which is probably why Peninnah was so hard on her, lording over her the ability to have children. I have to chuckle at Elkanah’s question “Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me – isn’t that better than having ten sons?” Sorry Elkanah, that just doesn’t wash. Love for a husband and for having your own babies is different and yet intertwined. One wants to have fruit of that beautiful relationship, to share in the creation and upbringing of the next generation.

Hannah turned to God in her desolation. She cried out in deep anguish to God. She vowed that she would give back her child to the Lord if He would only give her a son. God answered and gave her Samuel. She honored her vow and gave him back to God after she had weaned him, probably about 3 years of age. She left Samuel at the temple of God with Eli the priest.

Wow! Can you imagine giving up the child you’ve been longing for at about 3 years of age? It puts into perspective that our worship for God should supercede or outweigh all our other commitments of love.

Luke 10:27 You must Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your strength, ALL your mind

Again, Abraham was tested and was proven faithful when God told him to sacrifice his son whom he dearly loved. In faith, he believed God would raise Isaac from death as, in a sense, he did.

True faith grows to higher heights and to deeper depths when, each time we are tested, we learn to trust him that much more. Sometimes we fail the test, but even in our failure we learn and grow – think about Simon Peter when he stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water. Did his failure to keep his eyes on Jesus make him give up hope? No, not at all. He continued on, learning and growing until with the Holy Spirit’s power, he was bold and faithful in front of thousands to preach and witness of the gospel, the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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