After Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land, the nation was governed by a series of judges. The period of the judges lasted several hundred years and ended with the prophet Samuel. Samuel lived his entire life dedicated to God. In fact, Samuel’s mother dedicated him to God before he was even born.
For many years Hannah and her husband had tried to have a child, but God did not allow her to conceive. The desire for a child continued for several years and became such a consuming portion of Hannah’s life that she could think of little else; “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:10).
Finally, Hannah’s heart softened and she made a vow that if God would give her a son, “then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11). God honored Hannah’s vow and she soon became pregnant. A few years after Samuel was born Hannah brought him to Eli, the priest.
1 Samuel 1:27-28
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
When Hannah made her vow, she no longer desired a child to satisfy her own needs but truly desired to honor God by returning her son to Him. In turn, God blessed Hannah with five additional children after Samuel (1 Samuel 2:21). God did not bless Hannah because of her vow (we can never “bargain” with God); rather, God blessed Hannah because her heart desired to glorify Him with her blessing.
We must learn to consider everything in our life from the same perspective as Hannah. We have created nothing of lasting value with our own hands. Everything we have – everything which defines who we are – is a precious gift from God. This includes our possessions, family, business, school, special skills, and talents. ALL we have is by the grace of God.
And just as it is prideful sin to take self-credit for God’s many blessings, it is equally shameful to shun His gifts – to pretend they do not exist – and fail to use them for His glory. God always blesses with a purpose, and we live a shallow life if we ignore His gifts or use them solely for our own benefit and pleasure.
Let’s bless our Heavenly Father by fully receiving His gifts, and then by giving back what we have so graciously been given. Let’s praise Him and determine to use even the gift of our own life to bring Him glory and honor. God has showered us with many wonderful gifts, but they are ALL gifts to be returned.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Apr 21 Joshua 22:21-23:16; Luke 20:27-47; Psalm 89:14-37; Proverbs 13:17-19