Thursday, 2 March 2017
THE MAN SAMUEL PART 1
This was a man given to God. His mother desperately sought a child from God who gave her Samuel. It is worthy of note that she waited on the Lord despite the pain she felt from all she went through from Peninnah’s torment. Peninnah and her children deliberately sought to make Hannah’s life miserable for the fact that she had no children. She felt so bad that all the love her husband showed her did not make her happy. At some point her husband got so frustrated with her that he asked her if he his love wasn’t enough for her. Her unspoken response was revealed in her turning to the Lord thereafter; she obviously realized that his love could not meet her need. Indeed, only God can satisfy the deep yearnings of man’s heart. So, she prayed for herself; nobody can pray for you like you. At best, their prayers will add to increase the strength of yours. Waiting on the Lord is sometimes a long and uncomfortable journey but it is personal and God will come through at the appointed time. The journey only last for a while.
1 Samuel 1: 8 “Why are you crying, Hannah? Elkanah asked. Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children. You have me – isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
Isaiah 54: 6 “For the Lord has called you back from your grief-as though you were a young wife abandoned by your husband… For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great compassion I will call you back”
Hannah realized that it would take more than her husband to change her circumstance; for he was but a man and as such, was limited in his ability to meet her need. Only God could give her a child though the child would come through the natural process which involved both of them. It sometimes gets tough waiting on a God whom we don’t see physically. Even when we hear His voice, man’s mind is so vile it would even attempt to question the authenticity of the voice and even if He chose to appear physically as God, satan working through our minds may give us reasons to question the reality of what one saw. It is indeed easy to look to mere mortal for what only God can do and somewhat take-out one’s frustration on that mortal. We must adjust our expectations from man. Such expectation has led people to unknowingly worship man. Spiritually powerful as any man may be, He is not God. At the end of the day, you will be disappointed. Such disappointments have negatively impacted on some people’s mental wellbeing and even destroyed some others. Thank God she was able to turn to God in god time.
1 Samuel 1: 10 – 11 “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed unto the Lord. And she made this vow: O lord of heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for His entire lifetime …”
When she turned to God only, we are told that He answered and gave her Samuel first. He could have given her twins straight up since He intended to give her other children but He does as He pleases. Interestingly “as He pleases” always is tied to what is best for us. Our God is so mindful of us that whatever pleases Him always includes what is best for us. He will not use anyone without blessing them even when He knows that the blessing may be abused. It is not in His nature to take people for granted. He desires commitment but will not force or compel anyone. Obviously, Hannah’s heart was in the right place. After having waited for a child for so long, what mother would so willingly give Him to the Lord even whilst He was yet a child trusting the Lord to care for Him? How her heart must have ached; yet her desire to give God something that meant everything to her was stronger than her longing for self- satisfaction. I wonder how much we can let go of for God; yet we want the blessings that Hannah had. The strength of her prayer rested in what she was able to give up for God and her sacrifice was rewarded. For some, the day Hannah left her baby in the temple would have been a day of great grief and regret. No doubt she would have missed Him and had her fears as to what may become of him seeing Eli’s children were evil; but none of that was enough to stop her leaving Him behind. Her desire to give God what she thought was worthy was stronger than her need to please herself.
Hebrews 6: 10 “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to Him…”
Elkanah also, was a man who feared God and met His religious obligations toward God. He must also have consented to Hannah giving their son to the Lord despite the possibility that he may be her only son – the wife he loved deeply. It is against this background that the man Samuel was born.