1 Samuel 1 | Giving Back to God What God Has Given Us

by | Dec 11, 2020

READ 1 Samuel 1

“I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)

As we launch into 1 and 2 Samuel today, it’s helpful to know that these books were originally one book: The Book of Samuel. In the Hebrew Bible, Samuel immediately followed Judges, which ended with this ominous description: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever seemed right to him” (Judges 21:25). With the rampant chaos and evil in Israel, many cried out for a king who would lead them back to God (and back into God’s blessing). 1 Samuel shows how God answered that prayer.

Much like the story of King Jesus, which begins with the miraculous birth of the prophet who preceded him (John), the story of Israel’s first kings Saul and David begins with the miraculous birth of the prophet who preceded them: Samuel. His mother Hannah was grieving her inability to conceive children. This was not just a personal tragedy, like many women still experience today. It was also a spiritual and communal tragedy. God had commanded his people to go forth and multiply. He promised Abraham more offspring than the stars in the sky. Being childless in Israel meant being outside of this promise.

The Bible is clear: it was the Lord who had closed Hannah’s womb (1:5). So Hannah went to him in anguish, begging God to give her a child. She didn’t have a prayer formula to follow, she just poured out her heart to God. And he answered! He always does. Maybe not in the way we hoped, but always in a way that will bring us the most good in the long run (Rom 8:28).

Our response, like Hannah, should be to give back to God whatever he gives us, with grateful hearts. Is that what you do? Or do you wish he had given you something different, something better? Do you praise God for his blessings, or do you subconsciously believe that your hard work and smarts brought blessings on yourself?

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