"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bible Study: "in the course of time..."

During the last two weeks our Bible study has been reading 1 Samuel 1&2.

1 Samuel 1: 19-20: "Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back into their home at Ranah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. (20) So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son."

This verse stuck out to the me, because it doesn't say that God heard her prayer and immediately answered it and she was pregnant the next month.  It was says "in the course of time" which means she may have waited a long time.  Hannah cried to God so much that those around her thought she was drunk.  In those days, if you were a women unable to have a child you thought you were cursed or being punished by God.  Often times, you were cast out as being unworthy.  It was a depressing place for Hannah to be, but she never stopped trusting in God.  She never gave up hope that one day she would have a child.

1 Samuel 21: 22:When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”

 After Samuel was born, she took the boy, she prayed so long for, to the Lord to live with him.

1 Samuel 2:1-10: 
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.
Those are the first words Hannah says after she gave up her child to the Lord.  She praises God for His faithfulness. On the day she makes the biggest sacrifice she will ever make in her life, she rejoices in the Lord! Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver.
1 Samuel 2:19-20 – Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home.”  ->>Here Hannah's faith is tested again.  She believed that God would bless her with more children because she believed his promise. She goes home to wait... Question: Would she still believe in His goodness if He didn't?

When God answered Hannah’s prayer and gave her a son, Samuel, she poured out her joy to God as well.  Remarkably, for a woman who waited so long for a child, she took Samuel to God’s tabernacle as soon as he reached an appropriate age.  There she placed him in the priests care. Hannah certainly loved her child and never forgot him. Every year she made a garment for him – a huge expenditure in those days.  She did not hold on to her blessing any more than she hung on to her sorrows.  She gave them both to God.

My only issue with this verse is God's promise, "
May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to[c] the Lord.” I assure you that no child will ever "take the place of" her first child.  Her first child will always hold a special place in her heart and will never be forgotten.

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