1 Samuel 1, Romans 1, Jeremiah39, Psalm 13-14

 

1 Samuel 1:11-23
What an exceptional example of prayer based upon faith!  Hannah fervently brought her petition before the LORD of hosts.  She was praying with such abandon that Eli thought she must be drunk, so he interrupted her with a rebuke.  I delight in Hannah's reply "I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD...I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation."  After explaining that she was not drunk but praying, Eli blessed Hannah by requesting God grant her petition.  Notice the change in Hannah - she ate and was no longer sad.  How often have you heard (or said yourself) "I took my burden to the LORD" only later to realize you may be expressing your anxiety and vexation to the LORD, but you are still carrying the same troubles?  We need to learn the lesson of Hannah, take your burden and leave it with the LORD.  He is faithful.

When Hannah chose not to go to Jerusalem with her family for the annual sacrifice, Elkanah's response to her is priceless.  "Do what seems best to you;...only, may the LORD establish his word."  Through the years of being an advice giver and receiver, I have come to realize most of the advice given is not received.  So I have decided Elkanah's response is appropriate because generally, people are going to do what seems best to them whatever the given counsel.  Like Elkanah, I would say, do what seems best, but my desire is that the LORD would establish His Word in your life.

LORD of hosts, thank You for the godly wisdom of both Hannah and Elkanah.  May my prayers increasingly exhibit a maturing faith in You.  You have proven Yourself trustworthy, so why would I carry burdens my Father has promised to handle.  I want any advice I give to be based upon Your instruction and not Roy's great wealth of wisdom and experience.  But more than that, may my primary interest be Your Word firmly established in other's lives. 

Psalm 13

For years, when I read this Psalm, my focus was on the first two verses.  I easily got lost in my agreement with David's cry "LORD have You forgotten me!"  Then, one day, the Holy Spirit focused my attention on verse four.  David was concerned his enemies would rejoice if he were shaken.  He did not want his downfall to be attributed to the LORD's failure to protect and keep him.  David was more concerned about God's glory than his own sorrow and disappointment. 

David was very vocal about his trust in the LORD.  How often does he say, "You are my refuge, my shield, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my salvation, my stronghold, my righteousness, my portion, my cup, my vindication, my strength, my King, my God,..., etc., etc." 

In Psalm 16:8 David said, "I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."  So, if David were shaken, It would appear the LORD had failed.  He did not want his enemies thinking that.

I agree with Jude's prayer as I am sure David would, "Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen"

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