1 Samuel 2:1
"My heart rejoices in the LORD." (1 Samuel 2:1 NLT)
In what or whom does your heart rejoice? Since Hannah desperately wanted a child for so long, she could have easily said: "My heart rejoices in Samuel." Yet she rejoices in Samuel's Creator instead of her first-born son. Don't you find it interesting that every time she called her son's name, she was saying "I have asked for him from the Lord." What a constant reminder for Hannah and her family of why her heart rejoiced in the LORD. Don't you know she used Samuel's name a lot?
God regularly presents comparisons throughout the Bible. As you read Psalm 15 today notice how David compares those who dwell with God to those who don't. Those who do are blameless, do what is right, and speak truth in the heart. In contrast, those who don't dwell with God slander with their tongue, do evil to their neighbor and take up a reproach against their neighbor. In Psalms and Proverbs, side by side examples are quickly apparent, but you will find this method commonly used in Scripture.
Today's reading compares Hannah and Eli's priorities. In her prayer, Hannah is thankful for Samuel, but it is God who she worships and praises. Samuel has a special place in her heart, but she does not place him before the LORD. Eli, on the other hand, values his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, more than God, though he knew them to be worthless. Eli, who is the high priest, allows his offspring to treat the things of God with contempt. They blatantly abused their priestly role which God had given them as descendants of Aaron.
The man God sent to confront Eli said, "Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people?" (1 Samuel 2:29) God knew Eli just as Hannah acknowledged in her prayer, "For the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him, actions are weighed." (1 Samuel 2:3) Eli's actions had been weighed and found wanting.
In Matthew 10:37, Jesus also addressed the issue of priorities, "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
Thank You, Lord Jesus. I am a blessed man. I know each of the blessings of my life, whether it be my family, wife, children, grandchildren, position or wealth; it is all a gift from Your hand. Holy Spirit, please regularly, faithfully convict me when my priorities are upside down. Please, LORD God, make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
"Patience in well doing" hits me between the eyes. I certainly want to be one who is "well doing." I desire to seek the things God offers: glory, honor, and immortality. My struggle is with the qualifier: patience. When I tell Carol my lack of patience must be due to increasing age, she rolls her eyes at me.
Holy Spirit, in God's children You produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Please, whatever it takes, may I bear Your fruit.