Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Release: A Journey Through Samuel

This is part of a Journey Through Samuel blog series I started. One of my children recently brought up these books in conversation as their university is asking them to read this (along with some secular publications) for an assignment. However, it left me thinking of these books again and I decided I would take my own journey; not a literary one or historical one, but a spiritual one. I'm eager to see what new things He has to teach me through His Word as I journey through 1st and 2nd Samuel again; chapter by chapter. Join me.

1 Samuel 1

Just this first chapter introduces issues such as polygamy in the house of Elkanah, preferential treatment, jealousy, and even a prophet (Eli) who shows his weakness in the flesh as he makes wrongful accusations. We could talk about the possible lack of trust in God which caused Elkanah to seek another wife, we could talk about the complexities that this caused with the mistreatment of individuals involved, and we could talk about self-righteous behavior and pride that gets in the way even with a man of God. 

However, I just want to talk about a smile!

Hannah, who could not have any children, felt the burden of judgement and lack of worth. Seeing her husband, likely take up another wife due to that very reason, and then his 2nd wife mistreat her was difficult I'm sure. Yet there was something that changed her perspective as we read: 
"Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad." (1 Samuel 1:18b ESV)

Her face was no longer sad ... perhaps she smiled for the first time in a very long time.

     What was it?
 
Hope

She left blessed, and full of hope, that God would one day open her womb, and she would give birth to a child. I'm sure this wasn't the first time she prayed, but I'm sure this time it was different. There was no mention of a quick conception, in fact it seems like it was a while. In due time we are told in Scripture she did. Yet, her sadness left her that moment; or should I say, she left her sadness behind. 

I am prompted to ask myself what sadness I need to leave behind. I am prompted to ask myself where I need to place hope in my life. Where I am not letting go? Thankfully, I need not seek a prophet for a blessing as I have one from The King Himself. My hope is well placed, may I have the confidence to place it in Him more each day ...

Exchanging sadness for the Joy of the Lord,
~Matthew
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