There has been an ongoing conversation in our small group, about our relationship with God and ‘other gods’ and if/whether obedience makes a difference down the line. We are going through the old testament and are in 1 Samuel now.
I have read the story of Hannah giving up her one and first-born son, Samuel, many times. I didn’t remember that she had so many additional children, as a result of her obedience. I also had not considered the criticism Hannah might have received for giving her son to Eli, the High Priest at the time. He was not known as the best father figure. In fact, his two sons were contemptible in the eyes of the Lord.
How would that feel? I can imagine the conversation I would have had with the Lord: “I want to give this son that you have given to me, for your service. But…Lord? To Eli?” Imagine that family that you feel has done a less than stellar job with their kids…and then picture sending yours to be raised by them.
Hannah’s faith in God, her commitment to God’s faithfulness, and her vision for the big picture, were the difference. Her faith was one that saw past circumstances, believing God had something greater planned. I’ll be honest, I am not sure I would have given up something that I had prayed so hard for (a child), received so much criticism for (infertility), to a man that appeared a failure at his job (Eli), in the eyes of men.
But our God is a God of second chances. A chance to be parents, moms/dads, wives/husbands, or Aunts/Uncles…when we least expect it. And second chances to do things differently, if given the opportunity.
And that is the difference.
Had Hannah not had faith and seen the picture, the whole of Israel would have missed out from this one man, Samuel, who pursued the Lord, proclaiming the Word of the Lord to His people. He was the last man fervently warning the people against having a king.
What about you? Is He asking you to have faith that will make a difference for the generations that come?