1 Samuel 2:18-21 You Could Never Out Give God
1 Samuel 2:18-21
Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the Lord.” And they went to their own home. 21 The Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.
Hannah’s selfless sacrifice spells a glimmer of hope for Israel. God’s plan of restoration for Israel cannot materialize without Hannah’s willing cooperation. We also see a sudden turn of events where she was suddenly blessed with five more children, something she never bargained for. Indeed, no one can out give God, what we have given Him, He will restore many times more!
Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
Even as a young child, Samuel ministers before God as a priest wearing a linen ephod and exhibits great discipline. God accepts the child’s service in the high calling of a priest despite his youth and lack of experience. Hannah’s efforts by making him an intricate little robe year by year speaks of her enduring support for her son’s ministry. Hannah’s maternal love and support is a major factor that gave young Samuel the resolve to persevere in his priestly ministry especially in a time when Eli was rejected by God.
Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the Lord.” And they went to their own home. The Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.
Hannah’s offering of Samuel is unconditional; she did not bargain with God to give her more children in exchange for Samuel when she offered him. However, in the providence of God, Elkanah is moved within him to bless Hannah with more children. God’s gifts came like a sudden wave and gave her more than she could imagine.
- Do not despise a child for the ministry of high calling because of his youth. Do not undermine a child’s potential and his work because God accepts the purity of his heart. When God evaluates a person for His purposes, He is primarily concerned with his character and not his natural skill sets or analytical powers that comes with age. A younger person tends to be more pliable that makes the molding of his character more forthcoming. The foundation of an effective ministry is a person’s character of truth and humility. It is on this foundation that important gifts and skills sets are honed. Character can only be refined in the crucible of life’s challenges and in the loving discipline of God.
- The blessing of a man of God is potent in delivering God’s gifts to his flock; he functions as God’s channel of blessing to his people. Therefore, we must respect the man of God and not to make light of him. When Jesus sends out His disciples, He says, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.” (Matthew 10:40-41). When we respect a man of God, we honor God and posture our heart to receive His gifts.
- We can never out give God. Hannah gave her first-born, and God gave her five more children that she did not bargain for. Hannah had intended to offer Samuel as God’s vessel to bring righteousness back to Israel. Hannah wanted a child not for her own possessing but for God’s purposes and for nation Israel. Hannah shows us that our offerings and sacrifices to God when done out of love for Him, will move Him to restore to us many times more on this earth and in heaven. However, a person who loves God and cares for His ministry will never in the first place put his own concerns before the work of the Kingdom.
- It is in God’s default mode to give. God closes Hannah’s womb for a time for a specific purpose. After His purposes are fulfilled, God again releases into her life blessings that are beyond her expectations. The hard times in our life tends to close us into a mindset of eternal depravation and depression because we could not see or hear anything good. However, when we see with the eyes of our heart, we begin to see that which is already present, although it is not yet materialized.
- Do you have something in your possession that you hold onto so tightly for fear of losing it? And you refuse to let God have control over it? Perhaps, you have to learn to let it go so that God could use it for His purpose.
- If you are a parent, you could prepare your child for God’s ministry by serving in the ministry yourself. Explain to your child the purpose of serving God, that is to bring God’s righteous rule into the community and to expand His Kingdom on earth.
Dear Lord, I thank you for blessing me with so many things. What you have given me I will sacrifice to you to serve your purposes. Use me and my family to fulfill your Kingdom’s work. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.