Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 1 & 2.
As I read today, two scriptures really stood out to me. Since I'm familiar with this account I had some preconceived ideas about what today's devotional might be about. To be honest, I had my eyes fixed on Eli's sons rather than Hannah's. However, her words caught my attention, and I couldn't let them go. She said, "I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he worshiped the Lord there." (1 Samuel 1:27-28, CSB)
This beautiful because it revealed her heart. She realized the complexity of what she had asked of God, but understood that if God granted her request that it would be in accordance to His will and design. Therefore, Samuel was, in fact, her child, but only in that she was a steward of a precious resource that would be given to God.
This caused me to think about my perspective on my children. Are they really mine? Wouldn't it be better in some ways to realize that God's general design for the family is for my children to one day become their own families? Throughout the Old Testament we see the idea that children are a blessing, a resource to be invested in, and a sacred link in God's plan.
What makes this even more fascinating is that we get to see the other end of the spectrum as well. Eli's sons were monsters. They were spoiled by position and privilege. The one is reminded by God in chapter 2 that his family had been set aside for ministry didn't even have time to discipline his sons. Vocally he chastened them, but he failed fully rebuke them. His approach was permissive and lacked any accountability.
In the end, God declared, "Then I will raise up a faithful priest for myself" (1 Samuel 2:35, CSB) Eli's faithless sons would not disrupt His worship in perpetuity. Instead, He would simply bypass them and call one worthy of the task. Isn't it neat to see God saying that He would accept Hannah's offer to lend Him her son? It challenges me, not just with my children, but with every facet of my life. What am I lending to the Lord for His use?