Give As Good As You Get

Today’s scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1-28 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

During the holiday season I always feel challenged to give my mom the best gift I can come up with. You see, Mom seems to have a special knack for giving me the most awesome gifts! One year she gave me a beautiful watch, and to this day I get compliments on that watch. So, every year I find myself trolling the malls, looking for that one special gift that will let my mom know how much she means to me.

As I read our passage for today I can’t help but get stuck on the idea that Hannah not only asked God for the blessing of a child, but also promised to give that child right back to God.

And since God answered her prayer and blessed her with a child, we can make a reasonable assumption that God was pleased with Hannah’s offer. Asking God for a child and then promising to give that child back is a lot like asking someone for a new Cadillac and then promising them that they can drive it back and forth to work everyday! It almost seems crazy on the surface but here is the rub — once Hannah gave Samuel to God as promised she was blessed with three more sons and two daughters! God rewarded Hannah’s faith and faithfulness.

Hannah models for us today that even in the midst of sadness, hopelessness, low self esteem, and teasing and abuse from others, that we only need to go to God and make our requests known, and if it is God’s will for  us, God is faithful to provide.

But let’s not forget the other end of this lesson. God requires our dedication.

Have you ever wanted something so bad, you would do almost anything to see it happen? Hannah did. She was barren and getting older every year while her husband’s other wife was having kids and rubbing it in her face. God heard her prayers and graciously gave her a son. But, what did Hannah do with that great treasure? She gave him back to God, allowing him to be raised in the temple, set apart for service.

Thought for the day:Think about what you have been asking God for. Are you ready to give it back? Remember, after Hannah gave her son to the Lord, God blessed her with more.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.