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A Child for the Lord

(1 Samuel 1:20, 26-28; 2:1-8)

Lesson 1 -- first quarter 2004
December 7, 2003

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications

Asking for a gift

Hannah desperately wanted a gift . . . from God. She had no children. How she craved a son! Years of marriage did not result in that need being met, so in her desperation she called on God. By this time she knew clearly that having a child was not normal for her. She knew it would require special divine intervention. So she went to the giver of life and asked for that gift.

Hannah desperately wanted a gift . . . for God. She wanted her very own son to dedicate to God. She knew of the corruption of the priests; perhaps she hoped a son of hers would be God's tool to revive that office as well as the nation. Perhaps God gave her the vision that no child born to the current batch of priests would bring about this revival. God may have shown her that the spiritual condition of the priesthood and of the nation required special divine intervention. Whatever the case, she went to the giver of life and asked for that gift to give back to Him.

God answered! Hannah received her gift from God. She cherished and nourished this child until he was old enough to survive without her. During that time she made certain that he got a good launch in life. She tended to his physical needs and development, of course, but she also saw to his spiritual, moral, and social needs and foundations. In all this, Hannah's cup of joy and fulfillment was filled more and more.

Hannah answered! God received His gift from her. The boy she had cherished, nourished, and prepared was finally in the house of God where he belonged. She would still cherish him. She would still pray for his ongoing nourishment and preparation. Though he had always been God's, her gift had at last been fully and completely finalized. She completed the process: Samuel had transitioned from being dedicated to service to actually being in service. Now Hannah's joy and fulfillment sloshed over the rim of her cup, overflowing in exultant praise and glory to the Giver who was also the Recipient.

Perhaps thoughts like these meander through your mind: What a nice story, albeit terribly familiar. But what's in it for me? Is it supposed to be practical to me somehow? My friend, I obviously can't speak for you, but I see at least one practical application for me. I need long-range, Kingdom-oriented vision and purpose in my asking. Hannah had that; I want it. Do you? Then that makes an excellent first request!

Being that gift

Why do you exist?

Your presence on this planet may well be the result of your parents petitioning God for a gift. Then all I have to say to you here is this: Get on with fulfilling the vision of your parents and the purposes of God!

On the other hand, my dear reader, your presence here may not have been requested by your parents. For all that I know, you may be a so-called "illegitimate child," like my granddaughter. Take heart! Not only are you just as legitimate a child as anyone else, you are on this planet by special divine appointment. God chose to put you here! Get on with fulfilling His vision and purposes!

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