Friday, June 27, 2014
Legacy of Grace
1 Samuel, chapter 1 tells a story about a man named Elkanah, who was from the priestly tribe of Levi, and his two wives Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. The story indicates that although Hannah had no children, her husband loved her very much. This family was faithful to go to Shiloh each year and sacrifice to the LORD, and Hannah's husband favored her every year with double portions of the sacrificed food. This made Peninnah jealous, and Peninnah provoked Hannah and caused her to grieve at the lack of children of her own.
In Genesis 3:16, we learn that the punishment for a woman was to increase pain in childbearing, but her desire shall be for her husband. Hannah felt worthless because she did not provide her husband the one thing that only a woman could do. One year, when the family was at Shiloh sacrificing to the LORD, Hannah prayed very earnestly to the LORD and asked for a son, whom she would dedicate to the LORD as a Nazarite. Hannah did not ask for a son to raise her standing with the rival wife, nor did she ask for a son to help her when she became too old to work. She asked for a son to glorify God. Eli, the elderly priest, observed Hannah praying. He accused her of being drunk, but ironically, Hannah had just dedicated her unborn son to the LORD with a stipulation that this son would never partake of any strong alcoholic drink.
In 1 Samuel 1:18, Hannah replies to Eli, the elderly priest. "And she said, 'Let your servant find favor in your sight.' Then the woman went to her quarters" NRSV.
Hannah's request for grace and favor from the priest is evidence that she had confidence in seeking grace from God. She believed that she would one day be bringing her child to Eli for him to train to serve the LORD. When we seek grace from God, if our hearts are earnestly seeking to glorify the LORD, then what we ask will help to pave the way for our future generations to seek God's grace too.