One of the big challenges for me with this whole “blogging” thing is the fact that in our daily reading journey of “The One Year Bible” there is so much to consider. In the particular version we are doing this year, we have both Old and New Testament passages and, of course, daily doses of Psalms and Proverbs. It can be overwhelming for a guy who does not come equipped with a built in love of reading. The only way I get through it is with a mind-set of discipline. Then, of course, we have the added incentive of having to write about some of what we have read. My lack of desire to spend time writing is only trumped by the aforementioned reading issue. Now you know at least two of my challenges as to blogging. But, alas, blog I must.
When you started into I Samuel this week, did you notice that it starts out with a cry from a godly woman? While the people were crying for a king, Hannah is crying for a child. In chapter 1 we get a glimpse of a Hannah’s husband, Elkanah. This guy is a real piece of work. We men like to have guys like Elk around because he tends to make us look better in the eyes of our women. Don’t get me wrong, he really did love Hannah as exhibited by the double portion in 1:5, but old Elk could also slip into the “it’s all about me” mode rather easily. Note 1:8 where he exhibits this mode with “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” As I write that, I realize that we men have not changed all that much over the years. Most of us are vulnerable to the same slide that Elk found his way to. It also struck me that he was a bit blind to the fact that his other wife seemed to be a nasty natured person who dealt much misery to Hannah.
So moving on with the story, God hears Hannah’s prayer and blesses her with a child whom she names Samuel because “I asked the Lord for him.” She then took him to Eli (the Priest) so that her son Samuel could be dedicated to the Lord. She was fulfilling her vow to God.
Chapter two begins with Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving. Her prayer is thought by many to be one of the greatest prayers captured in the scriptures. It is also prophetic in that she mentions the Messiah for the first time. Deliverance…Salvation. Amazing stuff!
She has been victorious over those who ridiculed her for being barren. She is rejoicing in her salvation. There is for Hannah a present deliverance.
If we think about the three tenses of salvation, I feel we can safely place Hannah into the middle or present tense.
Past Tense…We have been saved. If we hear and believe we will have eternal life. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). I understand that to mean God has delivered us from the guilt of sin by the death of Jesus. This is justification.
Present Tense…We are being saved. We are delivered from sin. Delivered from the weakness of the flesh. Our old nature hangs around and causes us to sin. This is where I believe we place Hannah from the story in 1 Samuel. This is sanctification.
Future Tense…We shall be saved. Deliverance from death in the future. Not physical but spiritual death. “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears we shall be like him. For we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2. This will be Glorification.
The book of Psalms repeats over and over that salvation is of the Lord (Ps. 37:39). We have been justified freely by His Grace (Rom.3:24). Freely meaning “without a cause.” We had nothing to merit our salvation. The explanation is simply God. He loves us.
Hannah was truly a godly woman and she was right on target.
Posted on Thu, May 5, 2011
by Jim Wilson