I will raise up for myself a faithful priest,
who will do according to what is in my heart and mind.
I will firmly establish his priestly house,
and they will minister before my anointed one always.
Your Suffering isn't the Final Story. The nation Israel went from rags to riches, with the turning point being the pain and suffering of one woman in a land of darkness. At the onset of first Samuel the nation Israel disobeyed God, upon taking possession of Canaan, they hadn't eradicated the people and they followed in the Canaanite ways instead of being faithful to God. Their outcome of straying from God, is strikingly similar to our waywardness today, which is the suffering of immorality, strife, war, sexual deviance, rampant false religions, and even a corrupt priesthood within the church of God itself. The nation hadn't heard from God for awhile, until one man was raised, and taught by God, to be a faithful priest, Samuel. This is the same promise we have, to be a royal priesthood to God (1 Peter 2:9). This man restored the nation to their God and brought victory over their oppressors, the Philistines, all the days of his life. Even more miraculous then the story of his life; is the story of his birth. This is the hope and promise we have, that out of the ashes of our lives, the Lord can raise a mighty man to serve in His most holy assembly.
The Birth of Samuel. Hannan, the favored of the two wives of Elkanah, was stricken with grief from the Lord closing her womb. She was the subject of shame with Elkanah's other wife, Peninnah, always taunting her. She was so grieved of spirit that she cried her heart out before the Lord within the sight of the High Priest, Eli. Learning of her suffering, he made one simple request, that God would answer her prayer. (1 Samuel 1:1-19). Have you ever needed poured your heart out to God in revert prayer? This lowly of time, her brokenness, was the bedrock which God used to build his people back to Himself. How magnificent a Creator. How divine are His ways. Her suffering was not in vein, for God was watching. He was going to, not only, change her mourning to joy; but He was going to do the same for the nation. Little did she, or Eli, know how powerfully God was going to move through this very moment in time.
Reverence to a Holy God. Although Hannah was stricken by God and the subject of shame, she never questioned the faithfulness and loving-kindness of her Creator. Instead of cursing God, she was deeply reverent and made petitions to His tenderness and His mercy. In her broken and faint despair of soul, she cried out to God with everything in her, and He listened. How truly astonishing, that we should pray and God would listen and be merciful to us. We see this same awesome relationship between Jesus and the centurion, when the man said that Jesus' word alone would heal his paralyzed servant. Matthew tells us that Jesus 'marveled' at such faith (Matthew 8:5-12). Can you image being the person with such faith that Jesus marvels at you? How about Job in his trial, can you suffer despairingly and still praise God? If only we had half as much faith and trust in the Lord as these people in the midst of their suffering. Having the glory of the Lord look upon you in the fiery trials of this life and say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant" should be your soul's delight.
I will Raise up for Myself a Faithful Priest. From Hannah's ashes of a broken life, God raised up a priest unto Himself, a son given to her. In her prayer she vowed if God opened her womb with a son, she would dedicate him to God for his entire life, and that is exactly what happened. Once the child was weened, she took him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh were Eli and his two wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests. This child would be able to serve as a priest, because her husband was a Levite living in the hill country of Ephraim. The Lord began to speak to the boy but he didn't know it was the Lord speaking. Has the Lord spoken to you, but you didn't know it? Do you know that He does speak to you? Do you know what He sounds like? The scripture says, "Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him" (1 Samuel 3:7 ESV). He didn't know the Lord because the word wasn't known to him. We get to know the Lord when we learn His most holy word, the bible.
Walking in Faith With God. Samuel began to grow as a man, but also in his knowledge of God. He became the priest; for Eli's two sons were killed in battle against the Philistines, and Eli died upon hearing the ark of the covenant was sieged to fulfill the word of the Lord which was spoken against their wickedness. (1 Samuel 2:12-36, 3:1-21). He learned the word of God, and the scripture tells us, "The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there He revealed himself to Samuel through the word." (1 Samuel 3:21). In a land that forsook their God and through the depths of one woman's seemingly meaningless despair, the Lord began to appear to a boy who read His holy word. The boy became close to God and all Israel knew that he was a prophet of God (1 Samuel 3:20). Today, through Jesus, we have been granted son-ship with God and by doing so, we have become priests (1 Peter 2:9), like Samuel. How close is your walk? Do others know that you're a priest of God? Do you even know this? How well do you know God, and His holy word? Samuel was so close to God, that God didn't allow one word of Samuel to fall to the ground (1 Samuel 3:19); none of his words were meaningless, vile or untrue. They had power and life. Everything he prophesied, happened. Are your words filled with such power and truth? Can people trust every word that comes from your mouth, or do they fall to the ground?
Let God Reign in Your Heart. Your dedication to God can change the world. Samuel was the last of the judges to rule the nation, but he wasn't only a judge: he was a priest, prophet and a judge. In all his service to the Lord, for his entire life, he did what was right. The Lord gave him, and the nation, protection and provision. He was the person to usher in the king of Israel for they had no king. This was the foreshadow of the King of kings and the Lord of lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ; who was to come and be a King over the throne of Israel, but even more to be the King of our hearts. It all started in a darkened and sinful land where people had gone astray from God and where pain lived in the heart of a destitute person; but it all came to life by the simple obedience of a boy and his bible, for he met his God and they changed the world, together. Are you in a sinful and dark place? Have you, like everyone else, gone astray? Are you, although man, but a child in need of correction? Give your life to Christ and allow Him to be seated upon the throne of your heart, in His rightful place. Allow Him to become the Lord of your life, for He will bring glory and victory to you and the world around you, as He did the nation Israel, through Samuel. As the promises of God still stand, "The nations of the world will be blessed, because you have obeyed Me" (Genesis 22:18b). You will find purpose and meaning in Him. Your mourning will be turned to gladness.
Dear heavenly Father, let us sing like David sang, "You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy; That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever". Amen. (Psalm 30:11-12 AMP).
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