Monday, November 1, 2010
Perception - CS - Hannah
"She made a vow and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, the I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life..." I Samuel 1:11
In just this one short prayer, you can identify several of Hannah's perceptions about God and about herself. Let me quickly point them out:
*if - she knows that God has a choice. She is not demanding or pleading, as much as requesting or giving Him an option - almost a covenantal promise - if you do this, then I'll do this...
*maidservant times three - she knows her place. She is a slave, He is the master. What right does she have to ask anything of Him, but for the fact that He allows it or might possibly have an ear for it...
*Your - she not only knows her place but knows who her master is...
*vow - this is the biggie. When Hannah makes a vow, she keeps it. Later in the story we find that God answers her request, gives her a son (Samuel) and she keeps her vow to the Lord - she gives him to Eli to serve in the Tabernacle. What does this reveal about her perception of God? If you make a vow to God, you'd better remember it and you'd better keep it because God remembers. She believed that God actually gave her Samuel and he was the Lord's to keep.
How often do we bargain with the Lord, only to forget what our end of the bargain was? You know what I am talking about - "Please Lord, give me this or take away that and I promise to _________ (fill in the blank)." What does that reveal about our perception of God? Well, either that He won't remember what we promised, He really doesn't care what we promised, He really didn't expect us to follow through with our promise or He won't do anything if we don't keep our promise.
How sad is that?
Hannah kept her vow because she feared the Lord. She was His maidservant and she gave Him what was already His. And the Lord honored this by giving her more children that she could keep (I Samuel 2:21). What a beautiful picture of a woman who had the proper perception of God and lived by it!
Again, let me ask - how does your perceptions of God affect your actions?