Welcome to Mt. Olive's Online Newsletter! This site serves to herald the activities and day-to-day happenings at Mt. Olive, as well as provide resources for continued learning and community awareness. Links on the right point to various groups that operate at Mt. Olive as well as points of interest and additional resources. The space below contains articles and information from the newsletter. A up-to-date church calendar is always at the bottom of the page. Thanks for visiting and please let us know what you think!

For more information on Mt. Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church please visit our website.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

1 Samuel: God's Provision and Protection

This is a daily devotional provided by "TODAY IN THE WORD" a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. The devotional reading for June 1, 2008 is included here. The rest of the series can be accessed at: www.todayintheword.com

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:10

My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. - 1 Samuel 2:1

Young children often find the world a frustrating place. Things don't work quite the way they want, and their growing bodies don't quite work how they want them to. A typical child's response to such difficulties often includes wailing, tears, self-pity, anger, and frustration. Unfortunately for many of us, the way we handle life's sorrows is not much better. But today's passage gives us a picture of a better way: the way of faithful prayer before our Almighty Lord.

Hannah knew life's disappointments all too well. Although married to a loving, wealthy, and pious husband, Hannah was childless. To make matters worse, Hannah had to face the ridicule and provocations of Peninnah, her marital rival who was blessed with children. Scripture also tells us that this was a perpetual sorrow for Hannah, one that continued “year after year” (1:7).

But observe Hannah's response to her difficulties. She did not retaliate with anger and hostility, nor wallow in self-pity; rather, she turned to God in her grief and poured out her soul to the Lord. She boldly came before the Lord Almighty and found comfort in a God who cared for a miserable, grief-stricken woman in Israel.

In His mercy, God heard Hannah's prayer and granted her a son. Hannah's response to God's blessing is as instructive as her response to her sorrow. First, she named the child Samuel (meaning “heard of God”)—a constant reminder of God's attending presence (1:20). Second, as promised, she gave her son over to the Lord with extravagant sacrifices in thanks to God. Third, she broke into spontaneous praise for God's grace.

Hannah's response of literally handing her son over to God stands as a reminder that all of God's blessings ultimately belong to Him. All that we have is His, for He is the one who gives what we ask. In this particular case, as we will see in this month's study of 1 Samuel, God used this gift to a grief-stricken woman to raise up a mighty prophet for the people of God.

We all face life's sorrows and frustrations—the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, broken relationships, physical ailments. Today's passage reminds us that God knows our griefs, hears our prayers, and promises us comfort in those difficult times. We are also reminded that it is in just such moments that God so often chooses to make His grace known. Let Scripture encourage you today to come before the Lord Almighty and pour out your soul to Him—confident, like Hannah, that He hears and cares.

No comments: