There’s a lot to unpack in this long chapter. I made a lot of orange marks. First, Hannah’s prayer. Oh, my heart. Have you ever poured out your heart to God like this? We can see – even by reading an English translation that uses terms like “garbage dump” (v. 8 NLT) – that Hannah remembers her blessing and gives all the glory and praise to God. It’s quite touching, to say the least, considering her sacrifice. In verse 5, I was wondering if maybe this told us how old Samuel is and just how blessed Hannah actually was. It says “The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away.” However, in verse 21, the author writes that Hannah was blessed with three sons and two daughters, plus Samuel, and that only adds up to six. I know, I know. I’m a math genius. Hold your applause. So, maybe Hannah had a baby that the author didn’t know about (like she lost a baby maybe. I’ve loss two children, and I still count them in my herd.) While we may never know the answer to how many children Hannah actually had, we do know one thing for certain: she had Samuel, and that’s who we’re focused on for this chapter.
Samuel is given credit for writing much of the First Book of Samuel. That led me to think of something else: Samuel is writing about how his own mother feels about him. What an honor! I wish my children knew and felt and understood the deep, deep, deep love I have for them (and will someday be able to write about it). Samuel gets to do this! He gets this deep perspective of the love his mother had for him and therefore the absolute preciousness of his position, even as a young boy. Samuel is a special young man indeed. I can’t wait to read further about his upbringing! After all, we are seeing how messed up the Tabernacle’s day-to-day operations have gotten. I think Samuel (or the author) is giving us some foreshadowing of days to come with the little snippets of information about how Eli and his sons are running things now. It seems they’ve gotten a little fat and happy and too, too cozy with their titles and positions. Privilege can be a tricky balancing act.
Writing prompt: privilege
We didn’t touch a whole lot on how Eli and his sons are managing the temple operations, but we can see from the hints in this chapter that they have grown fat in stature as well as attitude. Let’s write about privilege today. Sometimes people can’t help being born into privilege or even earning it. Privilege isn’t a bad thing. It’s what we do with it that can make or break us. What say you about privilege today?