Hannah was so overjoyed the Lord granted her a son, Samuel, removing her agony from being barren. God heard her prayers and praises. She praised the Lord and after giving birth, she dedicated the boy to ministry under tutelage of Eli the priest, whom she had seen at the temple while praying. She weaned the boy and gave him up to be dedicated. She visited him each year and brought him special clothes. Samuel was chosen to serve the Lord by the Lord. God wanted all the priests and their servants and offspring to serve, but Eli’s sons were scoundrels… Terribly they took the privilege of serving at the Lord’s Will, and purposefully warped it. God saw all this. Dedication or disruption. Promise or poison. Salvation souls or scoundrel-ed spoils.
Eli’s scoundrel sons did not serve the Lord. As children chosen on a priestly line, they squandered and served only themselves. One of the descriptions of how they took advantage of their privilege was by forcibly taking food that was not even cooked as required and prescribed, was not ready for them, not their portion. This food they would have received as a privilege was now taken as piracy. We see this today as well. We may forget to give praise back to the Lord, we may want to force our way or can’t wait until the meat of the matter is cooked. The sins of piracy of privilege and entitlement. We see this with those blinded to their own blessings that they even try to take life by force. We should all wait until our portion is prepared and portioned. (That old saying: Yes, you can have everything in life, but that does not mean you have to have it all at the same time.)
Hannah knew her child was a gift from God. She did not then hoard him, keep him away, or disregard her promise to dedicate him to the Lord. The blessing did come from God, she gave her first son back, into service. Then Eli prayed for her to have more children to replace the feeling of loss, and Hannah DID have more, five more children. God gave her more to love. Of course, there is only one Samuel, but she her portion became overflowing with love in children.
How interesting this parallel, God gave His only Son, clothed Him in earthly-ness, dedicated Him to Service. And the Son, Jesus, agreed to serve. God Himself sacrificed to give life, took it by freely giving it, not taking life by force. The proper timing is important as well, not taking portions of earthly life spoil before the preparation was/is done.
Like Hannah, the Lord has MANY more children, namely you and me, and although we are not Jesus the firstborn, yet we ARE brothers and sisters loved and created to love and be loved and serve. From before time, we were loved. God gave Himself more to LOVE. God gave Himself us.
Of course, there is only one Jesus created One with God. Only One LOVE divided and portioned to never disappear but return to Him with our warming up to it. We must cook His Love up in our hearts and portioned it back to Him by sharing it forward to others. The portion we give is what He already gave us. Don’t be like Eli’s scoundrel sons, instead be God’s Givers. Give until it helps.
Jesus gave until it hurt.
Jesus gives until it heals.
Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.
But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
1st Samuel 3:12-21