I found myself wondering this morning why a number of very important accounts of the Bible begin with barren parents? Zechariah and Elizabeth, Abraham and Sarah, and now Hannah & Elkanah.
I noticed that each of the sons played pivotal role in salvation history –John the Baptist, the Patriarch Isaac and Samuel the prophet. Also, each account highlights the providential work of God ending barrenness and providing the Son. God, in essence, brings something out of nothing and blesses His people through His miraculous action.
As I pondered these events, it occurred to me that each shows how God can and does break into our world.
Looking at what I just wrote I was stopped in my tracks. I called it our world?! Isn’t that how we think of life and the earth… as ‘our world.’ As I roll that thought around in my head, we do kind of think of the world as ours… as if we own it. We treat it as a ‘thing’ we possess. Sometimes we take good care of it, but often times not.
· All the pollution that is destroying our air and water; clear cutting timber which ruins soil, allowing for extreme erosion, etc.
Sometimes we think we are helping our earth but it turns out we are not helping at all:
· For years the National Park Service put out all naturally occurring fires. This was their best wisdom, but it turned out to create more problems than it prevented.
We live as if we ‘own our world’ but in truth it is God’s world not ours. We are stewards and God is the ‘owner.’ Although God has set up this world to run by certain natural laws, God can override those rules when He chooses, like opening barren wombs. Consider Abraham and Sarah who were well past the time when human reproductive cycles have ended. We don’t know the particulars of Elkanah and Hannah but it is clear that she was barren for quite a while and in response to prayer God opened her womb. Her son would become a major personality in the life of Israel.
As I wind down this morning, the Lord is reminding me I live in His world. It is not mine. I am His steward, managing things for Him. So I need to ask myself, ‘Am I living in ways that please Him? Am I watching over His world with diligence that honors Him?’
Lord, may I honor Your world today… and always. Enjoying it. Marveling in it. Caring for it as You would care for Your creation. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
This morning was an interesting journey sparked by the story of Hannah! Oh, the joys of walking with the Lord…