Thanksgiving. What should we be thankful for?
The Bible gives us examples of people who thanked God.
This week we will look at several of them.
Hannah is one of my favorite people in the Bible and someone I’ve learned a lot from. There honestly isn’t a lot of information about her but her mark in the Bible is significant.
Hannah was one of two wives to a man named Elkanah; Hannah was barren but the other wife had many children. The other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her regularly and Hannah’s misery was indeed immense. One night, while in the temple, Hannah prayed fervently for a child, so much so that the priest Eli thought she was drunk.
Hannah prayed that if God would give her a child, she would give that child back to Him. Eli blessed her request and soon after she conceived a boy named Samuel, who would become the great prophet of Israel (and my favorite person in the Bible!).
What’s beautiful about this story is that she did indeed give her son back to the Lord–she gave Samuel to Eli. Hannah’s praise wasn’t just the reflection of an answer to prayer, but it proceeded giving up her son. With all her heart she praised God in the aftermath of turning over her biggest prayer request.
Does your praise and thanksgiving overflow from the good you’ve had to let go? When perhaps your sacrifice was difficult.
“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.2 There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.6 The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.7 The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10)
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001