God’s Grace Leads to Promise!

It is important to the Lord that we, as His people, enter the promise He has made available to us. In this regard, we are predestined to entering the rest of God, which includes spiritual rest and is related to the seventh day, and this is of great importance (cf. Hebrews 4:1.6-10).
Hebrews 4:1.6-10:
1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. …
6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience,
7 God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today’. This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
The Accomplished Mission and the Rest of God
It is necessary that wherever we can recognize that our commission is fulfilled, we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into the rest of God. This involves a completion of a phase in time that is given to us by God.
In the context of God’s rest and the promise, let’s have a closer look into the Bible passage from 1 Samuel 1, which is about Hannah – ‘favoured.’ Hannah was the wife of the God-fearing man Elkanah – ‘God has obtained.’
Since Hannah’s womb was closed, she could not conceive children and was offended by the words of her rival Peninnah as often as they went up to the house of God in Shiloh – ‘rest in the form of safety’ (cf. 1 Samuel 1:1-3.6-7).
1 Samuel 1:1-3.6-7:
1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. …
6 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.
7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.
The Favor of Hannah and the First Love
Hannah had a preferred position from her husband Elkanah. This is apparent from the double portion given to her by him and his statement to her that she was worth more to him than ten sons. Nevertheless, Hannah was sad in her heart because of her barrenness (cf. 1 Samuel 1:5.8).
1 Samuel 1:5.8:
5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. …
8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’
In spite of her barren condition, Hannah was under the blessing of the firstborn in the eyes of her husband, as is evident from the allotment of the double portion (cf. Deuteronomy 21:17).
Deuteronomy 21:17:
17 He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
Since Hannah was not yet pregnant at this point, the emphasis is on the marriage covenant in the first love between Elkanah and her.
Based on this, we can learn that the LORD is first concerned with the love relationship between Him and us. We were meant to be with Him and made to enjoy His love as well as to love Him (cf. Matthew 22:37-40).
Matthew 22:37-40:
37 Jesus replied: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5).”
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself (cf. Leviticus 19:18).”
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’
The God-assigned Grace
If we take a closer look at the names Elkanah and Hanna, we can see the principle of God’s assigned grace revealed, which comes from Him alone because He is in possession of true grace. Grace is grace simply because it cannot be earned by someone.
In connection with Hanna and her sadness, the issue of the carnal understanding of grace is addressed in this story, which is related to our own drive and works to establish the promise of God from our own will. First, it is necessary that we be satisfied with His grace because His power is strong in the weak (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:9a).
2 Corinthians 12:9a:
9a But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ …
When we are satisfied with His grace and respond to His love with our undivided heart, the promise opens, which is equal to the blessing of the ‘firstborn’. It was important to Elkanah that Hannah was aware that he loved her completely, whether she bore children or not.
Hanna was already placed in the realm of the ‘firstborn blessing’ by Elkanah, which is why we can believe the LORD later answered Hanna’s prayer in the temple at Shiloh while Eli, the priest, was present and critically observing her.
When grace moves in the undeserved love of God which we are willing to receive, we are safe and therein not in danger of falling into a carnal pattern of grace to bring forth our promise by our own strength.
Grace and the Communication of the Spirit
From 1 Samuel 1:9ff. we can see that grace, represented by Hannah, went into the house of God and began to enter the communication of the Spirit, while the religious spirit, represented in this case by Eli, critically observed and interpreting from his perspective the spiritual birthing of grace in the form of prayer.
When we move forward and are active in the power of God’s grace, it is not left out that even from the religious camp a conclusion is made that indicates that it is about the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Samuel 1:9-14 i.c.w. Acts 2:3-8.12-13).
1 Samuel 1:9-14:
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house.
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.
11 And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.’
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.
13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, ‘How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.’
Acts 2:3-8.12-13:
3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[1] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? …
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’
The Giving of the First Fruit and the Tenth Part
Based on the blessing of Elkanah towards his wife Hannah and his statement we can learn that Hannah made herself one by faith with the realm of the ‘firstborn blessing’ and asked God in the spirit for the firstborn. She received a son from God, whom she named Samuel and consecrated him to the LORD in the form of a firstborn.
Hannah thus gave her firstborn son as a first fruit to the house of God, forming the spiritual tenth part (Note: one of ten sons; cf. 1 Samuel 1:8) of Elkanah’s statement.
Samuel became a great prophet and judge whose words carried weight from north to south (cf. 1 Samuel 3:19-21).
1 Samuel 3:19-21:
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.
20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognised that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.
21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
Therefore, as saints, let us remain focused on being satisfied with God’s grace in every circumstance. This means daily receiving His grace and wanting to go forward in the love relationship with Him with the right understanding to give.
We may live in this certainty that this will ultimately lead to extraordinary surprises from the LORD that will contribute to a great blessing for the Kingdom of God.
Amen and Amen.
In His Wisdom,
Daniel Glimm