The Great Exchange

Background Story: Hannah was the second wife of Elkanah and prayed for years for a son. God has granted her request and she named her son, Samuel meaning “heard by God.”

Read 1 Samuel 1:21-2:2

21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”

23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.

Big Idea: Every day we give these blessings back to God.

After years of praying, Hannah receives the son she has always desired and instead of keeping him for herself, she says, “now I give him to the Lord.” What a beautiful example of the great exchange that happens every day in the Christian’s life. As we live for God, we receive from Him and then we give back. We receive and we give again. Day after day, the great exchange continues.

It starts at the time of salvation. Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. When we receive His gift of salvation and accept the forgiveness of sins by grace, we surrender our lives to Him. The great exchange continues as God blesses us with things like talents, material blessings, and relationships. Instead of hoarding them for ourselves, we open our hands presenting everything back to Him for Him to use for His glory.

This great exchange is a life of thankfulness and surrender. When we live with an open hand giving God access to every aspect of our life, that’s where true fulfillment, contentment and purpose exist. Hannah said in chapter 2:2 after receiving the baby she wanted her whole life, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you.”

What’s amazing is, Hannah’s story didn’t end here. We see in 1 Samuel 2:21, “And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters.” God’s blessings continued to follow Hannah as she continued to live faithfully for Him. As we live for Him faithfully, we will say like David in Psalms 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

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