1 Samuel 1:21-28 - The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever." Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.
Readers will find in both the Old and New Testaments instances of couples desperately hoping to have children but being unable to. There are the well-known cases of Abraham and Sarah before the birth of Isaac (see Genesis 21:1-6) and Zechariah and Elizabeth before the birth of John the Baptist (see Luke 1:5-24). Here we have in 1 Samuel another example, that of Elkanah and Hannah before the birth of Samuel. As was the case for the parents of Isaac and John, Elkanah and Hannah had long hoped and prayed for the birth of a child, and this eventually happened for them (see 1 Samuel 1:19-20).
The birth of a firstborn son was a big deal in the ancient world. It was to this child that belonged certain special rights such as a double portion of the inheritance. He too was the one who would inherit his father's role as head of the family at his father's passing. But to no first son has there ever been given greater privilege and significance than to God's own Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Here's what the apostle Paul says of Jesus in Colossians 1:15-20: "He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross."
Jesus—not just another son lent to the Lord, but the Lord's own Son given to us.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, fix our eyes on Your Son—the first, the last, the beginning, and the end. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. Why is childlessness such a big issue for some people? Can you relate to this?
2. What does it mean to call Jesus "the Firstborn of all creation"?
3. Why was it important for Jesus to be born as a human into this world?
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