E100: 031 | Reversal of Expectations


"Today’s reading in 1 Samuel chapter 1 to chapter 3 verse 21 is about some of the people that populate the story of God. Hannah couldn’t have children, Eli was an overly tolerant father, Eli’s sons were out of control, and then there is Samuel, faithful to God." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-3:21 | (ESV)

... Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. (1 Samuel 1:2)
... Because the LORD had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 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. (1 Samuel 1:6-7)
... In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. (1 Samuel 1:10)
... in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him." (1 Samuel 1:20)
... I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27)
... Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD ... 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. ...The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away..." (2 Samuel 1:1, 2, 4-5)
God changes things. God often works contrary to our natural expectations and brings about surprising reversals.

In fact if we look at the values Jesus lived and taught we see this in action. Jesus often said and did the opposite of what we would have expected. The first last and last first; the one who would be the leader must be the servant of all. Prostitutes and tax collectors go into the Kingdom of God before "good" people. Jesus said the blessed are those who are poor, hungry, sad, hated, and mocked. Not blessed are those who have money and food and are happy, loved, and popular.

The values of God's Kingdom are quite different than those lived out in our world. We live in an upside down world. Some have referred to the kingdom Jesus promised as the "dream of God." A dream, in the sense of the ideal, the perfect desire of God for humanity. The perfect reality. Craig Nessan puts it this way "Wherever that dream intervenes, there is a dramatic reversal of expectations and values."

I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.

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