1 Samuel 2:1-11 (Part 1) – Clemson, Miami and Other Things Temporary

Posted: November 12, 2017 in 09-1 Samuel
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1 Samuel 2:1-11 (Part 1 of 3)
Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

Yesterday, we talked about what a difference it would make if we focused our resources on God first and the things we treasure after that. Today, in Hannah’s prayer of praise, I wanted to expand upon that theme.

As you know, I am a big college football fan. Saturdays in the fall at my house is an overdose on college football. Watching football games all day is the norm. One of those games is always my dear Clemson Tigers. Yesterday, my Tigers clinched the Atlantic Division of the ACC for the third straight year and for the fifth time in the last nine years. We have won the last two ACC championship games and we will be there again for the third year in a row. We have been to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game the last two years running (losing to Alabama by 5 two years ago and beating Bama by 4 last year). With a victory over Citadel next weekend, Clemson will have won at LEAST 10 games in a season for the seventh straight season. To say that these are great times in Clemson football is an understatement. But one thing that I know at age 55 is that this too shall pass and we as fans of the Clemson University football team need to really appreciate where we are at the moment. All football programs rise and fall. It’s just the nature of things.

Clemson was a great program under Danny Ford and Clemson was a nationally relevant program from 1977-1992 and then things went south. Clemson was a mediocre program from 1993-2010 being a team that could win 6 or 7 games in a season but always losing games they shouldn’t lose and getting blown out in games against top 10 opponents. University of Miami is a similar story. They have returned to relevance here in 2017 but in from 1984-2002, they were always in the top 10 in the country and relevant every year. Then things went south and from 2003-2016, they were just mediocre at best. Just look at Alabama, the might Crimson Tide has been the standard of college football since 2008. However, between Gene Stallings national championship in 1992 and 2008, even Bama was inconsistent and failed to win on a consistent basis. So where these three programs are right now, if you are a fan of one of them, you need to appreciate the moment. It may last a decade. It may last 15, 16, maybe even 20 years, if you are lucky. Appreciate the moment. Savor it. For this too shall pass.

Reading Hannah’s prayer this morning reminded me of how fleeting things can be. And anything that we put our faith in during this lifetime other than God will pass away. Let’s read 1 Samuel 2:1-11 now:

2 Then Hannah prayed:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.[a]
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Stop acting so proud and haughty!
Don’t speak with such arrogance!
For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;
he will judge your actions.
The bow of the mighty is now broken,
and those who stumbled are now strong.
Those who were well fed are now starving,
and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
and the woman with many children wastes away.
The Lord gives both death and life;
he brings some down to the grave[b] but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust
and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
and he has set the world in order.

“He will protect his faithful ones,
but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven;
the Lord judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king;
he increases the strength[c] of his anointed one.”

11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the Lord by assisting Eli the priest.

In this passage, we see that Hannah praised God for being a Rock – firm, strong, and unchanging. In our fast-paced world, friends come and go, and circumstances change. It’s difficult to find a solid foundation that will not change. Those who devote their lives to achievements, causes, or possessions have as their security that which is finite and changeable. The possessions that we work so hard to obtain will all pass away. Only God is always present, unchangeable, and eternal. Hope in him. He will never fail.
Why is it that we put our faith so much in things on this side of eternity? Our jobs. Our money. Our toys. All of it is dust in the wind. All of it will not last. Houses, cars, money…all the things we trust in on this side of eternal will return to dust. The only thing that lasts forever is God. Thus, let us begin to change our mindset to think on things that will last. Let us invest in things that matter in eternity. Let us use our dollars and our time and our resources to point people toward Jesus Christ. Sure, you gotta buy food, clothing and shelter, but let us not be consumed by those things as if they are the all that ends all. Let us remind ourselves that this little blip of time that we are here on earth is pale in comparison to the eternal glories and riches of heaven. Let us live our lives with eternity in view. Let us set our priorities toward that which is eternal. Let us put God first in our finances. Let us put God first in what we invest our time in. Let us think of God first. Let us think on Him for He is eternal. He is not temporary. He is always. He is forever. He lasts. He endures. He is God.

Amen and Amen.

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