GIFTS ARE FOR GIVING BACK
1. There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2. His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel — head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.
3. One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.”
1 Samuel 9: 13 NLT
Today’s Passage begins Chapter Nine of The Story of Samuel and introduces a new character into the mix, Saul. I started these DAILY WORD Posts as an exercise in writing nonfiction prose, and Biblical Commentary, while at the same time working on GIFT RAP to focus on poetry and lyrical writing and my novels to develop my fiction chops.
With those disparate focuses, sometimes I find myself looking at the narrative presented in the Scriptures comprising DAILY WORD from a writer’s perspective, not just a reader’s point of view. Today is one of those days.
Having taken a brief hiatus most of last week to prepare for and attend a local writer’s conference, I am hyper-focused on plot and character right now, which informs my approach to Today’s Passage. I can’t help but look at this through the eyes of a writer, so, in that light, let’s look at the story progression thus far.
As a character, Samuel was introduced after signifying the conflict that prompted his birth. His mother, Hannah, was tormented by the second wife in the marriage because she couldn’t conceive. Hannah was so distraught over her situation that she prayed a passionate silent prayer to God to alter her circumstances.
The Priest at the time saw her and accused Hannah of being drunk. After explaining her position, Eli blessed her and sent her away. God heard her cry and granted her request; thus, Samuel was born. But Hannah, in her elation, promised to offer her Gift back to God, and after she weaned her son, she sent the boy to live at the Tabernacle to serve in whatever capacity was required. I’ll move on for now, but we’ll circle back to that point later.
Samuel thrived in his new environment, so much so that God gave him a Message one night to deliver to Eli. Eli’s sons had corrupted the Sacrifice, and God was so angry over their sin that He resolved to eliminate their cancer from the overall body of His Chosen people.
God made good on his threat after both Eli, and his sons refused to avert their actions, and after their deaths all on one decisive day, Samuel assumed the role of both Priest and Judge. After years in the position, Samuel’s sons, promoted into the positions like Eli’s sons were, succumbed as well to the temptations of greed. As a result, the people demanded Samuel for a King, just like all the other nations surrounding them.
That brings us to Saul and Today’s Passage. God told Samuel to honor the Israelite’s request for a King. That was even despite His warning them about what would happen under a sovereign ruler. God told Samuel their request indicated their rejection of God’s Rule over them and that he should do as they asked.
So, Chapter Nine ushers in this new character who is the vehicle, driving the plot forward in The Story of Samuel. But given that I haven’t touched on any of the events compelling the action yet, I have another focus for Today’s Lesson.
I mentioned that I’d be circling back to a point priorly stated, that Hannah offered her Gift back to God, and that is Today’s Lesson. When God gives us a talent, the thing that drives us, when He presents us with our passion, we have a responsibility.
We aren’t just supposed to sit on it and go about our businesses as if He didn’t just perform a personal miracle in our lives. Because let’s be honest, He doesn’t have to give us squat!
God offers us talent for only one reason, to see what we will do with it! Every single Gift God gives us, He wants to see grown and then given back to Him. That is the only point of talent, to Praise God with it. If you’re looking for Scripture on this, Matthew 2: 14–30 illustrates this dynamic beautifully.
So, the point of talent is Praise, and the only good use of God’s Gifts is to use them for His Glory. Hannah understood this dynamic and acted accordingly, but here’s the thing. Every one of us has been given a unique and individual Gift. They may not all be distinctive, some of you may have a similar talent as others, but your voice and individuality are defined through the Proper Utilization of your Gift.
That “Proper Utilization” comes in the form of Giving your Gift Back To God; that is Today’s Lesson and my challenge to you. If you haven’t already done so, find out what your Gift is and how you can give it back. Trust me, once you do, you will know true fulfillment because you will finally be doing what you were created for!
Have a Monumentous Monday And Do You Know What Your Gift Is? If So, Are You Giving It Back?