1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
We know from succeeding passages that Eli was not a very good priest, but he occupied the office, and was here operating in it. He was moved with compassion and spoke a blessing that was appropriately God-centered. God acted according to that blessing, and not only Hannah but every believer since has been blessed as a result. The New Testament speaks of all believers as priests (1 Peter 2:9, which is this church’s Verse for the Year) but we tend to disqualify ourselves in our minds, focusing on our imperfections and failures, and think we could never operate as God’s instruments. That’s a lie of the devil! Even Caiaphas, the High Priest who worked actively to get Jesus crucified, spoke a valid prophecy. (John 11:49-51) The only perfect person ever to live was Jesus. We need to stop thinking that our negatives are greater that God. God wants to use us, and He will use any believer who is yielded to Him. If God used Eli and Caiaphas, He certainly can use us! There’s no room for conceit here, because all the power is of God and not of us, but we must not refuse God permission to use us for His purposes and His glory.
This is a truth that I have sought to convey throughout my ministry, both in the US and Japan, but with minor success. Society attacks and ridicules anyone who says they hear from God, much less act as His agent. Recently a person in the US was reprimanded by the school where they worked simply for saying they would pray for a co-worker. I have had people decline my offer to pray for them, but most often people are grateful. I am not to stop seeking to speak and act as God’s representative, and I am not to stop teaching believers that they they have as much potential to be used by Him as I do. The devil doesn’t want believers to know that, but I am to stand firm against him, not in my own strength but in God’s. God has chosen to use people. We may not understand why, but we need to believe it, and hold ourselves available.
Father, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for the privilege of being Your agent in a wide variety of situations. May I be more consistent in my availability and obedience! We have a huge day today, with a wedding here on top of all our usual Sunday activities. Help me not try to get through the day in my own strength, but rather rest, relax, and rejoice in You, taking one thing at a time and delighting to be Your agent in it, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!