Daily Thoughts : March 17th
1 Sam 1:13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk
It is easy to jump to wrong conclusions – but if you are a leader you shouldn't! This verse is about two very different people. The first person is Hannah, a lady whose heart is breaking because she seems unable to conceive and have a child. It is made particularly worse because her husband has two wives and the other one is regularly having children – and then mocking Hannah. Hannah's heart is breaking and so she comes before the Lord and prays, but she doesn't pray out loud but from within, yet her lips move to reflect what she is expressing inwardly.
The second person is Eli, the chief priest of the Lord in those days, the head of the people. But he's an old man and, from the accounts, is not very spiritual. So he looks across at this woman and jumps to conclusions – wrong conclusions! Instead of perceiving a woman in great anguish he sees a drunkard, an appalling misjudgment.
But that raises the question about the way we view people. Do we judge people and write them off because we see something outwardly but don't know their circumstances and certainly don't read them inwardly. It is such a common thing to write people off because they are “that sort of people”. No, they are someone that Jesus wants to reach out to, just as he did when he walked the earth.
Jesus isn't put off by outward appearances. Check out next time when you find yourself thinking negatively about someone because of their outward appearances. Ask the Lord to show you what they are really like and what they are going through. Think about the way Jesus met with the "tax collectors and sinners" of his society and accepted them. Later on in Samuel, the Lord had to warn him not to look on outward appearance because He, the Lord, looked at people's hearts (1 Sam 16:7). If only Eli had done that, if only we would do that more often. How often, I wonder, do we miss the opportunity to express the Lord's loving acceptance because we are put off by outward appearances. May it not be so.
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