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Words to Live By
by Marlo Wells
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Words to Live By

Talk no more so very proudly; let not arrogance go forth from your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. – 1 Samuel 2:3 (AMP)

These are the words of Hannah as she was giving her son, Samuel, the gift that God had given her, back to the Lord. She had prayed in anguish for this child, dedicated him to the Lord before his birth, and did what she said she was going to do.

Samuel was of weaning age, probably two to three years old, when Hannah took him to Eli, to give him over to the Lord. Now honestly, I love the Lord with all of my heart, which isn’t even adequate, but I think that I would have struggled here.

Have you ever cried until you made yourself sick? That is where Hannah was in praying for this child. And she told the Lord she would give him back to Him, if only He would grant her answer to this prayer. He did and she did.

I as a mother would have probably been begging God for more time. I can just hear myself, “Please Lord, I didn’t know at the time it was going to be so hard to give him up, please forgive me”.

But even as she gave Samuel to the Lord, to live without her in the house of the Lord at Shiloh, with the priest Eli, what did she do? Did she weep and mourn? No. She praised! She rejoiced!
God weighed Hannah’s heart, her words and her actions. He was pleased.

How often do we sit in judgment and say what we would have done differently. I have even heard people say what they would have done differently in the Garden. Pardon me, but you will never know what you would have done, because it wasn’t your test.

It is so easy to look at others tests and sit back and say that we would have aced it. But today’s verse, from a woman who passed her test, offers so much wisdom in these words to live by.
How many times have you gone before the Lord in prayer promising to do this if He does that?

Nobody is around looking to see if you’re going to raise your hand, just be honest with yourself.
Now look at what Solomon has to say about this as well:

When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow. 5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. – Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

This is not talking about tithe or offering. This is talking about a vow.

A vow, simply put, is a promise or something you have devoted yourself to do.

But hey, we’ve got Jesus; we can just ask for forgiveness and move on right? Forgiveness is a wonderful gift, but do you appreciate being taken advantage of?

Why has God in all His Sovereignty, been reduced to Someone we take for granted? Be warned. He is who He is, your view of Him and how you treat Him, will not reduce Him or His power. Ignorance is no excuse.

If you promised something to the President in return for a favor, would it ever cross your mind not to do what you said you would? Why not? Does God Almighty deserve less?

Talk no more so very proudly, Hannah says. Don’t let arrogance go out of your mouth!

“Well, my sins are covered, it’s all under the Blood, Jesus knows I’m weak”!

Yes, that is right, that is truth and nothing that we have to offer can ever compare to what He has given to us. But that’s ok. Look at this:

For they all threw in out of their abundance; but she, out of her deep poverty, has put in everything that she had--[even] all she had on which to live.- Mark 12:44 (AMP)

This is so much more than money. Don’t miss the lesson behind this. She gave everything she had. On the scales of the one’s in the temple, it probably seemed worthless. But I can just imagine that on those heavenly scales, the springs were popping out.

God is a God of knowledge, He weighs the actions! He always knows. He knows before we answer. He weighs the actions knowing why we did it in the first place.

God knew Hannah’s heart. God saw her heart each step of the way. She had three, four years at the most with this beloved child. This child was literally birthed out of prayer. She gave him back to the Lord, not begrudgingly, but with a heart full of praise and joy.

Hannah could never repay God for the gift He had given her, but she gave Him all that she had. The widow in the temple wasn’t too embarrassed to put in her measly offering, she didn’t wait until she had more to offer or until she got it right, she gave all she had.

Hannah offers us such a simple verse, but its weight is worth more than gold. Would you be able to do it? Are you able to offer God even a sacrifice of praise? Are the arrogance and pride of your mouth leading you down a road that has a toll that you aren’t going to pay?

Step back. Ask God, after all, He already knows. Give Him everything that you have to offer today. Let Him weigh your actions! Then like Hannah will the song of praise be in your heart, offering others “Words to Live By”.

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