July 10, 2008

God Makes Big Promises to Little People

1 Samuel 2:1-10

The Lord … raises the poor from the dust … and has them inherit a throne of honor.
1 Samuel 2:7-8


For the next few days we will be reflecting on the importance of promises. Have you ever noticed that many people in the Bible respond to God's presence in similar ways? They all feel ill prepared for whatever task God has in mind for them. Gideon believed that coming from a small tribe disqualified him for service as God's warrior (Judges 6:15). Both Isaiah and Peter were overwhelmed by their own sinfulness when the Lord called them (Isaiah 6:5; Luke 5:8). Jeremiah felt he was too young to speak for God (Jeremiah 1:6); like Moses (Exodus 4:10), he didn't think he was eloquent enough. Throughout the Bible, God promises great things to little people. In her prayer to the Lord, Hannah celebrates how God remembers the humble. This shows us that when God makes promises, he focuses not only on people who are impressive and popular. When God promises to bless people, he has everyone in mind. In fact, in the topsy-turvy character of God's kingdom, the poor and powerless receive God's gifts first, while the high and mighty find themselves at the end of the line. We know this even better than Hannah did because we live after the coming of Jesus. Because the mighty Son of God took the form of a humble servant, every weak and neglected person can know that when God makes a promise, he has them in mind.

Thank you, Lord, for remembering all your promises to us. Help me to focus on your strength and not my weakness and to serve others as you serve us. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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