“The Pearl of Great Price”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-20:
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year.
Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Theme: Two men sacrifice everything in order to get something better.
New Testament reading: Matthew 13:44-45:
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
1. Man finds buried treasure, sells all to buy the field.
2. Another man finds a pearl of great value, sells all, buys pearl.
Both men see something of value and/or beauty that others are unable to see. They have a plan and insight; they understand what others have missed. They risk everything in the hope of gaining something of great value to have a better life. ~D. Moore
To enter the Kingdom of Heaven a man or woman must give all of their own anything and allow the authority of God to rule over their life. This means that nothing is more important in our lives than Jesus. ~D. Moore
No Excuses. No worries. No regrets. No fear. Go all in.
We cannot expect too little from man nor too much from God. ~Matthew Henry
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Here is the point. The Gospel is far more wonderful and terrible than we expect. Our expectations are too small. God demands more from us and gives more than we can imagine. So here is the idea: Christianity is a change of dimension and essence. It is not quantity but quality–it is not degree but essence. The core. In order to make that core sort of change, Christianity requires us to get rid of everything. Total surrender. And lastly, the response to our surrender is unimaginable splendor. ~D. Moore
WARNING: Christianity will change you. No purchase necessary; price has already been paid. True repentance is required. Must be willing to look foolish to the world. Complete dedication is necessary and may result in the loss of family and friends. Rejection may occur. Must be willing to give up your own plan and swim against the current. The road is tough, but victory IS guaranteed. Help is always available. There is no other WAY, TRUTH, or LIFE.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
The heart of God loves a persevering worshipper who, though overwhelmed by many troubles, is overwhelmed even more by the beauty of God. ~Matt Redman
Think about these questions that pertain to your life:
• Are you counting the cost?
• Do you spend time in God’s Word?
• Do you spend time in prayer?
• Do you count your blessings?
• Has your heart been captured by God?
• Have you repented to the lack of the need for Jesus?
Today, begin your prayer like this: “Lord, in light of what You have done for me, I am sorry, I repent that I am not overwhelmed by the fact that You love me like You do. I take it for granted, and I repent. I repent for not loving You as I should.”
In order to pray this sort of prayer, is to value Jesus above all else.
God bless. My hope is Christ’s Spirit will fill your heart.