© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
Compensation For Lack
You may be lacking in one area, but be encouraged for God will make up for it in another area - that is, until your Miracle comes.
In 1 Samuel 1, we read the account of a woman by the name of Hannah. She was married to Elkanah - a man from Ramathaim-zophim - who loved her dearly. The only problem was that she was barren and he also married a second wife Peninnah who was able to give him many children.
The account starts out with Elkanah performing his rightful duty at Shiloh - the place where the men went up yearly "to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts..."(1 Samuel 1:3). Three times a year the men were required to go up and worship on the designated feast. Exodus 34:23 verifies this fact - "Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel." Again, we read in Deuteronomy 12:5-7 which says - "But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee." This particular feast that Elkanah attended is generally believed by Bible Commentators to be the Feast of Tabernacles which was celebrated in the fall. It was a time of great rejoicing in God's blessings - especially that of a bountiful harvest.
1 Samuel 1:4 goes on to say - "And when the time was that Elkanah offered..." He brought his offering to the priest which happened to be a peace offering - one where the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar...the fat burned on the fire...the breast and right shoulder were given as a portion to the priest...and the rest was shared by the offerer with his family, friends, and guests. Everyone was given a part or portion - the greater part being given to the offerer - and then eaten at a social feast before the Lord.
1 Samuel 1:4-5 relates a very unusual incident that begs our attention - "And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb." Notice that Elkanah gave Peninnah and her children "portions" but to Hannah he gave a "worthy portion."
At this point, we need to ask ourselves what is the difference between a "portion" and a "worthy portion"? A "worthy portion" was that which was double of the "portion." It was a larger choice...one portion enough for two persons...or a double portion. It was termed the "portion of two faces" or the "two-faced choice." It was believed to be Elkanah's portion or part of that which was placed before himself plus Hannah's. It was the choicest piece that came to the table.
What was the significance of giving Hannah a "worthy portion" and Peninnah only a single "portion"?
It is important to understand that there was an Eastern custom whereby the host of the feast would place before his beloved or distinguished guest a "worthy portion" in order to show him great regard or to signify that he was most valued. In the presence of all his guests, Elkanah wanted to distinguish Hannah above the others. It was his desire to prove his special love for her and to comfort her in her particular affliction of not being able to bear children. Hence, he ordered the choicest piece of the sacrifice for her.
In 1 Samuel 9:24, we read of another account where a "worthy portion" given at a feast was the mark of the highest honor - "And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day." It was very common in other countries for the host to commend the best dishes or best pieces of flesh to the more excellent and worthy persons at the table. Hence, Saul received the "royal portion" - the right shoulder and breast of the peace offering which was actually the priest's portion or in this case Samuel's.
Again, in Genesis 43:34, we read of another honored guest who was distinguished by a larger or daintier portion of food - "And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him." In Persia, Arabia, and the Indies, it was a custom for great men of state to feast by themselves and to be given a double, triple, or larger portion of each kind of meat. In Egypt and the Oriental countries, there were two modes of paying respect to an honored guest - to give a choice piece of flesh from your own hand or to order it to be taken to him. When Benjamin's mess was "five times" as much as the other brothers, Joseph intended to shower his little brother with peculiar honor and respect above the others.
So we see that - when Elkanah gave his wife Hannah a "worthy portion" - he was indeed showing to all of his guests that she was valued above all. He intended to uplift her from her "low estate" and bring comfort to her in her affliction.
Perhaps, you can relate to Hannah in some ways. You feel as though you are experiencing "barrenness" while others are enjoying "plenty" or great prosperity. You may feel as though you are walking through a "wilderness" while those around you are rejoicing and seemingly having the time of their life. What seems so easy for others to accomplish or produce is yet so hard for you. If only you could just have "one" of what others have in abundance!
Elkanah felt Hannah's pain. He knew that she was feeling dejected and discouraged due to her barrenness. Since he couldn't do anything about her condition, he did the next best thing. In the presence of all, he honored her and manifested his great love for her. He showed to her what she did have in him as a loving husband.
This is what God wants to do for you today, O weary saint of God! He is touched with the feeling of your infirmities (Hebrews 4:15). He sees that you are struggling to "produce life" or bring your dream to fruition. Unlike Elkanah, He certainly can do something about it. But just like Hannah, there is a perfect time before your Miracle can manifest. God did not deny her a Miracle. But before He gave her the child, He honored her through her husband. He compensated her for her lack.
Before your Miracle comes forth - and it surely will - God wants to compensate you for your lack.
What He will do is outlined in Psalm 23:5 which says - "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Right in the "presence of your enemies," He will spread a feast before you. He will furnish you with plenty of provision and comforts. He will give you a "worthy portion" - letting the devil and all of his demons know that you are His honored and favorite one. You will not only have enough - your "cup" will overflow with one blessing after another.
You may not get the "one thing" that you are praying for at this particular time, but in pursuit of it, God will let you know that He still loves you and cares for you. You are highly favored of Him. He will honor you before all with a "worthy portion."
Hannah did get her baby and many others to come. You, too, will get your Miracle and many more answers to prayer. That which seems so hard to grasp at this time will be easy to gain in the future.
But before then, get ready for a "worthy portion" from the Lord to compensate for your lack.
The devil who tormented you will now have to watch you get blessed!
Can anyone shout - "HALLELUJAH!"?
May God Bless His Word.