.......... .. .. ........... "Once In A While You Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right" :Robert Hunter

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pearls of Great Value

One of my friends Mike was teaching a sermon from 1 Samuel 1. Now in this story a man named Elkanah had two wives one named Hannah and one named Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children. Now it said in 1 Samuel 1:5 that Elkanah gave Hannah double portions because he loved her, although the Lord had closed her womb. Now it calls Peninnah the other of the man’s wives her rival. And it says that Peninnah provoked Hannah severly to make her miserable. Now at this point Mike used the word irritant. He said Peninnah was an irritant to Hannah. He said God uses irritants to get us to move when we are comfortable. At this point I hear this little voice say “What does Peninnah’s name mean?” So I looked it up (in my bible it has this word study index) and it said Peninnah means coral or pearl. I thought about it for a time and realized that a grain of sand or an irritant in the oyster with time becomes a pearl or something of great value. So I realized that God sees our irritants as pearls and we should look at the people in our lives that irritate us as valuable "pearls" as well. I feel God often places people in our lives that cause conflict because it is an opportunity for spiritual growth. God is not interested in my comfort but in my character. So in this story Hannah’s discomfort finally brings her to bitterness (1 Samuel 1:10). At this place she finally prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she prayed for a child in a deep and profound way, and her prayer was answered. I will tell you I did not want to hear this because there had been people in my life who were making me miserable and I was becoming bitter with time just like Hannah. This was one of the things that helped me breakthrough this offense that I carried and let me heal.
Now I found this out about bitterness. Everyone in their walk eventually will come to this place and it is very important what you do here. In Exodus 15:23-26 the people came to a place called "Marah". The water there was bitter. The people complained against Moses. So he cried out to the Lord and God showed him a tree. When he cast the tree into the water the water was made sweet. So we can complain but it does not change the bitterness. Or we can place the tree that was there all along in the water and change bitterness to sweetness. The tree is the cross and it’s been there all along and it transforms the bitterness to sweetness and the irritants to pearls. This is very important what you do in these places in your lives because it says in Exodus 15:25 "there He tested them". He is capitalized. Here is what I get out of this. Sometimes God places bitter circumstances in our lives to test us and see what is in our hearts and what we will do. There is always a tree there to place in the bitter circumstances to turn it sweet. It's up to me to place it in the water. I know I feel that I’m right. And I’m hurt, when someone does me wrong, like when someone lies to me, or someone hurts me our my child and I want them to pay for it. I want them to pay a price to make it right. The problem is this. Someone already did. On the tree. Jesus already paid for the sins of the world. Do I believe Jesus paid for my sins? Do I believe Jesus sacrifice was good enough for my forgiveness? If I do then I have to let His payment be good enough for others as well. Place the tree in the bitter water and make it sweet.
Matthew 13:45-46. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Yep he bought those pearls at a great price and I’m one of them to. I’m an irritant to help others move when they become too comfortable.

One more thing on Pearls. In Revelation 21:21 it says the gates of heaven are made of pearls.

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