The Illusion of Abundance
- Bible study
- Bonifresh Muhollo
- Christian Living
- Old Testament
Oct 20, 2018 2012
It seems that no matter how much money we have, the number of degrees we earn or the number of friends we acquire, there remains a persistent need that never fills up. Although we may deny we are trapped in an illusion of abundance, sooner or later the reality of emptiness in worldly pursuits dawns on us.
Let’s look at the life of Hannah at the beginning of 1 Samuel. Hannah was barren and for a woman living in a patriarchal culture, there is nothing more painful. What made this even more unbearable for Hannah was the daily dose of psychological torture she received from Peninnah, her husband Elkanah’s other wife.
Hannah’s desire was for a son, as depicted in her prayer, which went “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…” (1:11). Hannah’s only consolation was the double portion of meat she got from Elkanah whenever the family went to the temple. The life of double portions of meat and every other attention from Elkanah was merely an illusion of abundance.
Hannah lacked a son while Peninnah lacked a double portion of meat. One might think that Peninnah was happy, but her poor treatment of Hannah suggests that Peninnah lacked something, for one who is truly rich finds joy in assisting others and not rejoicing in their misery. Elkanah’s family depicts the true condition of our lives. No one is truly happy. Do not be deceived by plastic smiles. Deep down we are lacking in one thing or another. But we are all lacking in one common thing: A Son.
Christ is beyond the illusion of abundance.
God cannot be bribed, for he lacks nothing! Elkanah might have hoped that God would answer because of the offering of the double portion of meat. But this meat is not mentioned in the prayer that changes things. Hannah doesn’t pray, “If you only look at the double portion of meat that I have brought”, but rather “If you will only look on your servant’s misery”. The worst illusion of abundance is when Christians feel that their works put them at a better position to be saved.
Hannah was led to faith that ushered her to a life beyond the illusion of abundance. Consequently, in due course Samuel was born. With Samuel came the purpose and meaning of Hannah’s life. Thus, “Whoever has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12).
There are parallels between the lives of Samuel and Jesus Christ: each had a special conception, each a holy child, and each dedicated by a righteous mother to the service of God. Christ is the Samuel that we have been desiring.
As many continue to chase after winds of worldly pleasure and wealth, as many stubbornly remain in the false promises of bad religion, those who have been there and found no joy have turned their eyes to the true source: Christ. He is beyond the illusion of abundance.
The question is this: Have you found the Son?
– Pr Bonifresh Muhollo