The LORD Closed It
1 Samuel 1:6 (ESV) -- And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
Secularism runs rampant in our world today. It is an ideology that simply ignores or removes the reality of God from our thoughts, discussions, and decision-making. Even many of us professing Christians have a functional secularism governing our lives. We fail to see how God is at work and over all things. But the Bible teaches from beginning to end that God is over all things. He is in the weeds. He isn’t sitting above the world in such a way that He is aloof from it or disinterested in it. God is in the details. He is sovereign over the smallest things.
One example of this we see in Scripture is found in our passage today. We see God’s sovereignty over the womb. We read in 1 Samuel 1:6, “And her rival used to provoke her graciously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.”
The “her” in this story is Hannah. She would later become the mom of the prophet Samuel. But she was barren. Her rival was her husband’s other wife. Yes, this man had two wives. The one wife bore him children, Hannah didn’t. The other wife provoked her because of this. Don’t you know this caused both anger and grief in her heart and mind? But why was she barren?
If someone today was unable to have children, they would seek a medical diagnosis. They’d investigate the ovaries, uterus, and other anatomy to pinpoint the problem. But what do we read about Hannah? The Scriptures say the LORD had closed her womb. This means that God was sovereign over whether or not she could get pregnant. Is this a one-off situation in Scripture? No, this is a universal reality about God’s sovereignty over all things. Even the womb is not off-limits to God.
This passage reminds us of the power and authority of God. He rules over every creature everywhere. The womb belongs to Him. This should lead us to pray for Him to open wombs and protect wombs. This Scripture helps us to stay grounded to reality. We are not living in a godless world governed by blind forces of time and chance acting on matter. No, our God reigns. He rules over every living thing. Submit to Him. Call to Him. Find peace in His reign.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is secularism a functional way that many professing Christians still live?
- What does this passage teach about God’s sovereignty over the womb? Why is that significant?
- How should this passage practically inform how we live in relation to God?
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