Today we begin the book of 1 Samuel. Now, while this is still in the history section of the OT, we are really making a transition from the time of the Judges to what will be the time of the Kings. First and Second Samuel are not written by Samuel, but 1 Samuel is primarily about his life. The balance of these two books is mostly about Kings Saul and David, who were both anointed by Samuel.
About this family. Elkanah seems to have been a devout man in a time that many people were far from God. Remember from our time in Judges how many times we were told “There were no kings in the land, and people did whatever they wanted.” Well, Elkanah made regular trips to Shiloh to worship and offer sacrifices. He was a Levite, which is the tribe from which God chose priests.
But as Abraham and Jacob had done, he took two wives. This was not God’s ideal plan, and as had happened in with these other two men, Elkanah found that this is not the way to a peaceful house. Peninnah was hard on Hannah because Hannah was childless and probably also because she knew that Elkanah loved Hannah more.
So Hannah cried to the Lord, asking Him to give her a son. And she made a vow to Him that was just flat out remarkable. She told God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to Him.
How many times do we make promises to God in times of desperation, and then when the crisis passes, we forget our promise? I’m ashamed to admit that I have done this. But bless her heart, Hannah did not. Once Samuel was old enough to be weaned, she took him to Shiloh to fulfill her promise.
As a father of three sons and grandfather of two granddaughters, I can only imagine the grief I would experience if I were to give up one of my children after caring for them for the three years it is thought that Hannah had Samuel in her care. But Hannah remembered her promise, and she loved God enough to trust that He would see to Samuel’s welfare. What devotion and faith this woman had!
Could you do this thing? What do you think of Hannah? Leave a comment below.