This Day in History: 0000-06-23
June 23 – 1 Samuel 1
Vs.10-11 – Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “Oh Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to You. He will be Yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”
Don’t you love the story of Hannah? What a wonderful example she was to women (or anyone I suppose) who seek to find their value in Christ alone. She shared a fairly insensitive husband with a bully of a woman, and she was childless, which was a great disgrace in her culture. But Hannah was devoted to the Lord her God, and when life seemed hopeless (when her circumstances became more than she could bear) she turned to Him.
She could have lashed back at the other woman; put her in her place and humiliated her in the same way she had been humiliated. She could have used her position as the favorite wife to manipulate her husband into just about anything she wanted. But Hannah didn’t do any of those things. Instead, she quietly took the abuse, and ran into the arms of her God. The Bible says that she was in “deep anguish” as she cried out bitterly in prayer to the Lord, coming before Him in humility as she laid her request before Him.
When Eli the priest observed her prayer and reprimanded her, assuming she was drunk, she responded with even more humility, and such a gentle spirit.
Vs. 15-18 – “Oh no, sir!” She replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”
“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
“Oh, thank you, sir!” She exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
And grant the request He did! Hannah went home from that time of prayer and fasting with a renewed trust in her Lord. She went about her life as normal, but God was going to use that faithful lady to change the nation! Before long, she became pregnant and in due time gave birth to a son, Samuel – the man who would serve as the last of Israel’s judges and would bring the wandering nation back to her Lord.
Hannah praised God for His loving kindness, and spent every moment she could pouring her love out upon the baby. Once he was old enough to be weaned, she kept her promise to God and took the boy back to house of the Lord. The very place she had poured out her heart before the great I AM.
Vs. 25-28 – After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and He has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.
Have you ever been in deep anguish? I know I have – many times. Let’s take our cues from Hannah and fall before the Lord of Heaven’s Armies in humility as we look to Him alone to fulfill our desires and assign us our worth. Let’s trust that He may have a plan for us that is so big it could change the course of history! We never know how our story is going to end!
But God… He knows! He’s the One writing the story, and He can be trusted! Let’s remember His faithfulness to Hannah and allow it to reassure us of His faithfulness to us. After all, our gracious Father is in the business of caring for His own!