So, Hannah went off and cried to the LORD and while bearing her soul she also made a vow to the LORD. Hannah vowed that if the LORD gave her a son then she would give him to the LORD for the rest of his life. The LORD heard her prayer and granted her petition. She had a son. Samuel.
Hannah has now had Samuel and it’s time to take the yearly vacation to Shiloh and she tells her husband that she is not going. She is going to wait until she has weaned her son, and then she is going to bring him to the LORD’s house. There he will grow up and live.
Her husband’s response is do what you gotta do. I know this is the hand of God. You made a vow and the LORD gave you what you asked for so complete the work of the LORD. Honor your vow. Just let me know when you’re ready. Well, that is my summation.
Now let’s think about Peninnah for a moment. You didn’t think I would forget about her, did you? She must be too excited when she finds out that Hannah and the new baby are not going on the trip to Shiloh. Imagine what she might be thinking. I am going with my man by myself. I get the best part of the feast this year. I don’t have to watch her cry and get all my man’s attention. I don’t have to hear him tell her how much he loves her so. Just me and him and the kids while she stays home. I imagine she may even have felt as if she had won the wife battle. She had the victory. Little did she know. Little did she know.
Fast forward some years later. It’s time for the annual trip to Shiloh and this year Hannah is ready to take Samuel to the house of the LORD. Seems like such a tough thing to have to do, though. I don’t know if you have kids but imagine having to give up your only child. Yes, you will get to see him periodically but I imagine it’s not the same. But Hannah did what she vowed to do. And God blessed her with more kids.
Each year when the Elkanah clan came to Shiloh proud Mama Hannah probably just sat and smiled with her own kids surrounding her knowing her first was so well regarded of God and man. Watching her baby boy, a priest in training, growing and maturing in the Lord. And you know her husband had to love her more. After all, one of his sons is growing into a prominent man of God. You know he had to be a proud papa, too. Bet the other wife didn’t have much to say now. In fact, I don’t think she nor any of her children are ever mentioned again. Interesting, huh?
I find such strength in Hannah. For years she suffered at the hand of someone who had no compassion for her barrenness. Said another way, had no compassion for her situation. But Hannah was devoted to the LORD. I imagine that is why she had the character which resulted in a godly attitude not only inward but more importantly outward.
Hannah had no idea that this son of hers, at the time her only son, would grow up to become a judge. A judge of God’s people. Samuel became great amongst the people doing the service of the Lord. Her son would be accountable to teach holiness and the ways of the Lord to the people. God’s representative.
Her barrenness was used for greatness. Her lack was used for such gain. And God was glorified in her surrender.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,
It is wonderful what miracles God works in wills that are utterly surrendered to HIM. Hannah Whitall Smith.