Day Six: Hannah
Written by Amanda Van Der Poel
“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 worshipped the Lord there.” 1 Samuel 1:25-28
Hannah… Loved and comforted by her husband, tormented by her husband’s other wife. The yearly worship and sacrifice at Shiloh was a reminder that yet another year had gone by without the Lord blessing her with a child. Year after year she was taunted. Year after year reduced to tears. But one year something changed. We don’t know why, but one year – instead of just staying with her husband, crying, Hannah took her pain, her anguish, and brought it before the Lord. It started with a decision. She “got up and went to pray” (1 Sam 1:9). She was discouraged but she did the best thing any of us can do in that situation – she poured out her heart to the Lord.
But what did Hannah pray for with such fervour? Surely the son she had always wanted? Someone to carry on the family name? Someone to love and hold, to teach and watch grow up? Yes, partly… But no. She prayed the most selfless prayer any mother could pray. To have a son totally dedicated to the Lord – given back to Him for his entire lifetime.
Eli the priest thought she was drunk – the way she was mouthing her words with no sound coming out – but when she shared her pain, her prayer, with him he blessed her. After that blessing, her whole countenance changed. She went from not eating to eating again, and she went back to her husband no longer sad. Why? Because she had faith – she was sure that the Lord God had heard her prayer and would answer. And He did. He remembered her plea and blessed her with a son, just as she had asked. She named him Samuel.
\Hannah did not go to the yearly sacrifices with Samuel until he was weaned. I wonder if she ever regretted her promise to the Lord? Surely I could just keep him, a bit longer? I love him so much… God did give him to me… We don’t know. Maybe she didn’t doubt at all.
Regardless, she kept her promise. When Samuel was weaned, she took him to the Tabernacle and told Eli her testimony. She gave Samuel to the Lord and worshipped. And the Lord continued to bless her.
What/who do you turn to with your pain and anguish? Yourself? Food/Substances? Other people? God?
Notice Hannah’s change of countenance after Eli’s blessing. Have you ever experienced God’s peace like this? Read Philippians 4:6-7 to understand how to get this peace.
Do you follow through on your promises to God? (big or small)
Hannah completely surrendered her son to God – what do you need to surrender to Him today?