Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A woman who kept her promise

Hannah presenting Samuel to Eli - Robert T. Barrett
Hannah presenting Samuel to Eli by Robert T. Barrett
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 1:19-2:11

"'For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.' So they worshiped the Lord there." 1 Samuel 1:27,28

Hannah was a woman of FAITH and INTEGRITY. We talked about her faith yesterday. Today we see her integrity.

In her prayer for a child she promised God that if He answered, she would give that child back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11). We never get the sense that she wavered from keeping that promise.

She kept her promise officially.
She didn't go with the family to Shiloh until Samuel was weaned—probably at least three years old or older. But when she went, she did it up right—took all the required offering stuff (Numbers 15:9 cf. 1 Samuel 1:24) and when they arrived presented Samuel to Eli himself (1 Samuel 1:25-27). The deed was date-stamped and done!

She kept her promise completely.

She told Eli "'I also have lent him to the Lord as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord'" - 1 Samuel 1:28. Perhaps the reason she had refused to go to Shiloh the years Samuel was still a nursing baby was because she knew her resolve would be tested if she did. Surely she'd heard the rumors about Eli's sons (1 Samuel 2:12) and could have rationalized: God wouldn't expect me to bring my innocent little boy into this snake pit, would He?  But even if she considered these things, none of them swayed her from keeping her promise.

She kept her promise worshipfully.

Our reading describes hers and Elkanah's action: "So they worshiped the Lord there" (1 Samuel 1:28). In her prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10) we detect not a whiff of self-serving. It's all about God, lifting Him up, furthering His purposes, serving His destiny in the nation and the whole earth. Somehow, somewhere Hannah seems to have had a vision of what God wanted to do with her son and she offered him willingly in joyful worship.

Perhaps we have prayed and promised something back to God if He answered. He has and so we have a Samuel of our own.  What is my Samuel? What is yours? Is it some plan or ambition for life? Our spouse, children or grandchildren? Ourselves—our health, experiences, talents, abilities, potential?

Now is the time to live with Hannah-like integrity and keep those promises we've made to God. How might we do that officially, completely and worshipfully?

PRAYER: Dear God my heart is tried by Hannah's actions and prayer. I want to live with her brand of integrity toward You and others. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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