Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
Key verse: (18) “Let your servant find favor in your sight.”
Reflection: 1 Samuel begins with a woman waiting for a child. Hannah, one of the wives of Elkanah, is barren. Her sister-wife, Peninnah had many sons and daughters. In the ancient world, a woman was praised for her offspring. There was no place in society for a woman who couldn’t conceive. So, Hannah felt like she had no worth. Peninnah was unkind to Hannah on a regular basis. But, Hannah never retaliated. Instead, she prayed through bitter tears that God would give her a child. If she conceived, she would dedicate and consecrate her child to God. Her prayer was so animated, the priest Eli thought she was drunk. But, in reality, she was a woman who desperately wanted to please God. In time, her prayer was answered and Samuel was born.
Hannah was completely devoted to God. Having poured out her heart to God and to the priest Eli, Hannah returned home with her husband filled with hope knowing her prayers were heard. When her son was born she named him, Samuel, which means “I have asked him of the LORD.” She promised to dedicate Samuel to God. And in the book of Samuel, we see how God used Samuel for God’s purposes in powerful ways.
Hannah’s faith is remarkable — not because her prayers were answered — but because she was willing to dedicate every gift from God back to God. Many times we try to hold on to the blessings we have been given and don’t share them with others. Hannah was willing to share her son with a nation realizing that her blessings didn’t belong to her – they belonged to God to be used for God purposes.
Prayer: Loving God, we pray that we might have faith like Hannah’s. Help us to release the grip we have on all that you have given us, in order that we might more fully devote ourselves to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].