“Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.” I Samuel 1:20
A new baby! A time of rejoicing. Can you imagine the joy in Hannah’s heart as she held this precious boy in her arms for the first time? All the times of sorrow and of rejection were forgotten, and she was now fulfilled. She named him, Samuel, meaning “I have asked him of the Lord.”
Hannah was very dedicated. She knew she would have her son with her for only a brief time, probably two or three years, and so the diligently trained him. As we look at the story later, we see that Samuel, even though he was raised in Eli’s house, did not fall into the bad example of Eli’s sons. This is most likely due to his mother’s influence in his early years. Even after she had left Samuel with Eli, she didn’t shirk her responsibility, but made him new clothes every year.
When she took Samuel to Shiloh and gave him to Eli, we see that she was an abundant and generous giver. She brought a sacrifice to the Lord, as we read in I Samuel 1:24. After offering her sacrifice she broke forth into a song of praise. Take time to read I Samuel 2:1-10 and see how God inspired her to see in her personal experience the way that God worked in the divine economy. Look especially at the last part of verse three “the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” If you look at Mary’s song of thanksgiving in Luke 1:46-55, you will see a similarity, not in exact words, but in thoughts. Perhaps Mary was paraphrasing Hannah’s song to relate to her experience.
We can learn a lot from Hannah’s experience. She prayed earnestly for the Lord to meet her request, and when He did so, she praised and thanked Him for it. Often, we seek God for an answer, but sometimes when He meets our needs, we go on our merry way, taking Him for granted, instead of spending time praising Him for what He has done.
What has the Lord done for you this past year? Have you taken time to thank Him and praise Him for it? If He has blessed you financially, have you shared some of that blessing with someone else?
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that like Hannah we can come to you with our deepest needs and know that you hear our cry and that you will answer. Help us to be consistent in our praise and thanks to you for what you are doing.
Devotion by Anne Johnston