1 Samuel 1:19-28 All Things Dedicated to God Flourish
1 Samuel 1:19-28
Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.”
21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and stay there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the Lord confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three- year- old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 26 She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. 27 For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Hannah gave birth to Samuel and dedicated Him fully to God once he is weaned. She made a vow on Samuel’s behalf to become a Nazirite to conform to its peculiar lifestyle and in total consecration to God. She is determined that what God has given to her through her prayer must be dedicated back to God for His use. Samuel in the hands of God flourishes and becomes one of the greatest prophets of Israel. Hannah’s devotion towards God brought blessings that she could never have imagined.
- “Because I have asked him of the Lord.” – After Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son and she named him Samuel, which implies, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.” El is Hebrew name for God, Samuel can be phrased in Hebrew: His name is El. Hannah named her son Samuel to forever etch into history God’s gift to her and the nation. By naming him Samuel, Hannah declares, “He is God’s gift. Let him do something for me and for God!”
- “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him.” – After Hannah has given birth to Samuel, she makes a decision not to make the yearly trip up to Shiloh with the family to sacrifice to God until the child is weaned (3 years old). Although the text gives no explanation, her decision was probably attributed to her reluctance to expose her child to the provocations and taunting of Penninah. Her absence from the annual trip suggests that her worship towards God is not a legalistic one and she does not attempt to gain God’s favor through rituals of sacrifices. Neither did she think that God would be offended by her absence. Her decision to give the Shiloh trip a miss until the child is weaned is a valid one, having Samuel’s interests at heart.
- “She brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young.” – Hannah makes the decision to dedicate her first born child to God’s service as soon as he can be independent from her. Now, Samuel is dedicated as a lifelong Nazirite, not when he becomes an adult but while he is still young. Any mother would find that decision a struggle because firstly, she has little bonding time with him, and secondly, she may not have any more children of her own. We are looking at a woman of profound character and devotion towards God. What better sacrifice can one make towards God other than her own son!
- “So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” – While the child is still young, and having no ability to make his own decision, his parents having authority over the child makes the decision on his behalf. Not all who are dedicated to God undergo the strict Nazirite vow and commit to its peculiar lifestyle. That decision (which the child has no veto power) involves a lifelong service and consecration of a Nazirite that the child has no liberty to break. Hannah’s decision that came with a great price, that severely restricted the child’s life choices resulted in one of the best things that Israel ever had in all her history. But Hannah’s decision brought her family honor and Israel freedom and righteousness in a time of lawlessness and sin.
- What God has given to us through prayer, must necessarily result in a blessing for the world. Hannah named his son Samuel (His name is God) as a witness that he is birthed as a gift to serve the purposes of God. Hannah knows very well that Samuel is given to her not by natural means but by divine intervention. Hence, it must necessarily possess a divine purpose as well. Therefore, what God has given us through our prayer request carries a spiritual significance and destiny.
- Worship is an expression of our wholehearted devotion towards God. It is never meant to be legalistic or to justify our lack of commitment or to secure a “minimal” standard of devotion in order to be accepted by God. But worship is an expression of our gratitude for His goodness through which we draw divine strength to do His will. Hannah’s worship is not tied to a legalistic standard for she was not present for the annual sacrifice for at least three years. Having said, Hannah’s worship involves the sacrifice of her only son, which is of the highest order.
- Our sacrifice and service towards God must always be a lifelong endeavor. Hannah says, “… as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” As believers, we must never commit ourselves to serve Him for a limited time but “as long as I live I am dedicated to the Lord.” Many stop serving God because they face difficulties with circumstances and with people or when they enter into a new life stage. But God’s grace is present to see us through if we would walk and persevere with Him.
- Make a list of things that God has given you through your prayer request. Explore how these things can be used as a blessing to the world.
- Recall the time when you first dedicated your life to God. Are you serving God and accomplishing His call up until now? Do make an appointment with your Pastor and talk to him about your desire to serve him with the available time you have.
Dear Lord. I thank you for your blessings (list them) ________________________. I now make a decision to dedicate what you have given me for your purpose. Use me to serve your Kingdom’s purposes. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.