Focal Passage: 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 10-11, 17-18, 21-28; 2:1-2
In a previous article I alluded to the fact that I have once again regained the pleasure of a previous hobby, collecting baseball cards. I have to be honest with you; it is more of an escape than anything. I find myself in my study late at night opening packs and organizing. It has a calming effect, and helps to bring a bit of order to an often hectic schedule. Right now there is one set that is eluding me — 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter. It is hard to find at an affordable price.
It has become a challenge, and quite unattainable, especially if I wish to remain married. It is something that I would really like to have, even more so, it is something that I really want. Has there ever been something that you have truly wanted in life, something that seemed out of reach? In 1 Samuel we read about Hannah as she constantly prays to the Lord. She longs to have a baby and is constantly faced with the fact that her husband’s second wife Peninnah has children.
It is felt that the husband, Elkanah, most likely took the second wife in a similar fashion as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because of the first wife’s inability to give birth, but that this also foreshadowed the birth of a child of great significance. Hannah was greatly loved by Elkanah and his lineage was from the tribe of Levi. She was dedicated to him, and constantly prayed with fervor that the Lord would hear her prayers to allow her to bear him a child. She made a pilgrimage to the tabernacle at Shiloh were at first the priest Eli thought that she was drunk when he saw her praying, but her fervor convinced him of her dedication and he gave her a blessing after which she returned home.
It was following this that she conceived and bore a son named Samuel. In her fervent prayers Hannah had made a vow that she would dedicate the child to service to the Lord. She and Elkanah took him to Eli, made a sacrifice to the Lord, and Hannah’s song is recorded (1 Samuel 2).
Hannah shows that persistence in faith is a noble trait, and can find favor in the sight of God. Her inability to bear children was in no way seen to be from a spiritual flaw or sin filled life. She is given to us an example of a committed wife, and eventually a committed mother that is willing to make the ultimate gift through her faith. She dedicates not only her life, but that of her child to service for the Lord. Children are truly a gift from God, and Hannah returns to God the ultimate gift as a gift of faith and service.
As we celebrate this Mother’s Day we can look back to the gifts that we ourselves have been given by faithful mothers throughout the ages. May God grant us Christian homes!