Wednesday, Mar. 15
There’s an amazing story in 1 Samuel1. It’s about Samuel’s birth, but it’s really about a remarkable woman, Hannah. Like other “dramas” it starts out with a dilemma crying out for a solution. A wife in those days was expected to have a son—or, better yet, sons. She was not only barren for years but was also ridiculed by Elkanah’s other wife, Peninah, who had many sons and daughters. After weeping her way through all those years, she finally took it to the Lord. She vowed that if the Lord would give her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord. While in the tabernacle in Shiloh, where they went once a year to offer sacrifices and worship God, she mumbled a fervent plea to God about her situation. Eli, the priest, accused her of being drunk, but when Hannah set him straight, he added his blessing to her plea to God. That was enough for Hannah. She believed it would happen and her sadness turned to joy. In due time, Samuel was born, and she made haste to fulfill her vow. She hurried up the weaning process so she could take little Samuel to the tabernacle to leave him with the priests. Think of this. After years of being ridiculed for not having a son, now she had one and was determined to give him to God. As she left him there, she prayed a beautiful prayer of praise to God. Much like Mary’s “magnificat” in Luke 2, Hannah’s “magnificat” is a gem that must have taken days or weeks to prepare. There is no complaint, no sign of remorse, no “pity party.” How about that first line? “My heart rejoices in the Lord.” Hannah must have had a very intimate relationship with God through the years. Nothing was too precious to hold back from him. Yes, Hannah was a remarkable woman, but she also served a remarkable God—years of patiently waiting for her to make an appeal, giving her five more children (1 Sam. 2:18-21), and, probably more importantly, orchestrating everything to give Israel the remarkable priest and judge, Samuel.