Samuel – A Lifetime Serving God
· The change in Hannah was dramatic. She had been depressed, anguished to the point of not eating. Her husband could have been more supportive emotionally. But she left her encounter with Eli and her prayers with some measure of peace. (1:18)
· Do we keep in mind the promises of Matt. 11:28 when we go to prayer?
· Elkanah surely must have noticed the change in his wife. Hannah's vow must have become his vow, for we see Elkanah still going to Shiloh annually to fulfill his vow (v. 21). But it was Hannah's prayers that led to this blessing. Was it hard for Elkanah to agree to give up this miracle child? The lack of a child by Hannah didn't seem to cause him the same anguish it did Hannah.
· How often do we husbands need to catch up with our wives spiritually? Are we leading the way in our homes? Are we praying for our mates and families, or do we leave it to our wives?
· It was common in Israel for a child to be weaned around the age of 3. We're not told what went on in the home during this time, but we can guess that Hannah must have been an especially loving mother to her special son. Also, there is no indication that there were the rivalries that plagued the households of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
· During this time, Hannah did not accompany Elkanah to Shiloh. Elkanah's response is "do what you think is best" (v. 23). Does he sound hesitant? Hannah's relationship with God seems confident and based on trust. But Elkanah's faith seems more external, with his polygamy, and not being a leader in the spiritual matters of his family.
· Again, it's important that fathers be a leader in guiding the family in spiritual concerns. We shouldn't let the wife shoulder the burden and float along with whatever she decides.
· Three years later, Hannah fulfilled her vow. She brought Samuel to Shiloh to turn him over to God. Though it must have been hard to do, her statement to Eli (v. 25-28) is one of great faith.
· With Abraham, God called him out of Ur, and gave him a miracle son in Isaac to emphasize the unique nature of God's redemption, that it came from God alone. Samuel will grow to be a leader at a time in Israel's history when they needed to be reminded of God's ways. His special beginnings will serve to emphasize his message.
#1) God wants us to make one basic voluntary "vow" that will affect our total lifestyle, and that is to offer our bodies to Christ as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1,2; Eph. 4:1)
#2) We should be motivated by God's grace to keep our vow to the Lord, not by the laws of the OT.
#3) We must guard against the temptation to take advantage of God's grace; salvation is not fire insurance! Choose to live lives that reflect the fruit of the Spirit.
For next week, read I Samuel 2:1-10