Read I Samuel 1:4-28; 2:1-6
As we begin I Samuel, the days of the judges were coming to a close. The nation of Israel had hit or was nearing rock bottom. Yet, one thing remained the same, the faithfulness of God and His redemptive mission. The story of Hannah reminds us that God is always faithful to us even in circumstances which seem bleak.
We have seen the story before in the Hebrew Scriptures of one man, Elkanah, with two wives, one of whom he loves more than the other. The wife Elkanah loves more, Hannah, is also barren. Children were a visible sign of God’s blessing and favor, according to their conventional wisdom. By the same token, barrenness was a sign of God’s disfavor. Hannah took her grief and pain to the Lord in deep and fervent prayer. She went to the holy place at Shiloh and worshipped the Lord there.
She was willing to pay a price for the answer to her prayers. If God blessed her with a son, she would dedicate the boy to the Lord to serve at the holy place. God did answer her prayer and she fulfilled her vow. This might seem like a drastic step to us, but Hannah’s motivation was her realization of who God was. Hannah saw God as holy, there was none like Him, and that He gave (and gives) both life and death. The center of Hannah’s worship was truly God.
We are not in the days of the judges, but we still have the same God. If Hannah could take her desperation and deep need to God in prayer, then we should be able to do so as well. Prayer and worship work together to make us people that God can use in His mission. Do you make it a habit in your life to pray and worship the Lord? If so, trust that He will answer your requests in His timing. If not, begin today going to God in prayer and finding a place in which you can meet with like-minded believers.