Monday, April 22, 2013


We know that the prophet Samuel was blessed his entire life. WHY? Because his mother Hannah made a VOW and consecrated him to God. She fulfilled her vow and God did His part.

The reader of the Hannah story may suppose that Elkanah took Peninnah as second wife because of Hannah’s barrenness; but Hannah, unlike Sarah and Rebekah, never doubts her capacity for motherhood. As the years would come and go, her suffering became unbearable.

At the annual sacrifice, Hannah’s difficulty is intensified by her husband’s distribution of sacrificial portions, one to each of his wives and children: the value of the women is clearly improved by their child-bearing capacities. Though he gives a generous portion to Hannah, this gesture still emphasizes the fact that she has borne no children and consequently does not comfort her. When she weeps and does not eat, Elkanah tries to ease her misery with a series of “Why” questions, concluding with “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” (1:8).

This “comforting” might be understood as a touching gesture by a sensitive husband. Or his words might express the image of an insensitive man who does not realize how greatly his wife wants to bear children. Elkanah’s chain of pretentious questions does not allow Hannah an opportunity to answer, and she wisely remains silent to his last question. Hannah then suffers even more under Elkanah’s “comforting.”

So, at the scene of her critical isolation and Peninnah’s tormenting, Hannah turns to God in the temple. She prays fervently, vowing that if God will grant her a male child, she will give that child back to God after weaning him. The desperation of Hannah’s vow indicates that merely bearing a male child would establish her in the community; she would skip the joys of raising him. Her vow was made based upon a true sacrifice.

Hannah’s prayers are answered by God, Who “remembers” her. (1:19)

Then Samuel was born under God’s protection and Sovereignty. He was successful his entire life!

The prophet Samuel died at the age of ninety-eight. He had been Israel’s thirteenth judge and its first prophet. All of Israel mourned Samuel’s death, and many turned out to see him buried in the grounds of his own family home in Ramah, probably in a tomb already prepared for him. Most probably, David attended Samuel’s funeral service, after which he gets clear of Saul, who was probably there as well, by going to the wilderness of Paran in southern Judea.

Keep in mind that he was a blessed man, because of his MOTHER'S VOW! Make a vow with God for your children even today.

Claudia Brito
Auckland - New Zealand


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