Yesterday we talked about the importance of not giving up on God, even when all of our earthly circumstances might be telling us to quit.
This morning I was led to the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel via Beth Moore (she tends to lead me to pretty great stuff in the Bible). In 1 Samuel 1, we see Hannah’s anguish over her inability to bear a child. Yet in her bitterness, Hannah wept and prayed to the Lord. She promised that if God gave her a son, she would give him back to the Lord all the days of his life. Even in her bitterness and pain, Hannah continued to seek the Lord and be faithful to Him.
She believed the promise in 1 Chronicles 28:9 before it had even been written,
Why did God choose to answer her prayer? According to Beth, who I tend to agree with, “First, He is gracious. He longs to pour His love on us. Second, He knew her heart. He knew that what she said, she would do.”
Hannah wasn’t just spouting off an empty promise. God knew she would follow through. And that’s exactly what she did. When God answered the cry and desire of her heart, Hannah named her son Samuel saying “Because I have asked the Lord for him”(verse 20). After approximately three years of loving, caring, and providing for her son, she fulfilled her commitment and took him to the house of the Lord where he could be fully turned over to the work of the Lord.
I don’t have a child, but I can’t imagine Hannah’s faithfulness to actually follow through and give her son back. I think I would say, “thanks for the baby, but I’ll just go ahead and keep him.”
I love the picture Hannah provides for us of a woman who sought the Lord, poured her heart out, and prayed through her bitterness. Hannah remained committed to God in spite of her pain, and did not give up Him. She made a vow to the Lord and was faithful to follow through. Even when she takes Samuel to live at the temple to give him back to the Lord, she worshiped the Lord, praying,
Hannah is a woman who did not give up. She did not lose heart. Even through pain, trials, and sacrifice, she did not stop believing in God’s goodness. There is no rock like our God!
What a faithful example for each of us!
Lord, in the day of my trouble, may I be a woman who seeks after You. From the ends of the earth, I cry out to you! When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
(Psalm 77:2, Psalm 61:2)
Thanks to Beth Moore’s book, David: 90 Days With A Heart Like His for the insight for this post.