May 18

Written by Bill Grandi on May 18th, 2023

I’m continuing my devotional series on women in the Bible whom ladies from OVCF talked about on Mother’s Day.

Lady #1- Mary of Bethany

Lady #2- Tamar

Lady #3- Sarah

Lady #4- Lydia

Today is Lady #5

Last night-in fact, a lot nights this past month or so-Jo and I have spent at the local sports complex watching boys and girls playing ball. It seems as if once or twice a week for the past month we have been at the complex walking from field to field (there are 8 of them), watching children of all ages play ball and often chatting with their parents. To make this a bit more interesting is the fact that I have read to 5 different Kindergarten classes for this past school year and some of those students are playing ball. “Hi Mr. Bill!” are words I hear often. I know their faces but only see the close to 100+ students 1/month, so I’m often clueless as to all their names.

What strikes me, of course, is the amount of time the parents give to their children. Some of them are at the park 2-3 times a week. Some may even sleep there! 🙂 Does their child realize the sacrifice their parent is making for them?  (Have you ever watched T-ball? Then you know exactly what I mean). 🙂 🙂

Probably not.

That sacrifice seems minor in comparison to the one Hannah made. Childless in a society that looked down on childlessness, she begged God for a child. Eli, the priest at the time, thought she was drunk and when she corrected his accusation, he pronounced that God would give her an answer. That answer was Samuel.

There was one caveat. Hannah had promised that if God would give her a son, he would be given to God for His service. When Samuel was weaned, she gave him to God and Eli to fulfill her promise.

WOW! A long-awaited answer to a longing and a prayer given away. I wonder how she felt. This is my opinion here, but I believe that while she ached to give her son to the Lord, she also knew she had made a promise. Samuel became a stalwart figure in the history of Israel.

The story doesn’t end there. Elkanah, the husband, was with her on keeping that vow. They also had 3 more sons and 2 daughters. Not bad for a woman whose womb had been closed and was the object of ridicule by Elkanah’s other wife (Peninnah).  {My note: I wouldn’t brag about that name. Just sayin’…}

Hannah made a promise; kept that promise and reaped the favor of God. I’m not saying making and keeping a promise will always turn out like this, but I do know, and can say, that one can ever go wrong keeping a promise to God.

Ask Hannah. (For more of this story, see I Samuel 1-2).


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Sacrifice… Is it possible that western Christianity has lost the true meaning of the word? Not simply an inconvenience. Not a few minutes or hours out of the day, but true sacrifice. The giving up of something cherished. I know I have never actually sacrificed anything of real consequence. My life, my child…

    Does tend to put things in perspective.

    And to hold true to a promise… especially a promise to God, I can say I have broken my fair share… All I can do is ask for forgiveness and grace.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I, too, would have to hold the sign that says, “Guilty as charged” when it comes to breaking promises. And yes, thinking of Abraham willing to sacrifice his son does put a whole new perspective on things.

  2. Hannah personifies all that it means to serve God before self-interest. I know her heart must have broken to keep that promise to God, but kept it, she did. And what a mighty leader of Israel precious Samuel became!
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are so right Martha about Hannah personifying sacrifice. Even though Hannah only had him until he was weaned, I’m sure she taught him how special he was (Nazirite vow included).

  3. gail says:

    Hannah is truly amazing. Also giving credit to Elkanah, for agreeing to give up his son as well. She had no way of knowing that her obedience would give her additional blessings and give her five more children. She loved the Lord, and serving Him was the most important priority in her life, even if it meant her own sacrifice. When we learn to put God above all else no matter what, and serve with a servants heart, we can watch the Lord work in our lives in ways we never could expect. Those might be blessing for ourselves and they might be blessing for others, but it certainly allows blessings to flow from our giving Father.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Great point about Elkanah Gail! He is also to be praised for trusting Hannah and the direction of her life. Good thought about blessings for ourselves or for others also.

  4. Kari Scare says:

    In a world where doing what you say you’re going to do – keeping your promises – following Hannah’s examples is a startling way to live your faith. People today notice when someone keeps their word consistently because it’s growing more unusual. May we all purpose to be like Hannah and her husband not because of the blessings it will bring but because it honors God, illustrates our faith in him, and sets us apart in a world where it’s acceptable to be dishonest.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I like what you say Kari. Being like Hannah and her husband because it honors God. That is so important.

  5. Cheryl says:

    It is wonderful to see parents supporting their kids in their endeavors. Such a heartwarming scene in the midst of all that is being done to undermine the family unit!