One Woman’s Devotion

June 13, 2017

Out of the materialism and ruthlessness of Israel during the period of the judges, Hannah emerged as a woman of faith. From her home in the hills north of Jerusalem, she had traveled to Shiloh, the national place of worship. Her sadness of heart and persistence in prayer contrasted sharply with the prevalent corruption in worship led by Eli’s sons (2:12–17).

Hannah’s personal life was one of despair in her childlessness as she recoiled from Peninnah’s pestering reproaches. Her prayer exhibited selflessness as she pled for a son whom she might present to God for His use (1:11). Clearly, Hannah was loved and valued for herself by her husband, Elkanah, but even the intensity of a devoted husband’s love could not penetrate her inner disquiet nor overcome her yearning for a child (1:8). The throbbing emotions of her despair were so evident in Hannah’s prayers that the aged Eli accused her of drunkenness. But beyond her prayers and tears, a vow erupted. Hannah, in effect, made a pact with God; she pledged to give back to Him the precious life He might give to her. God honored her bold and decisive act.

Hannah’s faith was rewarded, and she named her son Samuel (in Hebrew, “Name of God”) because she “asked for him from the LORD” (1:20). According to custom, she probably nursed him several years, giving time for her to convey to Samuel her own spirit of deep reverence and piety and also to knit her heart with his through maternal bonding. Nonetheless, she kept her word to the Lord. Into the defiled worship center she placed her very young, impressionable son. Although humanly it seemed to border on foolishness, this was an act of saintly sacrifice. Her commitment was to God; her gift had been pre-arranged with Him. With prophetic insight she planted the next generation just as promised.

Samuel grew up to become the last judge, an outstanding and gifted prophet, and the one who would anoint the first two kings of Israel. Samuel was the pivotal spiritual leader who turned the nation toward Yahweh. His mother Hannah played her part in this spiritual awakening as she trusted God, leaving for all posterity an example of determined devotion in her motherhood.

Related Articles

How to Live Purposefully

Throughout our lives, God wants us to move purposefully toward where He wants us. But in all things, He will lead the way Read More

The Secret Reason for Your Insecurity

We all experience periods of deep insecurity. Even some heroes in the Bible struggled with it. Here are some ways to overcome insecurity. Read More

Sign Up for the Latest Blog Posts from Thomas Nelson





By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at yourprivacy@harpercollins.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.