1 Samuel 1:24-28 – “Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered a bull and brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the TLORD there.” NKJV
The words leap off the page at me when I read, “…as long as he lives, he shall be lent to the LORD.” Imagine a mother whose heart was so heavy because she had no children praying a fervent prayer that resulted in a prophetic word and a miraculous work of God. God answered her prayer and provided that child, a son, she had so desired. Now, imagine that mother being willing to totally dedicate that son to God and giving him physically as well as spiritually to the LORD.
I have had people tell me they thought less of Hannah because she gave up the child but remember her vow in v.11, “…O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” Her vow was her covenant with God and the life that was produced in Samuel is nothing short of extraordinary.
She kept him in the early formative years of his life before taking him to Eli, the priest. That calls to mind the words of Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Her vow indicated that Samuel would act and serve as a Levite but would be raised as a Nazarite or one who willing dedicates himself to God. This was signifying that he would be totally dedicated to God and I am convinced that is the message she conveyed to him in those formative years.
She taught him God’s covenant and instilled in him the importance of keeping vows made to God and in pursuing God’s purposes in life. She taught him through her words and actions that God was supreme above all things. Then when she takes him to Eli he has been saturated with the Word of God, Prayers, and the impact that his godly mother would have the rest of his days.
Of course, that is only one side of the equation for we dare not omit personal responsibility and personal commitment. Samuel could have resisted and rebelled, but he didn’t. He didn’t because the method and message of his mother resonated in his heart. She had kindled in him a desire to serve God and while I’m sure that her leaving him with the priest was somewhat traumatic or would have been for most children. I’m sure her heart was torn from her chest as she walked away. I’m equally sure that God saw both their hearts and through His Spirit, Power, and Love provided a balm of peace in their hearts. Samuel had to decide to fulfill the vow of his mother and he did.
Would Samuel have become the mighty prophet of God and man of the hour had she not made that vow and kept it? Probably not! Would Samuel have become a strong pillar in Israel had his mother not instilled in him from his birth the purpose of his life and the purpose of God? Probably not! I cannot emphasize the value and importance of godly parents in raising children. One of the most significant problems in our world today, especially in America, is the lack of two-parent homes and the lack of godly parenting. Thank God for those who view their role and responsibility as parents as a ministry and mandate from God to fulfill the first part of Proverbs 22:6 so that the latter part can become a sure reality.
If you have children, they are your responsibility, and you are accountable to God for the training and example they receive. You are their role model, not Hollywood, Athletes, or Entertainers. YOU ARE! Your value in the shaping of their lives is almost incalculable.
God bless you as you fulfill your purposes for this day in Jesus!