By PASTOR MARK MOLINA
Living Waters Church
This week, we will continue talking about the call of God on Samuel’s life. We see that the prayerful life of his mother was the significant precursor to the call of God on his life. She asked God for a son. If He answered her she vowed she would “lend” him to the Lord all the days of his life. God answered. She responded by keeping her promise back to him. Hannah went to the Temple in Shilo after her son was weaned and presented him to The Lord.
“‘For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 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 LORD there. (I Samuel 1:27-28 NKJV)
Hannah prayed a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving proclaiming the faithfulness of God in all things. Then she kept her promise and gave her son to Eli the Priest for service in the Temple.
“Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest,” (I Samuel 2:11 NKJV).
The very thing Hannah desired the most God gave to her. It was this very thing that she gave back to God. She did not hesitate. She did not bargain or backtrack. Her husband did not interfere or demand she break her vow to the Lord. He did not “pull rank” as her husband to keep her from keeping her promise.
“So Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word.’ Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him,” (I Samuel 1:23 NKJV).
The counsel of the husband to his wife? “Only let the LORD establish His word.” How many wives have longed to have this kind of spiritual support from their husbands?
As spouses, we must learn to support one another in the things we feel called to do for the Lord. Wives have just as much value and importance as their husbands. They have a place of honor before the Lord just as much as any man. As men, we must encourage our wives, just as Elkanah encouraged Hannah, “to do what seems best to you” when they make a promise to God.
If either spouse discourages the other, this forces the spouse in service, to eventually capitulate to their demands. Had Elkanah not supported Hannah in her promise, the greatest Prophet in Israel would never have been allowed to take his place in history.
“But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. Moreover, his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, ‘The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD.’ Then they would go to their own home. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD,” (I Samuel 2:18-21 NKJV)
I want to make the point here that when we give something back to God he gives us a multiplied blessing for our faithfulness. God does not forget or consider insignificant the acts of service we commit to Him.
Hannah and Elkanah would make the 10-mile journey every year on foot to see Samuel and make sacrifices to The Lord. Can you imagine the longing in her heart to see her son? Yet neither one of them reneged on their promise to God. Neither one of them demanded that Samuel go home with them. They never demanded Eli to “give us our son back!” They kept their promise.
For their faithfulness in their promise The Lord gave them five more children. They would have never have known what God could do on their behalf had they not been faithful.
Be faithful as He is faithful. Keep your promise to God.