Tag Archives: hannah

14. Activating God’s promises: Catalyst of faith

We activate God’s promises with the catalyst of faith. Do we dare to force God’s hand? No, God has forced his own hand. God is honor-bound to keep his word.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16).

Seeking Faith to Believe

Jesus indicated that the key is to believe. Our problems with our children are not impossible, if we can just believe that they aren’t. We have power over our problems if we just believe that we do.

A father brought his ailing son to Jesus, and asked if he could help. Jesus told him: “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

When the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, “He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you'” (Luke 17:5-6).

But how can we make ourselves believe? The fact is, we can’t. We cannot believe. We cannot cause ourselves to have faith. But we can choose the focus of our attention. We can choose to focus our attention on problems or on promises!

Finding Faith in Focus

If we focus on our circumstances and those of our children, we will be helpless and hopeless before them. If we focus on God’s faithfulness, God will generate inside of us a faith that can pluck up trees and rearrange nature if necessary to accomplish God’s will.

God’s will. That is what we are talking about here. Remember the story of Hannah? Remember how we paraphrased Hannah’s words in 1 Samuel 1:28? Hannah was saying, “I trust God to do the right thing in Samuel’s life. I trust God to take over Samuel’s training where I cannot go. I accept whatever outcome God brings forth with my son.”

We will not find a faith that believes God will work all things out our way. But we can find a faith that believes God will work all things out the best way. God said it like this:

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

To find this faith, we must be willing to say with Hannah, “I accept whatever outcome God brings forth with my children.” Throughout the Bible, God did remarkable wonders in the lives of men and women who dared to accept in advance whatever outcome God brought forth, knowing whatever God did would be right.

Whatever God does in our children’s lives will be right. How can we really believe this? Where can we find the faith? Herein lies the key to increasing our faith:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).

Finding Faith in History

God’s word is brimming with stories of his faithfulness down through the ages. It’s promises overflow into our lives as God illuminates them to us.

We come before the Lord. We have focused our attention on the accounts in his Word of his faithfulness to men and women who walked according to his ways. We reach into God’s word and grab a fistful of these accounts in our left hand.

Finding Faith in Promise

Now we reach deep into God’s Word, and clench tightly as many promises as we can hold in our right hand. We hold high before our God an open Bible. Every page is a promise and a testimony that our faithfulness to God will be multiplied beyond measure in his faithfulness back to us!

We refresh ourselves in God’s promises which are as old as all ages and as new as today! And above our heads is our Banner Promise, the promise which undergirds our hope in all the others:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

He is the same God who was faithful to Moses’ mother; to Samuel’s mother; to Timothy’s mother. He is the same God who was faithful to Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Jacob; to David, Joseph, Isaiah, Rahab, Joshua, and Hannah; to Peter, James, John, Mary, and Paul. He is the same God who has kept his promises to Christians unnamed and unnumbered down through the ages.

Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not oneword has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

–1 Kings 8:56, Deuteronomy 7:9

Finding Faith in Boldness

He is the same God who has been faithful to you and to me in the past. He is the same God. He will always be faithful. As we stand before our God we hold our hands high. Our left hand holds before him the testimonies we have gathered of his faithfulness. Our right hand waves God’s promises toward heaven like a flag of victory. God is honor-bound to keep his Word to us!

Have we dared to force God’s hand? No, God has forced his own hand. We are nothing, unworthy, helpless and hopeless. God in mercy and love reached down through his Son our Savior and gave us hope and made us mighty in his Son. He gave us all power in his name. He has told us to come boldly before His throne. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16)..

The Lord has said:

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

–Hebrews 6:10-19

Application

Let us give God the preeminence in our lives. Then God will teach us his promises. He dares us to hold him to them. We accept the challenge — and we have won. Our faith has been turned on. The catalyst that sets off God’s promises has been activated. The fulfillment of God’s promises has been accomplished. We simply await their enactment in a world bound by time!

In the next few sessions, we will study these principles as they were applied in Joshua’s life. We will see how the Word of God enabled Joshua’s faith to “turn on” God’s promises. And we will see our mighty God respond!

Thought to Remember

We will not find a faith that believes God will work all things out our way. But we can find a faith that believes God will work things out in a way greater than we could have ever imagined.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What do you do when the world seems to crush down upon you?
  2. What do you do when you claim God’s promises yet he does not seem to be doing anything?
  3. How do you keep from getting depressed when your children continue to go farther astray?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

09. Excitement is brewing: Teach what you are learning

A mother’s personal Bible study is the best school for devotions with children. Teach what you are learning and unleash the power of God through the catalyst of prayer.

O our God… We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you (2 Chronicles 20:12).

Teaching With Excitement

We cannot get our children excited about God if we are not excited about him ourselves. The best school for teacing our children is to first have private devotions ourselves alone with God.

If we sincerely seek what God has for us in his Word, he will show us. The greatest thing we can teach our children is that which we are learning ourselves from God’s Word.

There are several advantages to teaching what we are learning:

  • We have the Scripture references handy for the truths we’ve just discovered.
  • We are able to present new truths more completely before time has had a chance to steal pieces of the concepts.
  • We are able to start with the basics and build upon the concept as we learn more.

Most importantly, if we teach what we are learning ourselves our excitement about the things God is showing us will be contagious. It will bubble over into our children’s lives as well. Our children will become excited about God when we share our excitement about him.

Teaching by Explanation

There are several ways to teach what we are learning. For example, did the illustration of Hannah’s faith that God would use her son in spite of corrupt role models inspire you? Were you excited to realize how God honored Hannah’s faith by using Samuel to write Scriptures that still speak to us today?

We can share the drama of this story with our children. “Hannah loved her son, and she knew God loved him, too. She knew she could trust God to help her son do what was right, even if all the people around him did wrong.

Hannah believed God, and God didn’t let her down. He used her son to give us part of the Bible that we read today!” If this simple story is told with a sense of drama and excitement, even a very small child can catch a glimpse of God’s faithfulness.

When our devotional time includes children of different ages, we should aim them toward the level of the younger child. The older children will admire the simplicity of these beautiful truths from the Bible. And we can share more depth one on one with an older child later.

Teaching by Exploration

Another way to share what we are learning is to ask questions. This stimulates our children’s interest.

“Is there anyone that loves you more than Mom?” (God does. He loves you even more than Mom does!)

“Why was Hannah not afraid to let her son go where God wanted him?” (She knew that if Samuel followed God, God would always take care of him).

“Samuel was just a little boy. Why do you think he worshipped God?” (There are several possible answers. Questions like this inspire us along with our children to think and learn great truths).

Teaching by Evocation

Every concept God teaches us has not only the truths we have learned, but a “sidebar” concept for our children. For example, the story of Hannah can be presented to our children not only from a perspective of God’s honoring Hannah’s faith, but from the perspective of a boy who knew God would take care of him, and who grew up to help write the Bible.

Our children will be able to relate quickly to Samuel, the child. And as we dig more truth out to share in the sidebar, God will use these simple childlike concepts to speak to us, too.

We can’t always do formal devotions with our children. But we can still teach them what we are learning in little “asides.”

Teaching by Edification

It is especially difficult to have a devotional time with teenagers. But we can sneak a piece of the treasure into their lives as we walk through the mall parking lot together:

“There sure are lots of young people out today. I can’t imagine the stress and temptations all of you face. It reminds me of the Bible story of Samuel, and how he grew up with Eli’s wicked sons.

“It must have been hard for Samuel. But Samuel’s mother prayed for him, and God gave him the strength to get through it. God helped Samuel grow into a man he could use to write part of the Bible.

“I want you to know I’m praying for you just like Samuel’s mother did, because I know it must be awfully tough. But Samuel’s mother knew God would help her son do what was right, and I know God will help you do what is right also.”

Teaching by Example

Another way we can bring excitement into our devotional time is to share our needs and concerns with our children. As parents we tend to shield our children from anxiety by hiding our problems from them.

For example, in times of financial crises, we are often reluctant to let our children know that there might not be enough money to meet our needs. Or when a parent has a serious illness, she may not share this with her children because she does not want to scare them.

But for some of us it goes even further than this. Some of us consider our difficulties very private, even to the exclusion of our closest family members. To bare these areas would make us vulnerable to scrutiny.

On our “up” days, we could be big and brave. But on our “down” days, some of our real fears might come out. No longer could we be the person who handles all things well. We fear that if we share a little, people may pry more and open up areas that intimidate us.

In addition, we fear that we cannot get away from our problems if others continue to question us about them.

Yet our God lives within the deepest part of our vulnerability and our need. That is where he does his greatest work in our lives. If we do not allow our children into these areas so they can see God work in our lives, we can only tell them about him.

Only as we share some of our deepest needs with them can they see God calm our fears. Only as we share our human frailties with them can they experience with us the God who is sufficient for those needs.

King Jehoshaphat’s Example

Consider the story of the great King Jehoshaphat:

After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat.

Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea. It is already in Hazazon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the LORD; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said:

“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.

O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, `If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.

O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'”

Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD. Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the LORD, the God of Israel, with very loud voice.

Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”

As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value — more than they could take away.

There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, where they praised the LORD. This is why it is called the Valley of Beracah to this day.

Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the LORD had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets.

–2 Chronicles 20:1-28

King Jehoshaphat was afraid. Several nations had joined forces and his nation was being attacked. He could have hid his fear and displayed the front of a brave commander.

But Jehoshaphat did a far greater thing. He called together the nation and let them know about his fear. This great king demonstrated his helplessness in himself and his faith in his God in the presence of his people. He cried out to God: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

According to the passage above, “All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.” Jehoshaphat included the children in this time of prayer so they could see for themselves the mighty work that God would do for them.

Even the children must have been overwhelmed with the seriousness of their plight. And even the youngest must have been touched by the splendor of Jehoshaphat’s faith.

Imagine how the children must have rejoiced when the battle was over, and the men came back to Jerusalem in victory to share how God fought the battle for them. “They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the LORD with harps and lutes and trumpets…”

There are times we must bring our children into our most vulnerable areas so we, as Jehoshaphat, can unleash before them the power of our God through the catalyst of prayer!

Application

There are many ways to teach God’s Word to our children and grandchildren. We’ve discussed only a few. Select a time to read God’s Word each day, and ask God to show you how he wants you to share with your children or grandchildren what you learned in your time alone with God today.

Thought to Remember

We cannot get our children excited about God if we are not excited about him ourselves. The best school for conducting devotions with our children is to first have private devotions ourselves alone with God.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How can I keep family devotions from being boring?
  2. How can I convince my children that God is a reality in my life, and not just someone we talk about?
  3. How can I help my children experience the reality of God for themselves?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

05. The God of Circumstances: Left behind, a mother’s faith

Her son left behind in a far-away land, Samuel’s mother trusted God. Hannah rejoiced in God’s faithfulness with a prayer of praise in sorrow and dark circumstances.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1).

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.” Read her prayer of praise here:

Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
upon them he has set the world.

He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;

those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

–1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah’s Peace in Parting

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.”

How can a mother rejoice when her son is being left behind, far away from her? How can a mother in our day rejoice when her son has chosen a wrong path and she must send him off for rehabilitation with people she has never met to a place she has never seen? How can a mother experience great joy and peace on what would seem to be one of the darkest days of her life?

This is peace that passes understanding. This is unexplainable.

But when a mother knows that she has steadfastly adhered to God’s directions in raising her son; when a mother knows she has planted God’s Word in her son’s heart; when a mother knows she is following God’s leadership now in the placement of her son — In short, when a mother knows God is leading and she is obeying, she also knows that God is honor-bound to keep his word to her.

The fulfillment of the promise now rests on the Lord. What relief! What peace! What anticipation! What joy!

Hannah was able to express a beautiful prayer of joy unto the Lord, because the goal of her life was that she and her child would live for the Lord. Samuel was the child Hannah had longed for, the child she prayed for, the child God gave in answer to her prayers. Next to her husband, Samuel was the fulfillment of her heart’s greatest desire, save one.

Hannah’s Paramount Passion

Save one — Hannah’s #1 supreme desire was to serve God. Samuel was not #1 in her life. Neither was her husband. The #1 position in her life was reserved for her God. We can only produce children that will honor the Lord as we put God in his rightful position in our own lives.

Hannah’s Pleasure in God’s Provision

In the blockquote above, Hannah proclaimed that “It is not by strength that one prevails.” Hannah uses several other paradoxical statements in these verses to proclaim that what we see is not always what we get.

She may have been thinking back to the mocking she had experienced from Peninnah when Peninnah had children and Hannah had none (See Session 4). Hannah probably did not understand the fullness and prophecy of all God said through her in these verses.

But one thing is certain: God is always working behind the scenes in our children’s behalf to accomplish the fruition of the Godly training we have planted in their lives. We may not always see the fulfillment of God’s work in their lives with our own eyes, but we can trust God that the strength of wickedness will not prevail against his completion of what he begins in them through us!

“But,” you may say, “Samuel was at the house of God. Her child was in a Godly environment, so it was easy for her to trust.”

Ah, but read this:

Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD

1 Samuel 2:11-12.

Samuel was thrust into an environment, “young as he was,” with older role models who “had no regard for the Lord.” Yet, in spite of this, Samuel grew to be a man that God could use to minister in his own day, as well as to record part of the Word of God that still speaks to men and women today!

Application

We must allow God to control the circumstances of our children’s lives. We must trust him when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to their developing into men and women of God.

We cannot blame environment, role models, or circumstances. We have the same God today that Hannah had. Let us share him with our children then trust them to him!

Thought to Remember

We must trust God when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to our children’s developing into men and women of God.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How can we rejoice in the hard times?
  2. What if God seems to allow the wrong circumstances or the wrong role models in our children’s lives?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

04. The time God gives: Redeem and release

Hannah redeemed the time with her child then released Samuel to the Lord. She trusted God to go where she could not, and to manage the outcome he desired for her son’s life.

“I give him to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:28).

Hannah Leads

Samuel’s father was a Jew from the tribe of Ephraim. He was a faithful and devout follower of the Lord. However, his wife Hannah was the one who led in the dedication an giving of their son, still a small lad, to serve in the house of the Lord at Shiloh. Read their story here:

[Elkanah] had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s temple. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”

“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”

She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast

Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.”

When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always.”

“Do what seems best to you,” Elkanah her husband told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

–1 Samuel 1:2-28

Hannah did not go against her husband. He gave her his blessing in whatever seemed best to her. Hannah’s husband joined with her in the offering and giving of their son. But Hannah was still the leader in this.

Many times, even in “Christian” homes, mothers have to be the ones to lead in dedication of their children to the Lord. Sometime husbands join, sometimes they don’t.

The Bible never teaches us that we should oppose our husbands in doing what we feel is best for our children Spiritually. But if our husbands do not accept their role as Spiritual leaders, we should provide as much Spiritual leadership for our children as our husbands will permit.

Samuel Learns

“She took the boy with her, young as he was.”

Young as he was, Hannah had already managed to instill into Samuel a love for God and a desire to honor God. No doubt she had taught him he was a promise from God. No doubt she had taught him he was a gift back to God. Young as he was, she taught him he was being raised for the Lord!

Hannah Releases

“I give him to the LORD.” What a lot Hannah said with those words. She gave him to the Lord who first gave Samuel to her. When she said “I give him to the LORD,” she was saying: “I trust God to do the right thing in his life. I trust God to take over his training where I can not go. I accept whatever outcome God brings forth with my son.”

“For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” Again what faith! There was not a hint of fear that Samuel might rebel and refuse to follow the Lord. Hannah had started him out for God. Hannah had trusted God to do what she could not do. Hannah would continue to pray that her Son would live for God. And God would bring it to pass!

Samuel Worships

And he worshipped the Lord there. The boy, “young as he was,” worshipped the Lord. He was being taken from his mother, given to a strange environment where he had never been (see v. 22), yet he worshipped the Lord.

No wonder Hannah could rest assured for her Son’s future. She had taught him to love the Lord his God above everything else and to trust God no matter what. “Young as he was,” he understood enough to worship God even in the face of being taken from his mother and his home.

Application

We may not have a lot of time with our children. Hannah had only the very earliest years of her son’s life. Some parents have only every other weekend or less. Some have their children only a few years until death calls the parent home. Some have them every day, but the influence of another parent in the home threatens to train their children the wrong way.

But if we use the time God does allow us to train our children for him, we, like Hannah, can trust that God will take over where we can not go to see that our children fulfill his promise!

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Thought to Remember

When Hannah said “I give him to the LORD,” she was saying: “I trust God to do the right thing in his life. I trust God to take over his training where I can not go. I accept whatever outcome God brings forth with my son.”

Questions for Discussion

  1. Which parent should lead in the dedication and raising of their children for the Lord?
  2. At what age are our children old enough for us to begin training them in the way they should go?
  3. How much time does it take to raise our children for God?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted