God’s Renewing Word of Promise
1 Samuel 1:19-28: Hannah gives birth to a son and names him Samuel which, in Hebrew, means “name of God.” As used in today’s reading, the name also relates to the Hebrew verb for “ask”—Hannah has received from God the child for whom she had asked. After Samuel has been weaned, Hannah brings him to Shiloh to be dedicated to the LORD, in fulfillment of the promise she had made.
Samuel’s Birth and Dedication
19The next morning Elkanah and his family got up early, and after worshiping the Lord, they went back home to Ramah. Elkanah had intercourse with his wife Hannah, and the Lord answered her prayer. 20So it was that she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, and explained, “I asked the Lord for him.”
21The time came again for Elkanah and his family to go to Shiloh and offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and the special sacrifice he had promised. 22But this time Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will take him to the house of the Lord, where he will stay all his life.”
23Elkanah answered, “All right, do whatever you think best; stay at home until you have weaned him. And may the Lord make your promise come true.” So Hannah stayed at home and nursed her child.
24After she had weaned him, she took him to Shiloh, taking along a three-year-old bull, a bushel of flour, and a leather bag full of wine. She took Samuel, young as he was, to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25After they had killed the bull, they took the child to Eli. 26Hannah said to him, “Excuse me, sir. Do you remember me? I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to the Lord. 27I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for. 28So I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he will belong to the Lord.”
Then they worshiped the Lord there.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Samuel 1:28a
[Hannah said:] “I am dedicating him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he will belong to the LORD.”
As a sign of dedication to the LORD, Hannah promised that her son’s hair would never be cut (1:11). This was in keeping with a vow to be dedicated as a nazirite, a word in Hebrew that means “to separate.” Nazirites were people who dedicated themselves to being ritually clean and serving God (see Numbers 6:1-8). Imagine yourself in Hannah’s place. What thoughts might she have had when surrendering her long-awaited child to serve God?
Faithful and loving God, I dedicate myself to worshiping and praising you for all your blessings to me. Order my steps this day so that all I do and say is pleasing in your sight. In your holy name I pray. Amen.
1 Samuel 2:1-11: Hannah offers a prayer of thanksgiving.