Hannah “made a vow and said, “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 son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11 NASB)

Hannah’s cry to the LORD did not go unheeded. She was barren and her rival Peninnah provoked her to jealousy having conceived many times and bore children for Elkanah her husband. This was no small matter for Hannah. At first she did what many would have done in her condition…She put on a good face; continuing to carry out her wifely and religious duties. But the social and religious implications for her during that time was that a woman married without having children was considered under a curse.


Hannah, as often is the case, tried to project the cause of her barrenness onto her husband (as if he was God the Source of life). Elkanah loved Hannah his wife but understood that God alone makes life. In faith, he continued to be faithful to Hannah his wife and honor God by leading the way in worship and devotion.


During this time, whispers began to circulate regarding the ungodly behavior of the high priest Eli’s sons. It became known that they did not honor God or His house. They further despised the LORD God’s protocol for priestly service and sacrifices. Eli was aware of his sons’ ungodly and unrighteous behavior but rather made a choice to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear. At this point,the scriptures give a turn of phrase that are full of significance, “And the word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent. It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well, and the lamp of God had not yet gone out”(1 Samuel 3:1b-3a NASB).


Little did Hannah know that in the providence of the LORD that her contradiction of suffering would be used to bring forth a weapon for the day of battle.  Hannah’s momentary affliction and shame did not lead her away from the LORD God but rather it caused her to run into His loving and faithful arms. She dared to believe that God is “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 11:6). As she continued to go to the house of God and cry out for a child, promising to dedicate the child to the LORD when He answered, she was heard on high. God not only answered her prayer but she discovered that the gift of a child was an answer as it were to God’s need. The LORD God gave Hannah not just a child but a malechild, one whom she named Samuel–a prophet.


The scriptures reveal that God raised up prophets for times of moral or spiritual crisis. In Samuel’s day when the lamp of God’s light was so dim and there was rarely a true revelatory word from the LORD, it required a direct divine intervention. Only by the word of the LORD could God’s people find their way back to God. This was the unique task of the prophet. The prophet was called by God to stand before Him. He stood in the presence of God BEFORE he stood before the people of God. In a day when many are self-styled and self-proclaimed “prophets”, let us examine them (first) by this test…Do they enjoy the public place before people more than they enjoy the private place before God? When the private, alone place with God is secured then the public place can be safely honored. It is interesting to note from the Hebrew scriptures how many men were first faithful priests before they were called to their office of the prophet. The priest understood that their primary task was not to people and things but rather they were called to “minister unto the LORD”. Priests who know how to minister to the Lord are best qualified to become God’s mouthpiece. The prophet must share God’s unique perspective before He could be trusted to communicate God’s heart to His people (and sometimes nations). Furthermore, the true prophet stood in the gap (through prayer & intercession) on behalf of God’s people in order that they might fulfill their divine Purpose.


Hannah made a vow and said, “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 son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11 NASB). Perhaps this was the secret of the grace upon Samuel’s life. SAMUEL was dedicated to the LORD while a young child. He learned to bear the yoke of love and obedience , abiding in His presence. While a young boy he would be joined to the LORD for His future plans for His people. We read of the results of him becoming acquainted with God’s voice and vision, “Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD”(1 Samuel 3:19-20 NASB). Samuel ministered God’s word faithfully to His people and would ultimately assist the LORD God by anointing kings. All of this was made possible because a barren woman, named Hannah, dared to believe and ask God for a child who would serve the LORD God all the days of his life. Her faith was not only rewarded by God by giving natural birth but she gave birth to spiritual revelation and insight in the ways of the LORD God for all times.

“The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, And He set the world on them. “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. “Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:7-10 NASB)


(c) Copyright 2013. Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com


%d bloggers like this: