December 22, 2020
1 Samuel 1:19-28
Rev. Rusty Taylor
Congregational Development and Revitalization
Smoky Mountain District
1 Samuel 1:19-2819 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”
21 The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite[a] for all time.”[b] 23 Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.”[c] So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull,[d] an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”
She left him there for[e] the Lord.
DevotionThe book of First Samuel records the transition in Israel from the period of the judges to the monarchy. This period was defined by three men: Samuel, the last of the great judges; Saul, Israel’s first king; and David, who became famous early in his life and ultimately became king.
The Old Testament reading for today is about Samuel’s birth and dedication. Hannah, his mother, asked the Lord for him. When her husband, Elkanah, was planning the yearly trip to Shiloh to offer his sacrifice to God, Hannah did not go. She told Elkanah that when Samuel was weaned she would take him to the house of the Lord, where he would stay all his life.
When Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him to Shiloh along with a three-year-old bull, a bushel of flour, and a leather bag full of wine. There they offered the gifts they had brought as a sacrifice to the Lord. Hannah said to Eli, the priest, “I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to the Lord. I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for. So, I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he will belong to the Lord.”
It is fascinating to consider the similarities between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Samuel was born some 1000 years before Jesus. Hannah, his mother, dedicated him to the Lord the same way Mary dedicated Jesus to the Lord.
Think about it: 50 generations before the birth of Jesus a mother named Hannah dedicated her baby to God. As long as Samuel lived, he belonged to the Lord. Isn’t that what we wish for everyone? That, as long as we live, we would know that we belong to the Lord. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus may we be reminded that God wants us to know, before anything else, that we belong to Him! That is Good News!!!