ESOCS Devotional 1 April 2023
MEMORY VERSE: “Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young.” 1 Samuel 1:24
TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 1:21–28
21 And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow.
22 But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there as long as he lives.
23 Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may the Lord establish His word. So Hannah remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.
24 When she had [a]weaned him, she took him with her, with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin bottle of wine [to pour over the burnt offering for a sweet odor], and brought Samuel to the Lord’s house in Shiloh. The child was growing.
25 Then they slew the bull, and brought the child to Eli.
26 Hannah said, Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here praying to the Lord.
27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition made to Him.
28 Therefore I have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is given to the Lord. And they worshiped the Lord there.
Life is full of challenges. In time of great need and pressure, many people slip into desperation and can in that state do anything. Sometimes it may just be a “simple” lie to come out of a tight corner or a commitment that is made without thinking. Some can go to the extent of doing things that border on criminality. The bottom line is that no one wants to remain in a bad situation and everyone will do all he can to come out of an undesirable situation.
Christians too are exposed to the issues of life. From time to time, they come into places where they face serious challenges. They, like other people have needs and great pressures. One of the things we do in trying to get God’s attention or in trying to get Him to answer our prayers is to make vows. A vow is a solemn promise. It is a sacred promise and like a covenant should be handled with all seriousness and should not be broken. It requires that those who make vows keep faith with God and fulfill their promise; for God takes vows seriously and always holds people to their vows (Deut. 23: 21 – 23).
Jephthah understood this and in spite of his loss and pain did as he vowed. He had promised God to sacrifice to Him whatever comes out of his house to meet him if he returned in peace from battle with the children of Ammon. In keeping with this vow, he had to sacrifice his daughter. Hannah in her sorrow of heart and in her desperation to have a child and come out of mockery promised to give back to God for His service the son she is praying for. We see Hannah in this scripture display complete faithfulness to God in keeping the promise she made. For when the child was weaned, she brought the child to Eli she said, “For this child I prayed and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord, as long as he liveth, he shall be lent to the Lord.”
Every child of God should learn the sacredness of vows. No one should say to the Lord what he will not do. We should learn to honor God and give Him that which we have vowed.
- Do you have an unfulfilled vow?
- Why couldn’t you fulfill it?
- Lord, give us the grace to be faithful to you and the heart to do all we have promised.
FURTHER READING: 2 Samuel 16:1-end; Jeremiah 29:1-14; Matthew 5:43-end; 25:31-end
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ESOCS Devotional 1 April 2023