This week, leading up to Mother’s Day, we are looking at Seven Magnificent Mothers from scripture who exhibited characteristics to be admired, imitated, and praised.
Magnificent Mother #3: The Promise-Keeper
Our third “Magnificent Mother” is one I will call “The Promise-Keeper”. We find her story in the first chapter of I Samuel. Her name is Hannah – one of Elkanah’s two wives. And when we are first introduced to her, we find that she is barren – unable to have children. Hannah’s barrenness is especially painful, because Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, is little miss “Fertile Myrtle”, and she taunts and belittles Hannah for not being able to have children.
So Hannah goes to the Tabernacle to pray, and Scripture tells us that she “was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord” (I Samuel 1:10). In fact, she weeps so bitterly that Eli the priest overhears her and thinks she is drunk. She pours her heart out to the Lord and promises that if God would grant her a son, she would return that son to the Lord. Eli then asks the Lord that He would grant Hannah’s request, and Samuel is born.
How often do we make “deals” with God and never keep up our end of the bargain. “God, if you’ll just help me do thus-and-so…” “Lord, if you’ll help me out with this one thing…” “Jesus, if I could just have this…”
It would have been easy for Hannah to justify to herself that “it would be better for the boy to be with his mother,” or “God wouldn’t really expect me to give up my son.” But she didn’t make any excuses. Once the boy Samuel was weaned, she brought him back to Eli and dedicated him to the Lord, leaving him there with the priest to be trained. God gave Hannah a great gift – the gift of motherhood, and Hannah the Promise-Keeper honored her commitment to God.
~ Matt Kinnell,
NHIM Board Chair