Background: Every year Elkanah and his whole family took a sacrifice to the Temple and paid their vows and offerings to God, but after Samuel ‘s birth, Hannah didn’t go. Instead she promised her husband that, as soon as she had weaned the child, she would take him into God’s presence, leaving him in the Temple to pay her vow and offer him back to God forever.
When that time came, Hannah did just as she'd said. Filling a wineskin with wine and taking grain for bread, she brought her son to Eli the priest, reminding him how she had prayed for this child and God heard.
Then Hannah left her child with Eli.
She left him in the house of the LORD.
As promised, she gave her son to God forever.
She gave him as a present
in the presence of the LORD.
And Hannah praised God and prayed,
“My heart lifts up the LORD
for the LORD has lifted me.
I could speak ill of my enemies,
but I give word to the joy
of God’s salvation.
No one is holy but the LORD.
No one is sure and steady as our God.
Let’s not speak of our own pride,
nor let arrogance come from our mouths,
for the LORD our God would know
and weigh our actions.
The weapons of the mighty have been broken,
but we who are weaker rely on God’s strength.
Those who were full have sold themselves
for bread, but those who were hungry
have been filled.
The barren woman bears seven sons,
while the one with many children becomes
The LORD takes life and brings life.
The LORD brings us low and raises us up.
The LORD makes us poor or rich.
The LORD lets us go low then lifts us.
God raises the poor from the dust.
God lifts the needy from a burn pile
and gives them a place with the prince –
gives them a seat of honor.
For the LORD upholds the pillars of the earth
and sets in place the whole world.
God guards the feet of the faithful
but cuts the light where the wicked walk,
so, without God, no mighty ones will prevail.
The enemies of the LORD break into pieces
at the mere sound of thunder.
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth
but give strength to the leaders
whom God exalts and anoints."
Post Script: Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, and the boy stayed behind to minister to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest. While Samuel was still a child, God began to speak to him, and when he became an adult, he returned to his hometown of Ramah as a prophet, anointed by God.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase of today’s Daily Bible Reading in 1 Samuel 1:21-2:11.
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