1 Samuel 1 -2
Hannah was a woman of strength, faith, and persistence. Although her husband loved her as his favorite, he could not understand why he was not enough for her. For most women wanting a baby and not being able to conceive is complicated and frustrating and leaves a hole in their hearts. I can see where you don’t feel complete and a piece of your life is missing. Add to the mix her husband’s other wife, who repeatedly made her feel worse for not being able to have a child. When I think of Hannah, I think of someone who prays a never-ending prayer. Hers was that she could bear a child. She bore a son named Samuel, the last judge of Israel.
When Hannah went to the temple at night and prayed, she seemed to bargain with God. She said she would dedicate him to God. How many times have we bargained and prayed in hopes of getting what we wanted? How many times did we follow through as we promised him? Eli thought because her prayers were so passionate, she was drunk and then rebuked her. She told Eli why she was praying, and the narrative between the two changed. Eli blessed her and told her to go in peace, and the God of Israel will grant her petition. The sudden peace she must have felt allowed her to be happy. However, was Hannah’s prayer bargaining? Or was it a vow? Four times in the Old Testament, a vow made to the lord was made with free will.
Perhaps this was Hannah surrendering to God by giving him the most precious thing to her. She had attained a peace she previously had not known. For us to surrender to God, we can have that same joy knowing that God can satisfy our deepest needs.
Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, went with Hannah to the dedication. Her husband supported her, and she did not have to leave Samuel with Eli all by herself. She saw him yearly and was proud of him. She knew he would be great.
What are your thoughts on bargaining vs. vow?