She named him Samuel, meaning ‘God has heard’

FAITH & REFLECTION -- A math teacher asked her class, "Suppose your mother baked a pie, and there are six of you...

FAITH & REFLECTION — A math teacher asked her class, “Suppose your mother baked a pie, and there are six of you; your mother, your father and four children. What percentage of the pie, would you get?”

One boy replied, “One fifth.” The teacher responded crisply, “I’m afraid you don’t know your math very well! Remember now, there are 6 of you.”

The boy responded politely, “I know, but you don’t know my mother very well. She would say she didn’t want any pie, so that each of us could have more.”

The humorous account reminds us that mothers are often known to be sacrificial and concerned about their children’s needs more than their own. The Old Testament shares an account of just such a mother.

The lady’s name was Hannah. More than anything, she wanted a son. She loved her husband, and he loved her, but she remained barren. She brought her burden repeatedly and fervently to God in prayer. Finally, she vowed to God that if He would give her a son, she would, “…dedicate him to the LORD all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11).

God answered her prayer and gave her a son. Recognizing that this son was a gift from God, she named him Samuel, meaning “God has heard”.

Hannah’s vow was an extreme one, but she did not renege on it. When Samuel was weaned (possibly 2 – 3 years old) she delivered him to the priest for lifelong service to God. Though she would only see Samuel once a year from that time onward, in unswerving faithfulness to her vow she said, “I prayed for this boy, and the LORD has given me the request that I asked of Him…from this time on he is dedicated to the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:27, 28).

Hannah had given herself to God long before she gave Samuel to Him. Because of this, not only did she believe in God, but she believed that He would honor her vow, and He would answer her prayer. She recognized that Samuel was a gift from God, and then, while it may have been the most difficult thing that she had ever done, she gave her son back to God and to His service. (If you read on, you will find that Samuel became a great man of God)

Hannah never lamented giving her son to God; quite the contrary. 1 Samuel 2:1,2 records Hannah’s worshipful prayer to God. In sincere devotion she exclaimed, “My heart rejoices in the Lord…I rejoice in His salvation…there is no rock like our God.” Hannah, as a godly mother, recognized that what is given to God can never be truly lost and what is withheld from Him, can never be truly kept.

Happy Mother’s Day!