Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.
Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to You. He will be Yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”
As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of Him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow. But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently.” “Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.”
So, she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned. When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine.
After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and He has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there. – 1 Samuel 1:9-28 NLT
This passage takes us into the heart of a wife/women that desires one of the things that most women do, a child. When we look at verse 10, Hannah was deep in anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. We can almost feel her pain in this verse. We can identify that feeling in many situations in our lives.
When we look at the next verse we can see that Hannah made a decision. That she could either carry on the same path, or she can put her wants and desires at God’s feet. Then she made a vow that if God grants her, her hearts desires she would give her son back to the Lord as an offering. Because of her faithfulness the Lord granted her the desires of her heart.
When Samuel was still a boy Hannah fulfilled her vow to God and gave Samuel to the Lord where he lived in the temple with Eli.
Fast forward to a few years later and Samuel grew in favour with the Lord and with the people. And he became Israel’s prophet. It was through Samuel that God anointed David to one day become King of Israel. David defeated Goliath and four more giants during his reign as King of Israel.
None of this would have happened if Hannah’s pain hadn’t brought her closer to God. She decided in a time of testing to choose God’s will for her life, and with doing that the ripple effect of God’s goodness flowing down to her children.
Her decision changed the path of generations that most probably weren’t aware of her sacrifices. It only takes one person to make one decision that will have an impact on generations to come.