OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew

     Hannah is introduced to us in the first chapter of First Samuel.  She was one of the two wives of Elkanah, the Ephrathite (I Sam. 1:1-2).  She was dearly loved by her husband, but Hannah had no true joy because she had no children.  This barren state eventually came to an end.  When it ceased, Hannah demonstrated that she was a mother worthy of being followed by future mothers.  What made Hannah a great mother?  This is the subject of the lines that follow.

     First, Hannah was a great mother because she desired to have children.  Hannah’s desire for children was expressed both in her sorrow and in her prayer to God for a child.  “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.  And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt in deed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (I Sam. 1:10-11).  Desire is the expression of a want or a longing.  Hannah longed for a child.  Such is not the case with some mothers today.  They have children, but they do not want them.  They have them because of their irresponsible sexual relationships.  They have them out of a sense of duty.  They have them to reap the benefits of the social welfare system.  Their lack of desire for their children, however, is evident in the way they rear their children.  Their children are viewed as baggage instead of blessings.  They are seen as a curse instead of a source of comfort.  A good mother, like Hannah, desires her children.  A word to the wise:  “If you do not want children, please do not have them!”

     Second, Hannah was a great mother because she provided her children with nourishment and care.  God blessed Hannah with a son whom she named Samuel (I Sam. 1:20).  Hannah did not neglect this child’s physical needs.  “So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him” (I Sam. 1:23b).  Hannah knew her son was totally dependent upon her.  He did not go hungry.  He did not go unattended for hours at a time.  He was not left in soiled clothes.  He did not go unwashed day after day.  He did not suffer through sicknesses unattended.  Even when Samuel was taken to the temple, his mother continued to show her care for him.  “Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice” (I Sam. 2:19).  Most mothers do well in the care of their children.  Some, however, would do well to consider Hannah and follow in her footsteps.

     Third, Hannah was a great mother because she was willing to give her child to the Lord.  In her prayer to God for a child, she made this promise:  “…then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…” (I Sam. 1:11).  When the child was weaned, Hannah followed through with her commitment.  She brought him to the house of the Lord inShiloh, and spake unto the high priest, saying:  “O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.  For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:  therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.  And he worshiped the Lord there” (I Sam. 1:26-28).  Hannah’s actions involved a physical separation from her son.  This will not be the case when mothers of today dedicate their children to the Lord.  Giving their children to the Lord will involve rearing them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Bible stories, daily devotionals, prayers, and regular attendance of all worship services will be part of their children’s normal routine.  Their children will come to know the God who gave them life.  They will know the One to whom they can turn in time of trouble.  They will be aware of the redemption the God of heaven has provided for them when they sin.  They will be prepared for death and life in the world to come.

     Hannah was a great mother.  She desired children.  She properly nourished and cared for her children.  She reared her children to know the true and living God.  All mothers can follow her example.  It is a joy to see mothers walking in Hannah’s footsteps.  These mothers will be blessed in this life and in the life to come.  To all “great” mothers:  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!