Summary: The Bible is full of examples of godly mothers. Hannah is one such. She was committed to God, to her husband, and to her children.
A Mother’s Commitment
Here we are again--another Mother’s Day. Time to extol the virtuous role of motherhood. Where do we look for our role models? Hopefully, we need look no further than our own family. But alas, not all mothers are good role models. What with abortion of demand, divorce, desertion, out of wedlock parenting, etc., the modern mom is not very appealing. So where should we look? I have an idea. What about the Scriptures?
There are lots of examples of godly mothers in the Bible--women who learned the happy secret of trusting God. Hannah was one such person.
The context for our scripture passage is this: God’s people were living in troubled times. Sound familiar? They needed a man who would give them a new glimpse of God’s power and presence. And as He so often does, God began to provide that man by a mother’s commitment. If it had not been for Hannah’s commitment, we would never had a prophet like Samuel. So, let’s examine this godly woman. I see three outstanding qualities that she possessed.
I. HANNAH WAS COMMITTED TO GOD
Hannah was godly before she was a mother. In fact, before she was a wife, she worshipped God. He was first in her life. Family responsibilities did not detract from her godliness. She prioritized and as a result, God’s will remained central for her.
Godliness begins and ends with putting God first in our lives. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” “These thing” don’t just refer to material needs but to success as a wife, mother, dad, husband, whatever. Who’s first in your life? If anyone or anything comes before God, we are guilty of a form of idolatry.
Hannah believed in prayer--open, honest communication with God. Look at verse 10: “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much an prayed to the Lord.” Her prayer was earnest and sincere, and she linked herself to God by a difficult vow (vs11). Even when she was openly criticized and falsely accused by the priest on duty who mistook her deeply felt prayer for drunkenness, she didn’t become defensive. She was polite and vulnerable, but persuasive.
Hannah held a vital, personal, first-name basis of relationship with God. Nothing could move her away from that commitment.
II. HANNAH WAS COMMITTED TO HER HUSBAND
Before she was a mother, she was a loving, obedient wife. She did this in difficult circumstances. How so? Well, she was not her husband’s only wife (1:2). And she had not yet been able to conceive (1:2). And as if this was not enough, she was criticized and ridiculed by her sister-wife (1:6).
But she refused to snitch even when her husband asked her the reason for her sadness (1:8). Instead, she forgave the other wife, committed herself in unselfish love to her husband Elkanah, and prayed to God. She poured out her grief before the Lord and not bitterness upon the others in her household.
III. HANNAH WAS COMMITTED TO HER CHILDREN
The family came late and she was undoubtedly tempted to cling to the first, especially because of this, but she wanted the best for them, and that meant obedience to God’s will and to her vow.
She named her first child, “Samuel,” which means, “heard of God” (1:20).
She provided early spiritual training, until formal “weaning” (physical and emotional) was completed. This weaning took place until the child was seven or eight years of age.
She made the spiritual sacrifice of bringing him to the house of the Lord, “while the child was young” (1:24).
Near a church in Kansas, there can be seen in a cement sidewalk the prints of two baby feet with the toes pointing toward the church. It was said that many years ago, when the sidewalk was being laid, a mother secured permission to stand her baby boy on the wet cement. The tracks are seen today plainly. The mother had wanted her little boy to start aright. And so did Hannah.
Hannah joyfully relinquished Samuel to the Lord, and sang a powerful hymn of praise about her faith (2:1-10). Hannah gave her boy to the Lord--not to business, not to society, not even to her country. She gave him to God! Many great men and women of God are serving Christ today not because of their great talent or ability, but because they had a mother who gave them to God.
Hannah was given glorious fulfillment--5 more children (2:21).
She continued to minister in prayer and care for Samuel, seeing him every year with a new garment and assurance of her continual commitment.
Napoleon once said, “Let France have good mother and she will have good sons.” Today, more than ever, we need mothers of character, mothers who will nurture their children in the ways of God. The godly mother is the key to a godly home and a godly nation.