Summary: When You Give Your Child Back to God You Commit to Raise Your Kids God’s Way. Your children are not your toys to play with and enjoy life with. They belong to God and when you give your child back to God.
Opening illustration: Have you ever given your children back to God? Some of you may be thinking – why should I? This kid is mine and I have the sole ownership – if you don’t believe it, I’ll show you their ‘Birth Certificate.’ It has my name on it to prove that I am the parent. Well I always thought it meant owner. Something like having the title of the car you own. My spouse and I took a lot of effort in producing this kid as well as raising him / her up. (Well some of you may be thinking, “I’d like to give them back - but I didn’t think God would take them back. I thought He had a ‘no return’ policy on kids! Besides, I lost the receipt!”) The truth is, there is not a parent here who hasn’t had a few moments or days when they wouldn’t have liked to package up that kid and take him / her back to God’s customer service counter and demand, “I want my money back!” [v. 11 Hannah: Challenged God to give her a son & she would return him back....]
Introduction & Background: We read about an account of Elkanah and his two wives, Peninnah and Hannah, 1Sa_1:1, 1Sa_1:2. His annual worship at Shiloh and the portions he gave at such times to his wives, 1Sa_1:3-5. Hannah, being barren, is reproached by Peninnah, especially in their going up to Shiloh; at which she is sorely grieved, 1Sa_1:6, 1Sa_1:7. Elkanah comforts her, 1Sa_1:8. Her prayer and vow in the temple, that if God would give her a son, she would consecrate him to His service, 1Sa_1:9-11. Eli, the high priest, indistinctly hearing her pray, charges her with being drunk, 1Sa_1:12-14. Her defense of her conduct, 1Sa_1:15, 1Sa_1:16. Eli, undeceived, blesses her; on which she takes courage, 1Sa_1:17, 1Sa_1:18. Hannah and Elkanah return home; she conceives, bears a son, and calls him Samuel, 1Sa_1:19, 1Sa_1:20. Elkanah and his family go again to Shiloh to worship; but Hannah stays at home to nurse her child, purposing, as soon as he is weaned, to go and offer him to the Lord, according to her vow, 1Sa_1:21-23. When weaned, she takes him to Shiloh, presents hear child to Eli to be consecrated to the Lord, and offers three bullocks, an ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, for his consecration, 1Sa_1:24-28.
What does it take to release your ownership?
1. Preparing for Dedication (vs. 24 – 25):
(a) Weaning: “To wean” in English Versions of the Bible is always the translation of (גּמל, gāmal), but gāmal has a much wider force than merely “to wean,” signifying “to deal fully with,” as in Psa_13:6, etc. Hence, as applied to a child, gāmal covers the whole period of nursing and care until the weaning is complete (1Ki_11:20). This period in ancient Israel extended to about 3 years, and when it was finished the child was mature enough to be entrusted to strangers (1Sa_1:24). And, as the completion of the period marked the end of the most critical stage of the child’s life, it was celebrated with a feast (Gen_21:8), a custom still observed in the Orient. The weaned child, no longer fretting for the breast and satisfied with its mother’s affection, is used in Psa_131:2 as a figure for Israel’s contentment with God’s care, despite the smallness of earthly possessions. In Isa_28:9 there is an ironical question, ’Is God to teach you knowledge as if you were children? You should have learned His will long ago!’