Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Samuel

First Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter One


The biblical narrative about war and rebuilding starts with the home of a baby boy. So does the book of Exodus. That earlier part of the Bible shows the beginnings of the Hebrew nation. Under girding each of these books rests the ways of the Lord. His way of building up a nation, or of rebuilding, calls for a mighty leader, a man of faith. In the development of such a leader, God begins with the family, for the home of God's future leader is the most important place on earth.

There exists, in these volatile days, a tremendous shortage or dearth of leaders at the church, governmental and home levels. The reason may be that we have neglected Christian nurture and admonition in the home. Today there is a tremendous 'push' from the conservative corner, to strengthen the family, Authors, preachers, teachers, and conference speaker-, have jumped on the Family Conference bandwagon. Certainly the need is great, what is the answer?










The faithfulness and prayerfulness of Hannah is often used as an example of a model mother. With all this attention given to Hannah, the character of Elkanah, Samuel's father, is often overlooked. Elkanah exhibited a number of noble characteristics. First of all, he showed a deep compassion and concern for his wife; Hannah had an unpleasant burden to bare (vs. 5). Secondly, he was very faithful to the Lord (vs. 7,21) "year by year". Lastly, he was concerned about his wife keeping her vow to God (vs. 23).



Here we can see why it is good for a man to marry... but not more than one woman at a time. The competition at home appears, from the text, to have been intense. Peninnah is called Hannah's "adversary" (vs. 6). The verse tells us that Peninnah intentionally provoked Hannah to Jealousy. Hannah was barren, her situation was similar to that of Sarah, Elizabeth, Rachel and the mother of Samson. Peninnah was so successful in her attempts to chide and upset Hannah, that she could not even eat (vs. 7). The scriptures tell us that Hannah became very bitter (Heb. 12:15) ... and I suppose we all do at times The procedure she followed at this point is what is so commendable. She went to the Lord with the problem and complained to him. After all her problem (infertility) could not be dealt with from the human standpoint. Only God could intervene, He's the one that needed to know, and He is the only one that could do anything about the situation.



"...If thou wilt ... then I will give..." Oft spoken words. "God, let's make a deal." "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." (Ecc. 5:4,5). Hannah God tells that if He will give her a baby, that she will give him "unto the Lord all the days of his life." The vow appears to refer to giving the child to the Lord as a Nazarite (Num. 6:1-6). Vows are made to be kept, see (Judg. 11:30); it is serious business with God.

It is obvious in the narrative that Hannah had every intention to keep her part of the vow. What may even be more striking is the attitude that she has when she finishes her praying. In verse 18 "...the woman went her way and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad." Hannah was satisfied with the airing of her complaint and left the burden with the Lord. She leaves with confidence that God will hear and answer her prayer.


The chapter shows us the importance of raising our children in a proper and godly atmosphere Samuel had a lot going for him. First of all, he was born into a home with a spiritual father at the helm. Secondly, his mother was a praying woman, indeed concerned about the welfare of her offspring. Thirdly, Samuel had a man of God who was concerned about his spiritual welfare and future calling, Eli.

Note (vs. 19), immediately following Hannah's prayer of supplication and her vow to the Lord, the scripture says, "...and they rose up ... and worshipped before the Lord..." Immediately we read "...and the Lord remembered her."

Hannah was a woman of character, a woman of her word. Even in the naming of the child, she was mindful of the grace of God that had answered her prayer ... Samuel..."ask of God." As her husband leaves to go up to worship, Hannah expresses her intention of fulfilling her commitment to Samuel as a mother ("until the child be weaned"). Elkanah concerned that Hannah may be showing signs of backing down from her promise, reminds her that the vow will be kept ... "only the Lord establish his word." According to the law, if the husband or father of a woman was knowledgeable of his wife/daughter's vow, he was responsible for seeing that she kept it. See (Num. 30:1-16).



At this time the House of God was in Shiloh. The temple had not yet been built (1 Kings 8). According to (Judg. 21:19), Shiloh was to the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes from Bethel to Shechem and south of Lebanon. See (Josh. 18:1; Judg. 18:31). It would appear that Shiloh was destroyed by the Philistines; we find the priest's of Eli's house at Nob, where they were massacred at Saul's order, (1 Sam. 23:11) and following. See also (Psa. 78:60; Judg. 7:12-14; 26:6; Josh. 24:29-33).

Hannah keeps her promise, she takes the necessary items with her to present Samuel to the Lord. She acknowledges God's answer to prayer, she gives the child for service to the Lord, and worships him. What an example of spirituality and godly concern. How we should be concerned that more important than anything we should be concerned that our children grow up to serve God in exactly the area and position God has called them to. "I have lent him to the Lord." The Lord never takes from us without giving to us a bountiful return. She never lost a thing by giving Samuel to the Lord, only eternity will reveal what she gained!

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