“And Hannah was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly. She vowed, saying, O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid and earnestly remember, and not forget Your handmaid but will give me a son, I will give him to the Lord all his life, no razor shall touch his head. (I Samuel 1:10-11)
Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved but her voice was heard. So Eli though she was drunk. Eli said to her, How long will you be intoxicated? Put wine away from you.” (I Samuel 13-14)
Eli said Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him. Hannah said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So she went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad.” (I Samuel 1:17-18)
Hannah was in a tough situation. Her husband had another wife who had several children while she had none. She had her husband’s heart though. The other wife’s name was Peninnah. To say that these two women didn’t like each other is an understatement! It was a great shame and embarrassment for a woman to have no children and Peninnah took full advantage of Hannah’s pain in this area. The Bible says she “vexed” her and “provoked” her.
Year after childless year Hannah endured the torment of her rival. Finally she had enough. She took her case to the Most High God at the temple in Shiloh! She poured it all out to the Lord that day. She was in such distress the priest thought she was drunk! Not drunk–just at the end of her rope.
The Lord answered right there through Eli the priest by telling her to “go in peace.” And she did just that. She left it ALL at the feet of the One who makes a way where there is NO way. She was powerless to have children in her own strength. If the Lord didn’t do it for her, it just wouldn’t happen.
This wasn’t just an ordinary prayer folks. Hannah gave an offering–an offering of FAITH. She specifically asked Him for a son and she immediately GAVE that son back to the Lord to serve Him all his life. That is FAITH people. The priest blessed her and she took that as a YES and left there full of faith that she would have a son to bring back to the Lord in due time. Guess what? That is exactly what happened.
She kept her end of the bargain. After her son Samuel was weaned, she brought Him straight to the temple and left him there to minister to the Lord. Samuel was one of the greatest judges and prophets in Israel. He served the Lord all the days of his life. Just as his mother said he would.
And because Hannah did this, the Lord opened her womb and she had five more children after Samuel! God truly is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hannah gave God an offering she did not have yet. An offering of faith is one of the most precious offerings that the Lord receives. Why? Because it comes so rarely. He gets so excited when His children exercise their faith!
What can we do in today’s world to give an offering of faith? One way is to tithe off of the amount of money you are believing God to provide for you. You can be like Hannah and give the child you are believing for. Faith is acting like you already have the answer. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the endless possibilities of FAITH!