Today’s devotional is based on the beautiful story of Hannah and Samuel, it focuses on what led to Samuel becoming the man we know God used.
God used Samuel greatly, to anoint the first king of Israel named Saul, and then David. Samuel was someone who lived not only knowing God's will, but doing God's will for his life, becoming Eli's successor to the priesthood.
If you read Hebrews 11, you will find his name among the heroes of the faith, among the great men that God was pleased to write down for us to know.
But the question today is, what was it that led this boy named Samuel to be great? What was it that led him to be used by God in an incredible way? –The dedication that a mother and father had for God.
Nobody becomes great by a miracle. Successful people tend to reach very high marks, thanks to the help of the people who invested in them or lived around them.
There is a very famous saying: “Behind every great man is a woman supporting him.”
In life there are no “Lone Rangers”, or great men on their own: even the Lone Ranger had a sidekick, Tonto.
Today, I would like to take a look at what influenced the development in Samuel's life to lead him to be the man that God greatly used.
I Samuel 1:10-11 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 indeed 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.
Elkanah and Hannah were parents committed to God. They were parents who did not play around with the things of God; they were parents who understood that the things of God were the best for their lives, and of course, for their children's.
Proverbs 22: 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Did you know that whatever is important to you, will be what instructs your son or daughter on their way.
• If you live for money, you will instruct your child that the most important thing in life is money.
• If you live for sports, you will instruct your child that the most important thing in life is sports.
• If you live for material things, you will instruct your child that the most important thing in life is materialism.
• If you live for sin, you will instruct your child that the most important thing in life is to sin.
• But if you live for God, you will instruct your child that the most important thing in life is to serve God.
1 Samuel 1:12-15 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
Here we find a mother who prayed and, with a load in her heart, asked God to give her a son.
Do you know what led Samuel to be great? The burden of a mother and a father.
I've always said burdens give us the push to really pray to God.
• When a child is in the world, the burden of the parents will make that child return to God.
• When a child turns away from God, the burden of the parents will make that child return to God.
• When a child is faithful to God, the burden will make that child remain faithful to God.
• When you have someone sick, the burden for God to heal them will bring them closer to God.
• When you have relatives or friends who are not saved, the burden for them in prayer will cause God to pity them so that they come to His feet.
Burdens are good, but they are also heavy. However, they are always heard by God.
1 Samuel 1:20-24 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
Samuel's greatness was not only the result of his parents’ commitment to God, and a burden that God would do something through him, but also the responsibility of being faithful to the house of God.
Hannah brought her child to the house of God and she left him there.
The house of God is where a child will be taught the Word of God. The stories, the truths, and the principles of God will be instilled through the Sunday school.
In the house of God, a child will be helped to mature and taught to respect.
In the house of God, a child will be taught that the most important need for a life full of peace and joy, is the fear of the Lord.
Church was a key component of the development of Samuel.
1 Timothy 3:14-15 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The decision of identity determines the direction and end of our conversation or lifestyle.
What if we had to have church in your house? What kind of sanctuary would your home make?