Tuesday

23 November 2021

1 Samuel 1:21-28

'For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.' (v. 27)

Psalm 42

Background

I promise … I promise I’ll try harder. I promise I’ll stop doing that. I promise I’ll diet and lose weight. I promise I’ll go for a walk each day, use the stairs instead of the lift, be more patient and understanding, be tidier, more organised … I promise! We set out with good intentions and want to keep our word, but so frequently we give up or forget what we promised in the first place.

Yesterday we heard how Hannah got her heart's desire in the shape of her son Samuel and towards the end of that reading we see the words "and the Lord remembered her." (1 Samuel 1:19)

God had heard her deep desire and through Hannah set a plan in place which would ultimately, many generations later, change the world for ever. But, for now, we have a mother with her child keeping the promise she had made that when the baby was weaned he would be given over to the service of God. (1 Samuel 1:22b)

Children were weaned at a much later age than modern children. They would have been toddlers at least before they were weaned fully on solid foods alone – Hannah was not handing over a babe in arms to Eli the priest! She was passing over her much loved, treasured and longed for young son. It must have been a very hard promise to keep – to give away, to God, something so precious to her. But Hannah had promised God that it would be so and so it was.

It is often too easy for us to forget or change our minds when it suits us. Keeping a promise may cost us dearly, but the end result is feeling we have done the right thing. Others also will see we have done the right thing and God will know we have done the right thing.

To Ponder:

  • Have you ever made a promise that you didn’t keep? What was that and what happened?
  • Has anyone broken a promise made to you? How did that feel and have you ever forgiven them for it?

Prayer

Lord of all time and space, keep us faithful in our living and faithful in the promises that we make to ourselves, to others and to you, knowing that it may cost us dearly but will reap us the greater treasure of peace of heart. Amen.


Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister (presbyter) currently working in Cramlington, Northumberland as part of the South East Northumberland Ecumenical Area. She lives with Patricia her Yorkshire terrier who loves people (but couldn't eat a full one!). Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.

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