And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.1 Samuel 1:21
Dear Church and Friends,
We know about Hannah’s prayer. We know about her vow. The Lord answered her petition and she kept her promise, but what was Elkannah’s vow? In verse 21 we see that he was going up to the yearly sacrifice but also to perform a vow. Let’s look for information to help us search out his vow.
But first we should consider how he may have arrived there. Hannah’s progression to her vow may give us a clue to his. First, she was grieved. Look at the following passages and notice just how that feeling is expressed.
- “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat“ (1 Samuel 1:6-7).
- “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore“ (1 Samuel 1:10). See also 1:8,15-16.
Second, she prayed for the Lord to remember her and give her a son. “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” (1 Samuel 1:11). Both of these requests were answered by the Lord.
Third, she vow to return the child to the Lord’s service as a Nazarite. This vow was fulfilled three years later when the child was weaned. “And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli” (1 Samuel 1:25).
Elkannah could have taken a similar route to his vow. Strife in his home must have been apparent to him. He knew of Hannah’s grief and mentions as much in 1:8. Even if he wanted to ignore it, a civil war between his two wives couldn’t be hidden from him or anyone else. This probably set up a prayer.
What would a husband pray for when his two wives were in conflict with each other? How about a prayer for peace? No doubt he wanted peace in the home, but what the Lord gave was a peace in Hannah’s soul. His prayer was answered in Hannah’s trust in the Lord “And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad” (1 Samuel 1:18).
With his prayer answered all that was left was for him to fulfill his vow. Perhaps it was tied to his yearly visit to Shiloh with his family. Maybe he promised to offer extra thanksgiving offerings, or make an extra peace offering. We’ll never know, but we do know that he was going to Shiloh to settle his vow (and thank the Lord for peace in his home.)
The Lord is concerned about peace in our homes too. Instead of fretting over the lack of peace, let’s pray and leave our problem in his hand. Then we can watch as he intervenes in the course of our lives, to glorify himself through our prayer.
Music: These Is None Like You by Lenny LeBlanc.
Prayer Requests: Please pray for our planter, Heiden Ratner in Las Vegas, NV.
Craig’s Catechism: The Fourth Part of Our Belief
- Question 294: On what is this Communion grounded? Answer: Upon their union with Christ their head.
- Question 295: Who makes our union with Christ and with one another? Answer: The Holy Spirit by His might power.
- Question 296: Is there any salvation without this Communion? Answer: None at all, for Christ is the ground of salvation.
All my best,
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.1 Samuel 1:23
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