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Once there was a man named Elkanah who had two wives. One of his wives had lots of children, and one had none. The one with none was named Hannah.
Hannah was often very sad because the other wife was mean to her. Their husband loved Hannah very much, so the mean wife was jealous. Jealousy makes people do very mean and ugly things.
So, the mean wife did and said everything she could to try to make Hannah feel bad, sad, and worried about not having any children. (Boooo!) This made Hannah cry and cry.
One time when Hannah was crying and crying, she went to God’s House to talk to God about it. “God, if You will let me have a baby boy, then I will give him to You for his whole life. He will be Yours. I will never cut his hair as a sign that he totally belongs to You.”
Just then, Eli, the priest, saw Hannah. She looked so upset that he thought she was just being crazy and out of control, because he saw her lips were moving, but no sound was coming out. God could hear Hannah praying from her heart, but Eli couldn’t.
When Eli realized he had thought badly of Hannah, and that she was just sad, Eli asked God to give Hannah what she was asking for.
So, God heard Hannah’s prayer and she had a baby boy. She named him Samuel, because she said, “God heard me.”
Hannah said, “I will take care of baby Samuel until he can eat normal food, and not just milk. After that I will take him to God’s House as a special present for God. He will live in God’s House for his whole life.”
She took care of Samuel while he was a little baby, until he could eat normal food. Then Hannah knew it was time to give Samuel to God.
Hannah loved Samuel so much. She started to feel a little tear coming to her eye. Of course she wanted to be with her baby boy and keep him close to her. But Hannah wiped that little tear away and put a smile on her face. She had told God she would do something, so she was going to do it.
Have you ever told someone you would do something? That is called “giving your word” or “making a promise.” It doesn’t matter if you say, “I promise I will do this,” or if you only say, “Sure, I’ll do that.” Either way, that is giving your word and you need to do what you say! (And there’s no reason to be emotional about it.)
So now that Samuel was big enough, Hannah took him to God’s House. She brought Samuel to Eli the high priest and said, “Do you remember me? I asked God to give me a baby boy, and God said “yes.” So now I am giving him back to God. He will belong to God for his whole life. I will leave him here with you in God’s House.”
So Hannah left Samuel at God’s House to serve God, and Hannah went home without Samuel. Do you think that made Hannah sad again? Do you think she cried and cried? No, she didn’t!
She had given her word to God, and He had been good, good, good to answer her prayer and give her the gift of a little boy. To go back to being a crying lady would have been very ungrateful. So, do you know what she did next? She sang a song to worship God, of course! She had to let Him know how thankful she was.
She sang — “God has filled up my heart with joy I feel so strong in God! I can laugh at my enemies I’m glad because God helped! No one’s Holy like You There’s no God but You He is my strength And my safety There’s no Rock like our God!”
Hannah kept her word to God and she learned how to be a happy worshiper.