The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 55: The Child Samuel
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Once more Hannah journeyed with her husband to Shiloh
and presented to the priest, in the name of God, her precious gift,
saying, "For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me
my petition which I asked of Him: therefore also I have lent him
to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord." Eli
was deeply impressed by the faith and devotion of this woman
of Israel. Himself as overindulgent father, he was awed and
humbled as he beheld this mother's great sacrifice in parting with
her only child, that she might devote him to the service of God.
He felt reproved for his own selfish love, and in humiliation
and reverence he bowed before the Lord and worshiped.
The mother's heart was filled with joy and praise, and she
longed to pour forth her gratitude to God. The Spirit of Inspiration
came upon her; "and Hannah prayed, and said:
"My heart rejoiceth in the Lord;
Mine horn is exalted in the Lord;
My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
Because I rejoice in Thy salvation.
There is none holy as the Lord:
For there is none beside Thee:
Neither is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so exceeding proudly;
Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth;
For Jehovah is a God of knowledge,
And by Him actions are weighed. . . .
The Lord killeth, and maketh alive:
He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich:
He bringeth low, and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
And lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill,
To set them among princes,
And to make them inherit the throne of glory:
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
And He hath set the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of His saints,
And the wicked shall be silent in darkness;
For by strength shall no man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; [p. 572]
Out of heaven shall He thunder upon them:
The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth;
And He shall give strength unto His king,
And exalt the horn of His anointed."
Hannah's words were prophetic, both of David, who should
reign as king of Israel, and of the Messiah, the Lord's Anointed.
Referring first to the boasting of an insolent and contentious
woman, the song points to the destruction of the enemies of God
and the final triumph of His redeemed people.
From Shiloh, Hannah quietly returned to her home at
Ramah, leaving the child Samuel to be trained for service in the
house of God, under the instruction of the high priest. From the
earliest dawn of intellect she had taught her son to love and
reverence God and to regard himself as the Lord's. By every familiar
object surrounding him she had sought to lead his thoughts up
to the Creator. When separated from her child, the faithful
mother's solicitude did not cease. Every day he was the subject
of her prayers. Every year she made, with her own hands, a robe
of service for him; and as she went up with her husband to
worship at Shiloh, she gave the child this reminder of her love.
Every fiber of the little garment had been woven with a prayer
that he might be pure, noble, and true. She did not ask for her
son worldly greatness, but she earnestly pleaded that he might
attain that greatness which Heaven values—that he might honor
God and bless his fellow men.
What a reward was Hannah's! and what an encouragement
to faithfulness is her example! There are opportunities of
inestimable worth, interests infinitely precious, committed to every
mother. The humble round of duties which women have come
to regard as a wearisome task should be looked upon as a grand
and noble work. It is the mother's privilege to bless the world
by her influence, and in doing this she will bring joy to her own
heart. She may make straight paths for the feet of her children,
through sunshine and shadow, to the glorious heights above. But
it is only when she seeks, in her own life, to follow the teachings
of Christ that the mother can hope to form the character of
her children after the divine pattern. The world teems with
corrupting influences. Fashion and custom exert a strong power
over the young. If the mother fails in her duty to instruct, guide,
and restrain, her children will naturally accept the evil, and [p. 573] turn from the good. Let every mother go often to her Saviour
with the prayer, "Teach us, how shall we order the child, and
what shall we do unto him?" Let her heed the instruction which
God has given in His word, and wisdom will be given her as she
shall have need.
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