Samuel — Prophet and Leader


A Special Name

Today’s text tells us about the birth of Samuel. His mother Hannah was desperately longing to have children, but God had closed her womb. That was a great problem for her, and she was so deeply distressed that she went to the temple and poured out her soul before the Lord. She even made a vow: If the Lord would give her a son, she would “give him to the LORD all the days of his life”.

The high priest Eli initially rebuked Hannah because he thought she was drunk, but when he heard the real story, he blessed her: “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” And God did! Hannah indeed bore a son, and she called him Samuel, which means something like “name of God” or “God heard”.

Every time Hannah mentioned her son’s name, she was reminded that God heard her prayer. Could you think of a way to remind yourself repeatedly of the times God has heard your prayers as well?