HANNAH: A TRUE MOTHER
Keys to Spiritual Motherhood
I am always deeply impressed whenever I read about Hannah, wife of Elkanah the Ephraimite, who, when barren, asked the Lord for a child and promised to send him to the temple for service when he was weaned. True to her covenant, when the boy Samuel was weaned, she brought him to the Temple and left him there with Eli, the High Priest. She said: "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he shall be given over to the Lord" (1 Sam.1:27-28, NIV).
What an extraordinary woman. Childless for years, taunted by Penninah, she was finally rewarded for her faith in, and love of, God. She dedicated her son as a Nazirite, a special order of God's people consecrated to 100% service to the Lord. Like the ancient Nazirites of old, the Lord's people in the New Covenant today are consecrated Christian Nazirites from the time of their birth.
As born-again Christians who have entered the New Covenant we acknowledge before God that we were purchased by the blood of Christ (Rev.5:9). Of this great crowd of Christians we understand that an Úlite 144,000 are called to keep themselves pure and become God's firstfruits among men (Rev.14:4). We, as New Covenant Christians, are purchased as firstfruits amongst Christians by the blood of Christ to be as special offering before God. It is for that reason that we dedicate our children in the Holy Order to God's service, just as Hannah dedicated Samuel.
The Christian Order of Nazirites conveys special blessings upon its children -- blessings of protection, strength, spiritual knowledge and wisdom. Samuel is a wonderful example of such a firstborn son of Jehovah, a great prophet and servant of the Almighty. Through her sacrifice, Hannah ensured that her son would become a mighty instrument in God's hand.
We are not told in the Scriptures how she felt leaving Samuel at the temple. He was probably about three years old as children were not weaned from the breast until this time because there was no way of keeping milk fresh in those days (see Maccabees 7:27). But we do know what Hannah felt about the Lord. In God's House, when she deposited her infant son with Eli, she sang this wonderful psalm of praise to God:
It is very clear from this prayer that whilst leaving her son at the temple must have been difficult, any feelings of anguish were quickly quelled in the shere elation and joy of knowing that she was doing God's will. I doubt she left Shiloh weeping; rather, I suspect she rejoiced. This was a woman of faith and of love.
My heart rejoices in Yahweh;
in Yahweh my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no-one holy like Yahweh; (1 Sam.2:1-2)
there is no-one besides You;
There is no rock like our God.
I have only ever met one other woman in my life who I believe would be willing to do this. She is a Christian lady and belongs to a devoted Christian family. She once told a member of the fellowship that if she ran away from home because of personal problems that she would never take her children with her, but leave them in the care of her husband -- not because she would ever abandon or desert them, but because she would wish them to be brought up in the admonition of the Lord. I have great admiration for this lady who possesses something of the spirit of Hannah. Such, indeed, reflects the spirit of the firstborn to which we aspire.
I love my children with all my heart as do all of us in the New Covenant but it is also true to say that we love the Lord our God more. Thus I believe that all of us, if called, could -- and would -- leave our children at the temple as Hannah did, for we would wish upon them not only the richest blessings of the Gospel but also because we desire the Lord's will to be done.
Choosing Between Gold and Silver
A Christian lady once related a dream in which the Lord told her to choose whether she wanted to inherit the full blessings of the Gospel or the next best. She had to choose between gold and silver. For us New Covenant Christians it is a bit like that -- we must choose whether we want our children and ourselves to enjoy the "gold" of the firstborn" or the "silver" of a lesser covenant -- whether we wish to bring up children to inherit the blessings of the 144,000 firstborn or the blessings of the remaining "great host" of those redeemed in the Lord.
The New Covenant Church of God is soon to make its first gathering to Zion, build a temple, and raise up a holy people who are 100% consecrated to Jesus Christ. There we will present our sons and daughters at the temple at a young age and instruct them in the ways of holiness. And possibly those who do not belong to the Holy Order, but who know their sons and daughters are called to it, will leave their children as Hannah did if God calls them.
I praise the Lord that He has blessed me with three fine children whom I know are called to honour Him in service. All have received a prophetic word over their heads and all are called to special ministry in these last days. I desire, as every true parent does of his or her children, that they receive the best -- gold, and not silver. And therefore if forced to choose to leave them at the House of the Lord as Hannah did, or take them away with me should I ever renounce the faith, I would choose the former.
Praise God for the latter-day Hannahs! May He raise up many fine mothers and fathers in Zion who are willing to give all for the Lord, and to give their sons and daughters the best possible spiritual education. Amen.
For a critique of this article, see Ideal Motherhood or Brainwashing?
This page was created on 12 May 1998
Last updated on 12 May 1998
Copyright © 1987-2007 NCCG - All Rights Reserved