This is one of my favorite books of the Bible! It shows God's sovereignty and personal attention to the details of our lives in a way that is so inspiring and comforting!
1:11 And she made this vow: "O Lord of Heaven's Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime... Never underestimate the power of dedicating our children to the Lord's service. Samuel became one of the greatest prophets (and priests) of Israel! Her willingness to sacrifice back to God the object of her greatest desire is touching. But Hannah knew that any child she conceived would only come from God. Perhaps something we can learn here too is that when we long for something, God holds back giving it to us until we are willing to dedicate that thing back to Him.
While we're on topic, did you ever notice the thread of women in the Bible who bore some of the most prominent men in history often were barren until the appointed time? If I remember them all correctly, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and now Hannah all had trouble conceiving.
1:18 "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. This is a depiction of the simple, childlike faith that Hannah had. She believed that her request was heard and would be granted.
2:18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord. Children can be great servants of the Lord! Many children throughout history have done great things for God!
5:6-7 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool..." We have all been sick since birth. Jesus asks us all the question: "Do you want to be well?" Of course we can't help ourselves into the pool. If we could, we already would have. But Jesus can and will for anyone who will ask.
105:43-44 So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy, his chosen ones with rejoicing. He gave his people the lands of pagan nations, and they harvested crops that others had planted. This is also a cyclical picture of today, and of the future Millennial Kingdom. God is bringing His chosen ones out of Egypt (the world system) and He is giving us the nations spiritually as we harvest the (spiritual) crops that others have planted! In the future, His elect will inherit the earth.
Questions for reflection:
What is your "Samuel?" What is the cherished thing you have asked God for that you must dedicate to Him?