Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.
1 Samuel 1:23
This is the beginning of the story of Samuel—arguably the last judge of Israel and one of its greatest prophets. He had … interesting beginnings. His father, Elkanah, had two wives. Common practice at the time, but not a God-approved arrangement. Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was beloved but childless and the less-beloved wife, Peninnah, would taunt Hannah and generally make her life miserable. So Hannah prays and makes a promise to God that if God would give her a son then she would give that son right back.
How does all of this bring me to think of trust this morning? A few ways. First, Hannah trusted God. Her reaction to not having children is not, as was the reaction of some, to rage at her husband for not giving her children (*cough*Rachel-with-Jacob*cough*). Her reaction was a response: she went to God and trusted that He would do what was best for her. She trusted that God was able to do what others would deem impossible. Second, Elkanah trusted Hannah. There is no record of her discussing her promise to God with her husband. There is no record of her explaining why she was going to wean their son, then drop him off at the temple for the rest of his life. There is just this exchange wherein Elkanah hears what his wife says, trusts her to make a wise decision, and transfers from trusting her to trusting God. Third, Elkanah trusts God. He trusts his wife to make a wise decision regarding their son (a level of trust I am not even remotely sure I have) then moves on to may the LORD confirm His word. What word is Elkanah talking about? I do not know. But he trusts that God will make good on whatever promise Elkanah is referring to. Fourth and fifth, Samuel trusts his parents and God. A young child being dropped off with relatives has a rough go of it. Being dropped off at Sunday school almost seems traumatic. But to be left at the temple while the rest of the family goes home and to only see his parents a few times a year after that? That requires some serious trust in his parents and in God. It’s not recorded, but Hannah must have been preparing Samuel for this all of his young life. There was trust to spare going around in this family.
How much trust do I place in God? Hannah trusted that God could overcome biology. Elkanah trusted that God would follow through on a promise He had made. Samuel trusted in God’s love for him. His power, His promises, and His love. Do I trust those things about my God?