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From Eternity Past

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    Hannah Gives Samuel to God

    Hannah received the gift which she had earnestly entreated. As she looked upon the child, she called him Samuel—“asked of God.” As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from his mother, she fulfilled her vow. He was her only son, the special gift of Heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own.EP 412.6

    Hannah journeyed with her husband to Shiloh and presented to the priest 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, himself an overindulgent father, 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 bowed before the Lord and worshiped. The mother's heart was filled with joy and praise, and she poured forth her gratitude to God.EP 413.1

    From Shiloh, Hannah returned to her home at Ramah, leaving Samuel to be trained for service in the house of God. From the earliest dawn of intellect she had taught her son to regard himself as the Lord's. Every day he was the subject of her prayers. Every year she made 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 prayer that he might be pure, noble, and true. She earnestly pleaded that he might attain that greatness which Heaven values, that he might honor God and bless his fellowmen.EP 413.2

    What a reward was Hannah's! And what an encouragement to faithfulness is her example! There are opportunities committed to every mother. The humble round of duties which women regard as a wearisome task should be looked upon as a grand and noble work. The mother 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 Christ that the mother can hope to form the character of her children after the divine pattern. 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?” Wisdom will be given her.EP 413.3

    “The child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men.” Samuel's youth was not free from evil influences or sinful example. The sons of Eli feared not God, nor honored their father; but Samuel did not seek their company nor follow their evil ways. It was his constant endeavor to become what God would have him.EP 414.1

    The loveliness of Samuel's character drew forth the warm affection of the aged priest. He was kind, generous, obedient, and respectful. Eli, pained by the waywardness of his own sons, found comfort and blessing in the presence of his charge. No father ever loved his child more tenderly than did Eli this youth. Filled with anxiety and remorse by the profligate course of his own sons, Eli turned to Samuel for comfort.EP 414.2

    Every year saw more important trusts committed to him. While yet a child, a linen ephod was placed upon him as a token of his consecration to the work of the sanctuary. Young as he was when brought to minister in the tabernacle, Samuel had duties to perform, according to his capacity. These were not always pleasant, but they were performed with a willing heart. He regarded himself as God's servant and his work as God's work. His efforts were accepted because they were prompted by love to God and a sincere desire to do His will. Thus Samuel became a co-worker with the Lord of heaven and earth.EP 414.3

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