Who gets the glory?
1 Samuel 1-2:10
The first book of Samuel begins with the story of Samuel’s conception. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was initially barren because the Lord closed her womb (1:6). Many other passages speak of the Lord opening and closing the womb. Whether or not a child is conceived is always of the Lord. Hannah’s approach to her barrenness was to seek the Lord (1:10-11). Fertility drugs and IVF may not have been around in those days, but thru-out history there have been other remedies thought to aid fertility. Hannah did not look for another way but brought her grief, her disappointment, and her request to God.
It wasn’t wrong for this to grieve Hannah’s heart (1:15). Grief and disappointment over an unfulfilled desire are not sinful. It is our response that can be wrong. Hannah’s response was right. She brought it to the Lord. Simply laying her burden on the Lord lifted her spirits (1:18). Although Eli encouraged her, she had no guarantee that she would have a son. God had not communicated to her anything specific as He had done with other women in scripture. It was simply placing her problem at the Lord’s feet that relieved her grief.
The Lord remembered Hannah’s prayer and opened her womb. She had a son and brought him to the temple to serve the Lord at a very young age (1:19-28). Then she prayed and praised the Lord (2:1-10). Hannah’s prayer is amazing to me. She trusted in the Lord to conceive a child and brought him to serve the Lord. But her prayer was not simply about her child, but rejoicing in the sovereignty of God.
If only we, as Christians, would all be trusting so completely in our God when it comes to the children He gives us. If only we went to Him first instead of the medical establishment. Look at how joyful and triumphant Hannah is and how she is able to praise God and lift Him up with her whole heart after depending on Him completely for the conception of her child. God controls conception. How many God-honoring, praise worthy moments do we miss when we try to control the when, where, and how of having children?
Are all forms of “family planning” necessarily sinful? No. But will leaving it all in the Lord’s hands and giving Him the praise and glory due Him for what He does with it bring you to a closer, more joyful, walk with Him? Oh, I absolutely believe it will!