“Elkanah went to Shiloh to offer the sacrifice for that year and the gift he had promised to the Lord. He took his family with him. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told Elkanah, “When the boy is old enough to eat solid food, I will take him to Shiloh. Then I will give him to the Lord. He will become a Nazirite.[f] He will stay there at Shiloh.” 23 Hannah’s husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think is best. You may stay home until the boy is old enough to eat solid food. May the Lord do what you[g]have said.” So Hannah stayed at home to nurse her son until he was old enough to eat solid food.” 1 Samuel 1.21-23
Back in the 1990s’ there was a great movement of Christian men called Promise Keepers. This ministry started at the University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney impacted millions of men. Huge stadium events were held encouraging men to be men of their promise by loving God and honoring their wives. I went to several of these events but eventually they were reduced to nothing. If Promise Keepers exists today I haven’t heard about it. (After writing this blog I discovered PK is still an active ministry. To learn more visit https://promisekeepers.org/)
Sometimes promises are kept, and sometimes promises are broken. Hannah promised the Lord that if she was given a son she would dedicate him back to the Lord. He would become a Nazirite. According to the dictionary, a Nazirite is “an Israelite consecrated to the service of God, under vows to abstain from alcohol, let the hair grow, and avoid defilement by contact with corpses (Numbers 6).” These were men, like John the Baptist in the New Testament, whose devotion to God was complete. Hannah upheld her promise to the Lord by giving back to the Lord a servant whose may task was upholding his promises to the Lord. Ironic.
Hannah was able to keep the boy with her “until he was old enough to eat solid food.” She nursed him and then at an appointed time gave him to the Priest Eli for Samuel to live in the Temple serving the Lord. What an incredible sacrifice and blessing. God gives Hannah the desires of her only heart, only for Hannah to return to God what she has been given.
Keeping promises is hard but not impossible. Keeping promises to the Lord has a great return. If we will love him, serve him and obey him, then we will walk in step with his presence and he will bless our lives and keep our souls forever. Keeping promises translates into obedience for the Christian and involves taking practical, daily steps in order to keep in step with Jesus and his plan for our lives.
Are you keeping in step with Jesus? Are you walking in his ways? Following in his footsteps? What promises to God have you made and not kept? What promises to God have you made and kept? Turn your face and your faith back to Jesus. Trust in his Word. Worship his name. Keep his promises and enjoy the fellowship of a God who always keeps his promises to his people.
“O Lord God, you are good. I am but a pilgrim walking through this life, on a journey until I meet you for eternity face to face. I pray O Lord that you would help me to keep my promises to you. Help me remain strong and find obedience in your Word. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your Spirit of Truth. I ask for your healing for our world, for the sick and broken, for the hurting and hopeless. Come now and rescue us by your mighty hand. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen