Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
"What you vow, pay." (Ecclesiastes 5:4)
Jephthah vowed that if Jehovah gave him victory over the Ammonites, he would present as “a burnt offering” the first one meeting him upon his return from battle. That one turned out to be Jephthah’s daughter—his only child. With faith in Jehovah, both Jephthah and his unmarried daughter fulfilled his vow. Although marriage and childbearing were highly esteemed in Israel, Jephthah’s daughter willingly remained single and enjoyed the privilege of engaging in sacred service at Jehovah’s sanctuary. (Judges 11:28-40) The godly woman Hannah proved trustworthy. She vowed that if she bore a son, she would give him to Jehovah. She soon became pregnant with Samuel. After he was weaned, Hannah presented him to God at Shiloh, lending Samuel to Jehovah “all the days of his life.” (1 Samuel 1:11) She thus fulfilled her vow even though she did not know that she would eventually have other children.—1 Samuel 2:20, 21. (Watchtower 02/15/08, 2:3-5)
*Hannah was another great example of loyalty. Stop and think about how hard some women try to get pregnant today...paying for all kinds of fertility treatments and going through an extremely long waiting process that can take months, even years before they ever conceive. Well Hannah had a similar situation. Think after all those years of being barren how easy it would have been to try to justify keeping Samuel after finally getting pregnant, by rationalizing that this might be her only chance at motherhood. But this is where knowing Jehovah's personality plays a big part in our relationship with him. Jehovah always keeps his promises (even when things don't turn out exactly the way we expected them to) Jehovah is loyal and never holds back anything good from his servants.
Hannah trusted in that, and eventually had 3 sons and 2 daughters. And she also got to watch her son Samuel grow up to be a strong, spiritual man, who eventually became the last judge over Israel (before the kingship was established with Saul). But the point is,...she didn't go back on her word after her petition was granted. She kept her vow as promised, not knowing how things would turn out.
"And let Jehovah repay me according to my righteousness,
...With someone loyal you will act in loyalty" (Psalm 18:24, 25)