DEDICATING CHILDREN TO THE LORD

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 1:21-28

“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” (I Samuel 1:27,38)

When Hannah prayed for a son, she promised the Lord that she would give her son back to Him for all the days of his life — “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your servant and remember me and not forget Your servant, but will give to Your servant a son, then I will give Him to the Lord all the days of his life” (v. 11). God answered Hannah’s prayer and Hannah did what she promised — she dedicated her son to the Lord. She literally did this by taking Samuel to the temple and giving him to Eli, the priest.

One of the questions we ask parents at the baptism of their children is this — “Do you now unreservedly dedicate your child to the God?” In a sense when parents do this, they are giving their child to the Lord. They are in essence saying, “Lord, this is Your child. What You want for him or her is what we want. We entrust our child to Your care.”

When I would meet with parents to instruct them in the baptism of their children, I would refer to Hannah and Samuel. I told them how Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord and how she literally took him to Eli the priest and left him there. I would then say (tongue in cheek), “However, I’m not telling you to leave your child with me at the church to raise!”

The picture of what Hannah did in dedicating Samuel to the Lord is a beautiful picture of what it means to dedicate our children to Him. We give them to the Lord to take care of them and to entrust them to God’s will for their lives.

Heavenly Father, many years ago we dedicated our children to You. You have been faithful to watch over them, care for them and lead them. I give You thanks for Your providential provision and direction for their lives.

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