The Bible tells us that if we make a vow to the Lord, we should keep that promise. In First Samuel, we see Hannah, the mother of Samuel, fulfilling her vow by giving her son to serve the Lord all the days of his life.
What great sacrifice she made! She had been unable to conceive in her womb until the Lord miraculously gave her a son. So this precious life was given into her hands, and who would blame her if she had wanted to hold onto that child? Yet she kept her vow and brought the child to the Tabernacle of the Lord to serve all the days of his life.
May we be faithful in keeping our promises. Too often, we make promises to God but fail to keep them. The spirit of man is willing, but the flesh is weak. We want to do the right thing, and we aim for good works. But our sinful nature distracts us and makes us forget what we have promised to do.
I could remind us of the promises we have made in our Confirmation vows, but that would be preaching to the choir. So many others have let their devotion to the Word fall by the wayside, but here you are at this midweek Divine Service.
But that does not make you better than anyone else. We are all equally sinners. If the Lord has kept you faithful in one area, praise Him and take no pride in your faithfulness, since it is His work in you. As we near the season of Lent, it would be wise to examine our lives to notice those areas that we fall short of keeping our promises. For we have all promised to faithfully conform our lives to the divine Word, and in faith, word, and action to remain true to God. But not all our thoughts, words, and deeds have lived up to the standard of our promises.
When Hannah delivered Samuel to serve the Lord, she began the ministry of a man who would serve as judge and priest and prophet. Nowhere in Scripture are we shown any of Samuel's specific sins, although we know that surely he must have sinned with all flesh.
But there is a Man greater than Samuel who never sinned. There is a Prophet and Priest who has served on our behalf, giving all His life to service before His Father in heaven. He also will be judge, not only over one nation, but over all nations at the Last Day.
This Man Jesus kept all His promises to be faithful to the Lord. He gave Himself in service, even to the point of shedding His precious Blood. He gave His life into the bitter pains of the one sacrifice that has given atonement for your sins - not a temporary sacrifice of bulls or flour or wine such as Hannah gave, but of a pure and holy Lamb without blemish that takes away all the sins of the world through all of history. This Man has faithfully spoken the pure Word of His Father, not only in His earthly ministry two thousands years ago, but also today as He continues His ministry through His called ministers.
Here is the true promise Keeper, Jesus Christ. He also submitted to birth by woman by His choice, because He resolved to rescue you from death. He lived your life, being weaned and brought up as a little Child, so that His life could be a proper substitute for your life.
This is your Savior, the only true God in human flesh, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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