1 Samuel 1:3
“This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh…”
1 Samuel opens by introducing us to Elkanah. We learn he was a godly man who was devoted to the Lord. We read he loved his family and sought to lead them in the things of the Lord. He made annual trips to Shiloh, to celebrate the feasts of the Lord. Time, money, or inconvenience was never used as an excuse to keep him from bringing his family to worship the Lord. However, Elkanah’s life was not without hardship. His wife Hannah was barren, and no matter what he did to express his love to her, she felt as though there was something missing. She longed for a child and he longed to make her happy.
His example is all the more powerful when we keep in mind the spiritual climate in Israel at the time. We read twice in Judges, there “was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). In other words, the people had left the Word of God and were doing whatever they thought would make them happy. We read of spiritual confusion and social unrest throughout the land. Even the priesthood was being affected, as men were serving the Lord only as a means to make money and obtain power.
Elkanah chose to live above the standards set by those around him. He chose to put God first in his life and in his family. He made it a practice to bring his family to worship, and to be obedient to the Word. As the spiritual climate around us becomes more and more foggy, it is critical that we commit ourselves, our ways, and our families to follow the Lord.