God knows us in the womb, the psalm tells us. Samuel’s chosen status is shown, as so often is the case, by birth to a barren mother. Hannah is an ordinary, upright woman. She dedicates him to service of the priests before he is conceived. It is a family marked by kindness and faithfullness.
Samuel’s father has two wives, and is shown as loving and sympathetic. There is a nice detail where her heartfelt prayer for a child at their place of worship, through tears, lips moving, no sound, is mistaken by her husband for drunkenness. He’s still very gentle with her.
As with Ruth, showing how God works not though grand people but quiet, humble faithful kind people.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the biblical theme of god’s strength being shown though our weakeness recently. The church as we know it is certainly an unlikely vehicle.