1 Samuel 1:1-18
INTRODUCTION: Doesn't it lift your spirits when you see someone who really loves the Lord. You can see Him in their life. God living within a believer is a wonderful thing to behold you are able to observe how God directs their life. You see them often going though difficult times, but at the same time you see them exercising unswerving faith in the Lord. In time you observe how the Lord gives the victory and how the overcome their difficulty.
But is how it is for the true Child of God. 1 John 5:4-5 says:
"For whatsoever is born of God over cometh the world: and this is the victory that over cometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that over cometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
It is equally repulsive to watch the hypocrite try to imitate that which only God can give. It is such an empty thing to see the counterfeit "Christian" trying to be spiritual and act like a child of God. It is like fool's gold, it has the color and shape, but it is not the real thing and has no value. Like fool's gold the phony may fool some for a while, but in time he is revealed to be fraud.
It too is disheartening to see the deceiver waste his life in a vain attempt to be something he genuinely could be. . . if he would only admit his sin, confess it to the Lord and by faith be saved.
It is invigorating to find such a gracious spirit as Hannah in the midst of the moral ruin that followed the priestly rule of the kind-hearted, but weak-willed Eli, who was the High Priest during end of the time of the judges. Eli is an example of a man who is more concerned about the honor of his sons than the honor of God and his failure to raise his sons to fear God dishonored God, his position as judge and High Priest. (Chap. 2:26-36).
The first mention of Eli in the Bible was when he confronted Hannah as she prayed to the Lord.
Hannah's name means grace, and she is true to her name. She is a picture of how God's grace is given to those who put their trust in the Lord and God's grace was sufficient for her. There is much we might learn from her.
I. HANNAN WAS A CHILD OF GOD, BUT SHE WAS SORROWFUL. "A woman of a sorrowful spirit" (v. 15).
A. SHE SORROWED BECAUSE SHE WAS CHILDLESS (v. 5). Believing that "Children are a heritage of the Lord" (Psa. 127:3), it vexed her soul that this heritage was not hers. She counted it a shame to be fruitless.
1. In our society of "living to get" being productive is not very important. It was we acquire that is significant not what we produce.
2. Christian of today have a tendency to let the world's corrupt attitudes influence us. We see God has being solely our benefactor, and have little concern for giving unto Him. Many prayers are "gimme" type prayers, and there is little expression of genuine thanksgiving to God for His mercy and grace to us.
3. This is why the false trends in many of today's church is toward entertaining services with lots of modern music and plays. What was once the worship hour is not a "show" with the preacher being the host.
4. Has your fruitlessness for God ever vexed your soul? It is a shame for any Christian to be barren in the work of God. In 2 Peter 1:8, tells us: "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
B. HANNAH WAS MOCKED. "Peninnah, her adversary, provoked her sore, to make her fret" (v. 6).
1. Her childless condition brought upon her the sneer of the ungodly. It is a heart-searching and deeply humbling experience for any child of grace, as Hannah was, to have the finger of derision and ridicule pointed at them by one who loves not the Lord and yet seems to enjoy more of His favor than the other.
2. Hannah trusted the Lord, yet it seemed that God had forgotten her. How disheartening it is to think God is unconcerned about you.
3. Worse is to see how those that have not regard for the Lord prosper and seem to be doing so well. . .while you struggle in faith.
4. The Psalms of David show that although God says he "was a man after my own heart" at times he lost sight of God's presence in his life.
Psa. 13:1, "How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?"
Psa. 74:10, "O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?"
Psa 94:3, "LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?"
Psa. 94:4, "How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?"
2. Is God ungracious? No; but those fiery shafts of the enemy may be permitted by God to convict us deeply of the barrenness of our lives, that we may cast ourselves the more unreservedly upon the Divine all-sufficiency.
3. Look at 1 Sam. 1:5. It says that God had shut up her womb. God had not forgotten her. He was totally aware of her situation and God had a plan. Hannah was not aware of it, but God consider her to be special to Him.
C. BECAUSE SHE HAD A VERY SENSITIVE NATURE.
1. If Hannah had a calloused heart she would have had fewer tears in her eyes (v. 7). There is great hope for any Christian worker who can weep over the fruitlessness of their lives. It is good that we should feel this "bitterness of soul before the Lord" (v. 10). Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion.
2. Year by year she remained faithful to the Lord. (v.7) She went to God's house and in spite of fact it seems that God had abandoned her. . .she would not turn from God.
3. It looked as if there was no hope. . .but Hannah knew that God was her only source of delivery. There was none other to turn, no where else to go.
Peter understood that fact. After Jesus began to preaching righteousness in preparation of the coming Kingdom of God the people began quit following him. Jesus turned to His disciples and ask them would they also leave? In John 6:68, the Bible records the only answer possible: "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."
II. HANNAH WAS PRAYERFUL.
A. HANNAH PRAYED. "She prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore" (v. 10). She did not return railing for railing; being reviled, she threatened not. We may thank God for the trials that send us into His presence, to plead, with full purpose of heart. The scourges of the enemy only serve to drive her into the place of blessing.
1. Although she did not understand she continued to pray and poured out her heart to the Lord.
2. True faith is an enduring and unwavering faith. Yes, there may to time so doubt, but the child of God will always go to the Lord.
3. Psa. 37:3-4 says, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
In James 5:15 God says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James further said in 4:8 "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."
B. SHE VOWED. "0 Lord, if Thou wilt give unto Thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord." (v. 11).
She purposes in her heart that if the Lord will, in mercy, roll away her reproach, she will consecrate His gift entirely to His service. This is a mighty argument with God. What will He withhold from those who seek not great things for themselves, but who desire to honor Him with His every gift.
1. What Hannah ask God for was a son. It was not a selfish request as some might imagine. Hannah was a son to honor her husband and to honor God. I believe in her heart she longed to see the Lord glorified by her testimony and faith.
3. In asking for a son and vowing to give him to the Lord's
service is proved the Lord was first in her life. She was asking God to use her to raise us a man to serve Him. Her joy would be in being able to be a channel of blessings Israel and to bring honor to the Lord.
C. Hannah believed in God. "So the woman went her way, and her countenance was no more sad" (v. 18).
1. The Lord had spoken to her heart. She brought her burden to the Lord, and she went away without it. It is one thing to tell the Lord about our burdens; it is quite another thing to cast them on the Lord (I Peter 4. 7). The countenance is sure to be changed when the heart has found rest in the will of God.
2. James 1:2-4 says, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." I think that it is worth noting that this God's first instruction to man after being silent for 400 years since the last book of the Old Testament was written. James was the first New Testament Book written.
3. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)
4. Hannah's faith in God enabled her to turn the whole matter over to God. She got up from her prayers confident that what ever happened it was in God's hand and according to His will.
III. HANNAH'S SORROW WAS TURN TO JOY.
(Chap. 2. 1)
A. HER PRAYER WAS ANSWERED. "She called his name Samuel, saying, Because I asked Him of the Lord" (v. 20).
1. She asked a son, and the Lord did not give her a daughter.
John 14:13 "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
"He maketh the barren woman. . . to be a joyful mother of children (Psa. 113. 9), can also make the fruitless Christian worker a happy winner of souls.
2. The key is wanting to be fruitful and though being fruitful bring honor and glory to the Lord.
B. Hannah gave God the glory in her testimony. After Samuel was weaned she gave him to the Lord as she had vowed. In 2:10 is the first mention in the Bible of the Messiah as the anointed one. God promised a redeemer in Gen. 3:15. Here He is called the Anointed or Messiah. Folks Hannah was looking to the Lord, but clearly she understood the promised of the Messiah. Note that this was in the period of the Judges...Israel had no king, yet she called the anointed one king. The king's dominion would be the "ends of the earth."
1. Hannah went to again to Shiloh, to the Lord's house, to offer a thanksgiving offering to the Lord. With her she brought her only son Samuel. When she came to Eli she said, "I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying; and the Lord hath given me my petition" (vv. 26, 27).
2. What a simple, yet powerful, testimony this is. She knew that He heard her, now she has the petition that she desired of Him (1 John 5. 15). "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss" (James. 4:3).
C. Hannah kept her vow. "As long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord" (v. 28). She paid her vow unto the Lord (Psa. 116. 1.8). In the giving back of Samuel she was forming a powerful link of connection between herself and the Lord that must have enriched her whole life with blessing.
D. HANNAH GAVE UP THAT WHICH SHE COULD NOT KEEP TO GAIN THAT WHICH SHE COULD NOT LOSE.
1. Every sacrifice we make for the honor of our Lord will certainly increase our reward of Him. Folks lets not be like the wicked and slothful servant who hid his lord's money (Luke 19:22), but use for His glory every gift received, and every Victory won, through the prayer of faith.
2. Do you see how God was working in Hannah's life and how He used her.
First Hannah was barren, yet deep in her heart wanted to have a son to honor her husband and in turn honor the Lord.
Hannah was belittled and harshly treated by Peninnah. Her life was miserable and year after year it seemed there was not hope.
Yet, Hannah would not submit to seeing herself and her faith ridiculed.
Hannah did not know that it was God that has caused her not to have children. She was sorrowful and distraught over her situation. Yet because of Hannah's faith in the Lord, God's purpose was accomplished. She as in God's hands whether she knew it or not and her faith kept her true to the Lord in spite of it appearing God had abandoned her.
She knew the power of prayer and laid her burden before the Lord. She got up from her knees with the matter settled in her heart that it was now in God's hand and He would do what was right. She resolved herself to God's will in the matter.
God answered her prayer. Her barrenness, and all the suffering she endured became for her a blessing. She became a testimony to the grace of God working in a person's life who would by faith commit themselves to the Lord.
She faithfully returned the son she was given to the Lord. God gave her a great blessing and then she returned it to the Lord .
Samuel was the last of the Judges of Israel and I believe its greatest Prophet. Hannah's gift to God blessed her, honored the Lord and a great benefit to Israel her people.
Truly Hannah's faithfulness was greatly used of the Lord, even to this very day.
She produced fruit because she trusted the Lord, refused to abandon her faith, and committed herself to the Lord.
Is it important to you that you bare fruit that will honor the Lord, or do you come to God to get what you can.
Are you willing to let God bless you so that you could be a blessing to others.
Many times we are not blessed of God because we cannot be trusted to use God's gift's to benefit others and that God's work be done.