Summary: Hannah faces a problem but she prays and experienced God's provision. When in hardships, watch how you respond. Hannah believes in prayer and eventually saw the miraculous work of God in her life.
1 Samuel 1:3-20 A Woman of Faith ES 13 May 12, 2095
Today is Mother’s Day, so I thought we would take a look at Prophet Samuel’s mother Hannah.
• She is a woman of faith. Despite her very difficult situation, she did not lose faith in God.
• She frequented the house of the Lord and “pour out her soul to the Lord” (v.15). She pleaded for God’s favour. She “kept on praying to the Lord” (v.12), asking God to do what only He could do.
• God answered her prayers, and blessed her with the desire of her heart. Not just one son (Samuel) but eventually 3 more sons and 2 daughters (v.21).
(1) A Woman of Faith Has PROBLEMS WATCH YOUR RESPONSE
We have this tendency to think that the heroes of faith in the Bible were somehow different than we are or that they were immune from problems because of their faith.
• This is a skewed understanding of realities. They all faced the same hardships and problems as we do.
• Righteous people do suffer, and probably more so in those times than ours.
• The BIG difference was HOW they responded to the problems.
• Despite her misfortune and mistreatment, Hannah continued to worship God year after year.
Hannah was barren and in the Jewish culture, considered a curse.
• She was mocked at each time she comes to the house of the Lord.
• She wept and would not eat. Even her husband’s special treatment (v.5) and comforting words (v.8) were unable to console her.
• She was so deeply troubled that when she poured out her soul to God in prayer, she looked like a drunkard woman.
Who says a man or woman of faith will not cry? Who says a devout “servant of God” will never face disappointments? Ask Elijah, and he would tell you there was one time he wanted to end his life.
• God has allowed the good things and the bad things to come to our lives, but with a divine purpose – a purpose that is often beyond us.
• In his struggle, Job says, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
• Solomon says, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.” (Eccl 7:14)
There will be times of disappointment. There will be times we’ll be greatly discouraged. Christians face REAL problems, not fake ones.
• The important thing is what you do when you are disappointed and discouraged.
• Do you respond like Job’s wife: “Curse God and die.” (2:9) or like Job: “In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” (2:10)
• You can wallow in self-pity, you can blame self, people or God, or you can choose to bring it to God and ask God for help.
• That sounds easy but it would take FAITH. We RESPOND WITH FAITH – faith that God is still FOR you and not against you; that He has your concern in mind and not the One to blame for the cause of it; and faith that God can still HELP you despite the problem you face.
Hannah showed that. It takes faith to come to the house of God and pray.
• It takes faith not to give up on yourself, on your situation, and on God!
• The solution to your problems lies with God; therefore the need to PRAY!
(2) A Woman of Faith PRAYS BELIEVE IN PRAYER
Hannah believes in prayer. She believes it is efficacious. She was preoccupied with it; she was driven to God.
• 1:10-11 “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. 11And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
• It is the “pouring out of her soul to God” (v.15). There is nothing she can do. She is completely at the mercy of God. She did not give up on God.
As part of her prayer, she made a vow that if she was to be blessed with a son, he will be dedicated to the Lord for his entire life.
• Her son would serve in the temple and be a Nazirite.
• The Nazirite vow is given in Num 6 and it can be made by anyone who wants to be fully consecrated to the Lord for His service. He needs to (1) abstain from wine and similar drink, (2) not cut his hair and (3) cannot go near a dead body.