Summary: God can take something people say is damaged and us to glorify his kingdom...
1 Samuel 1:1-5, 10-11, & 19
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head.
And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.
Let us pray -- Lord, the task of preaching your Gospel is once again in my keeping and I commit myself to do it the best that I can. Clear my mind of distractions, warm my heart with compassion, and fill my soul with faith in your goodness and power. Speak to me that I may speak for you. Speak through me that I may speak to those who wait to hear your word. Save me, Lord from fearing so much my own frailty that I forget your mighty power. Help me to trust in your care and providence. Let me speak the words, which I believe that you have given me. May I decrease while you increase in Me? Right now Lord I ask that you remove self, I ask that you remove pride and may the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight. O Lord my strength and my redeemer. This is my prayer, Amen.
Often times in the certain stores they will have a special section of items that are considered to be damaged goods. These items have either been dented, scratched, or something is wrong with them and they are said not to have the value they are suppose to have. Because these items are considered damaged they are either marked down to a very reasonable price or some stores will just throw them away and consider them as trash. To the store they hold no profitable ability to them, they are damaged goods.
We find in our text the history of a woman called Hannah. Hannah had a condition that is called barred, which simply means that she was unable to have children. Unlike many in today’s society, women that have children and do not want them, but women in the Old Testament days desired to have children. They looked upon the ability to have children as approval from God that they were without sin. However when a woman was not able to have children she was not socially accepted by those that could. She was publicly criticized, talked about, harassed, teased, provoked, made to feel less than a woman was, and was considered to be worthless and useless.
It was believed by society that she had committed a sin against God and this was His punishment for her sin, by not allowing her to have children. Often times when a woman was not able to have children, her husband would kill her, because her barrenness brought reproach upon him. This is one of the reasons Moses instituted divorce. Instead of killing her, he would send her back to her father and she would live the rest of her life has a widowed woman, because she was now considered damaged goods. She was worthless and useless to any man.
Hannah suffered from this barrenness, she was socially unaccepted, criticized, not only from those that knew her, but those in her family unit, for her husband had two wives. She was harassed, teased, disappointed, discouraged, had low self-esteem. She felt useless, worthless, incomplete, forsaken, she considered herself as damaged goods in the eyes of others and in her own mind.
Eventhough her husband loved her and tried to fill the cracks of her broke spirit with a worthy portion. Eventhough he treated her with respect it was only a temporary fix. She was still considered in her mind and by others as being damaged goods.