Summary: There she was, a barren woman being battered by her opponent. And in her desperation, we responded with faith; faith that changed the course of Israel.
Passage: 1 Samuel 2:1-11
Intro: Faith is exercising trust in God without knowing the result.
1. isn’t that what it says in Hebrews
2. let’s take a look at one of those ancients today as we start a summer series from the OT titled: “Believe Him or Not”
3. we’ll start in the time period before the establishment of what has been called “the united kingdom period” of Israel.
4. straddling 1000b.c., lasted 120 years
5. it was a golden age of three powerful kings: Saul, David, and Solomon
6. but it didn’t just start one nice spring day.
7. the foundation was laid for it when a barren woman living in a time of universal idolatrous godlessness decided to place her trust in God for her personal problem.
8. and when she did, she became not only the vessel through whom Israel was rescued, but a powerful example to us more than 3000 years later of the power of faith.
9. faith is not powerful because of us, but because it is God’s weapon of choice in the spiritual battle we fight.
10. Why is it so powerful?
I. Faith Grows When it is Planted.
1. Israel was a mess, and had been for hundreds of years.
2. book of Judges, God periodically rescued them through one person’s faith from the consequences of their sinfulness.
3. the situation Hannah was in was indicative of life in Israel.
4. one of two wives of Elkanah, but unable to have children.
5. in that culture, very bad.
6. Elkanahs other wife, Peninah, was cranking out the kids.
7. notice verse 7 of chapter 1
PP 1 Samuel 1:7 “whenever”
8. I believe Peninah an idolater who used the regular trip to the temple to “rub it in” that Hannah’s God was inferior to hers.
9. Hannah’s response was to make this deal, which seems ludicrous.
10. but wait!
11. God had made provision to redeem all the firstborn sons.
12. Israel in a terrible state, certainly the Levites were not practicing their duties.
13. 2:12,22. to see the state of “worship” in Israel.
14. in the middle of this mess shines the tiny light of Hannah’s faith.
15. “if you give me a child, I will give him back to you, because he belongs to you.”
16. this was Hannah’s “seed faith”, but it would be for the benefit of others at great cost to herself.
17. this seed is powerful because it grows.
18. and Hannah’s seed was so strong that it enabled her to do what would seem impossible at the end of chapter
19. she entrusted her 3-5 year old son not to Eli and his debauched sons, but to God.
Il) try to take the kid from our moms
20. she made a promise by faith, and then kept it by a greater faith.
II. Faith Reveals God to Us
1. Hannah’s prayer in vv1-11 is amazing!
2. can you imagine a woman who just dropped off her precious young son to be watched over by a mostly blind old man and his degenerate sons praying what she does in verse 1?
3. it is a miracle of faith, because her act of faith has revealed to her the nature and character of God.
4. she goes on and on, v2 especially potent!
5. and she now understands the nature of suffering, recognizing that it gives God an opportunity to demonstrate His sovereignty by making the poor rich, the alive, dead, the full hungry.
6. what Hannah is able to recognize about God is that He alone is sovereign, He lifts up and brings down, makes the weak strong and the strong weak.
7. this is a powerful piece of understanding that comes to those who have put their trust in God.
8. I have no doubt that God will always remain a mystery to those who don’t believe what He has revealed about Himself. (Revelation books)
9. no matter how many degrees, how erudite and intelligent, the knowledge of God is hidden from those who will not believe.
10. He reveals Himself to those who believe what He has said.
11. do you want to know God, understand Him?
12. then believe what He says about Himself and put it into practice, especially when you don’t know the result.
Il) last two weeks we have heard from 2 lovely young women who are either in a scary country or going to one.
13. that means there are some parents here who trust God.
14. we have present examples of just the kind of faith Hannah exhibited.
III. Faith Frees Us From Worshipping Idols
1. idol worship is the belief that I can control things by manipulating a god who can do something about it.