Summary: What are we going to do with the pressure in our lives? How about Prayer and Praise!
1. One day Linus and Charlie Brown are walking. Linus says, “I don’t like to face problems head on. I think the best way to solve problems is to avoid them. In fact, this is a distinct philosophy of mine. No problem is so big or so complicated that it can’t be run away from!”
2. That will work if you’re a cartoon character but if you’re a real person you cannot avoid problems! But you can run to God when the pressure comes.
3. We can go from Pressure to Prayer to Praise – part 1
I Sam. 1:1-28
I. First, Hannah’s Pressure. 1:1-8
1 Samuel 1:1-8 (NKJV)
1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.
5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.
6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.
7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
A. Her Husband.
1. He was a Priest.
Ramathaim Zophim – else where called Ramah was about 15 miles north of Jerusalem.
an Ephraimite – relates to the territory in which they lived not their tribal origin. They were Levites thus did not have an appointed portion of land but lived among the other tribes. I Chron. 6:16,22, 33-35
Today all believers are priests ( I Pet. 2:5,9/ Rev. 1:6; 5:10), but in the O.T. only those from the tribe of Levi were.
2. He was a Polygamist. 1:2a
Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife at a time. God’s Word teaches that marriage should consist of one man and one woman (Gen.2:18, 24/Mt.19:4-6).
The Bible records the evil effects of polygamy as in the life of Abraham (Gen.16:4-16); Jacob (Gen.35:22; 37:18-28); David (2 Sam.13:1-29; 15:1ff), and Solomon (I Ki.11:1-12).
What apparently happened was the same thing that happened to Abraham and Sarah. She could not have a child so he married Hagar with the purpose of giving Abraham a child. Hannah is the first wife; she could not have a child so he married Peninnah.
He should have sought God’s will not another wife (Gen. 25:21).
3. He was a man of Praise! 3
Is not that grace? Here is a man who had disobeyed God’s Word and yet worships the Lord through the sacrifice [Jesus].
Maybe you have a terrible sin in your past; you can confess it as sin and get preoccupied with praising God through Christ.
Thomas Merton, “If I make anything out of the fact that I am Thomas Merton, I am dead. And if you make anything out of the fact that you are in charge of the pig barn, you are dead. Quit keeping score altogether and surrender yourself with all your sinfulness to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only his child redeemed by Christ.”
4. A Provider. 1:4-5, 8
He provided her with not only food but love and encouragement! But notice he could not take the place of God! No human being can do what God can do. Gen.30:1-2
It is not enough to see the problem we must also see the right solution.
During WWII the British navy was frustrated by the threat of German submarines. They couldn’t locate them, one officer offered this solution, “Once you bring the ocean to a boil, the submarines will be forced to the surface. Then you can knock them off!”
He was then asked, “But how does one boil the ocean?” He replied “I don’t know. I just give the ideas, I don’t implement them.”
Hannah was frustrated but Elkanah’s solution was worthless! Ultimately only God, not man, can solve our problems.
B. Her Headache. 1:2, 6-7