Summary: Hannah is an example for all of us. Her faith, her prayers, her commitment to God.
Title: Hannah: An Example of a Godly Woman Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1-28
The Bible contains great role models which provide us examples on how to live our lives.
Jesus told his disciples “follow me.”
Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.
A wonderful role model for women today is Hannah.... in fact, her life is an example we all can follow.
She is an example in her problems, prayer, provision, promise, and praise.
Her story is told here in 1 Samuel 1
How is Hannah's life an example to us as a godly person?
First, she had problems like everyone else.
Read 1 Samuel 1:1-8
I. Hannah’s Problems
What were Hannah’s problems? She had a couple……
1. She couldn’t have children – vs2 “Hannah had no children.”
It wasn’t her fault she couldn’t have children. She was married and within child bearing years.
It wasn’t her husband’s fault she couldn’t have children. We're told here he has children by his other wife.
Vs5 tells us she couldn’t have children because….“the LORD had closed her womb”
We’re not told why the Lord closed her womb. There are two options: a curse or a test.
Barrenness was considered by the ancients to be a curse from God, whereas children were considered a blessing.
In the eyes a Jewish woman it was a horrible thing to be barren.
It was horrible for a couple reasons:
1. If she couldn’t have children, the family lineage would not continue. The family line would end w/ her and her husband if she could not have children.
2. Every Jewish woman hoped, prayed that the Messiah would come through her. If she couldn’t have children she would not be granted the special privilege of bringing the Messiah into the world.
Because of this to be barren was seen as a curse of God, but it was also seen as a curse that could be reversed.
A lot of women today are infertile. Mayoclinic.com says, "Ten to fifteen percent of couples are infertile." Modern scientific advancements have helped relieve this problem. But they did not have these modern discoveries back then. It was a curse that only God could reverse.
Hannah was a godly lady who sought to always obey and please the Lord. It seems in her case to be more of a test than a curse. A test of her faith. Could she believe God for a miracle.
Another problem she experienced was….
2. She was harassed by the other wife –
vs2 "Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children."
as a result....
vs6 “her rival would provoke her severely, to make her miserable”
Vs 7 "…year after year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, the other wife would provoke her; on account of this Hannah would weep and not eat."
The other wife would harass Hannah making her angry, rubbing it in that she had children by their husband, but not Hannah.
She would say mean, hurtful things to Hannah, insulting her, provoking her to anger and to tears to the point she wouldn’t eat.
The other wife used Hannah’s barrenness as a means of ridicule. She mocked Hannah and made her life miserable! It seems also there was a hint of jealousy in this home. V5 tells us that the husband loved Hannah. Apparently she was his favorite and it showed. However the other wife could give him something that Hannah could not, children, and she used this to mock Hannah. All of this criticism and belittling made life almost impossible for Hannah.
What can we learn from Hannah’s Problems?
Women of God are not exempt from problems in this life
The righteous often suffer (remember Job)
Sarah too suffered ridicule from Hagar -
Hannah could have used her misfortune and mistreatment as an excuse to quit, to give up, to give in, but she didn’t.
Hannah kept the faith; she kept believing that God would give her children- vs7 “year after year she went to the house of the Lord.”
Women of God have problems just like other women. What sets them apart as women of God is what they do when faced with their problems.
2. Hannah’s Prayer 1 Sam. 1:9-10
Hannah, like all godly women, had problems. But she knew how to handle her problems – take them to God. She didn’t return evil for evil to the other wife. The other wife was mean to Hannah, but Hannah took her problems to the one who could do something about them.
Notice Hannah’s Prayer...she prayed….
vs10 with a heart full of sadness “she was in bitterness of soul”
It’s okay to pour out your heart, your hurt, your bitterness to the Lord. He knows, he understands, he hears.
v10 she prayed with a broken heart/weeping “she wept”