Summary: The story of Hannah is not only a wonderful account and illustration of what motherhood should be about, but also pictures the type of passion that all God’s children should demonstrate in their service for the Lord.


Text: I Sam.1: 1-10

Intro: “No one deserves a special day all to herself more than today’s Mom. A cartoon showed a psychologist talking to his patient: ‘Let’s see,’ he said, ‘You spend 50 percent of your energy on your job, 50 percent on your husband and 50 percent on your children. I think I see your problem’” (Source Unknown). Without a doubt, we men and children depend much more on our wives and mothers than we perhaps realize. When God created the female of the species, she was a special creation indeed.

Wilhelm Busch once said, “To become a mother is not so difficult; on the other hand, being a mother is very much so!” (Taken from Proclaim, “A Mother’s Day Sermon,” May 14, 1989). Concerning that statement, a preacher asked, “So, with all those qualifications, why bother with Mother’s Day at all? I’ll tell you why—because for all its stumbling blocks, pitfalls and broken dreams, for all the soiled diapers, soiled wallpaper and spoiled plans, we’re talking about a beautiful ideal, a natural part of God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light. Motherhood is a constant demand for the gift of love and caring” (Ibid).

Folks, the good preacher is right. Being a mother requires constant love and caring. Motherhood must be more than mere function, for if a mother operates merely from the standpoint of duty, rather than love and devotion, her actions lose their value. It is a demanding responsibility at best.

We hear much these days about young mothers abandoning their babies, or even killing their children. But folks, though this type of tragedy is more prevalent than in years past, don’t forget, they are still the exception and not the rule. There are still a majority of women who take their responsibility as mothers seriously.

Today, I want us to consider a woman of the Bible who had a strong desire to become a mother. Despite the pain, pressures or problems it might cause her, this lady desired with all her heart to take on that great responsibility that is motherhood. However, in this account we will not only see a good example of motherhood, but also some good principles to apply to our own Christian walk.

Theme: In Hannah’s mourning for motherhood we see:


A. She Was Barren.

1. Her barrenness was made obvious by the fruitfulness of Peninnah.

I Sam.1: 2b “…and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.”

2. However, even Hannah’s barrenness was part of God’s providential purpose.

I Sam.1: 5b “…but the Lord had shut up her womb.”

NOTE: [1] Notice that Hannah’s condition was God’s doing. Don’t try to explain that away, because it means just what it says. This had happened by the providential purpose of God. By the same token, the problems or burdens you’re experiencing right now may make no sense to you, but God has a purpose in mind.

[2] But why would God permit such a thing to happen to Hannah? The answer to that question may also explain why God permits some of the things that burden us to happen. For one thing, I notice that Hannah’s condition inspired a holy dissatisfaction within her. Hannah literally became burdened to give birth. Sometimes, whether we like it or not, we have to become burdened over our condition before we will seriously seek God to make the necessary changes in us. But there is good news. Just as God was able to bring Hannah from dissatisfaction to delivery, He is also able to bring us from spiritual barrenness to blessing.

[3] Bro. Charles Shipman says that dissatisfaction precedes revelation. To put it another way, dissatisfaction precedes direction. When God is about to reveal new spiritual truth or direction, He will create a feeling of dissatisfaction within His children’s hearts—a burden, if you will.

B. She Was Beloved.

I Sam.1: 4 “And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

5a But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah…”

NOTE: Some translate the word “worthy” as meaning “double.” Without going into a long and difficult explanation here, “The favoritism of Elkanah consisted not in his showing discrimination at the dinner table but in his loving Hannah more than he loved Peninnah” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 274).

C. She Was Badgered.

1. Peninnah badgered Hannah cruelly.

I Sam.1: 6 “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.”

NOTE: [1] This badgering was cruel because it was over something over which Hannah had no control.

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