Summary: In this world we will have troubles and so how do we respond?
We start a new Message Series today. I hope you enjoyed our study of Ruth and you made a deeper commitment to God like Ruth did. We had noted that the time of Ruth was a time when God judged Israel because of their sins. And as we will note in the Book of Samuel, the people did not want judges they wanted a king for their nation.
But before we read about who will be the first king of Israel, let us learn God’s involvement from the very beginning of man’s desire to have a king. Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel… Read along with me 1 Samuel 1…
Let us summarize this beginning story then discuss the Biblical principles to apply for our lives.
v1-2: Elkanah was from the Tribe of Ephraim who had 2 wives. It was common practice by the Hebrews of old to have multiple wives. It was a practice allowed by God but really was not recommended. Even just here in this story,
v2-5: Elkanah had the problem of loving one wife more than the other but the one he loved less had all his kids!
v3: It does not really tell us how godly he was, but at least, Elkanah was a religious man.
v5: Hannah was barren, because God had a plan!
v6-7: The other wife provoked Hannah to tears for years!
But did you notice? God repeated it twice that it was God who closed Hannah’s womb.
Hannah was in tears for years; but do we note Hannah ever complaining to God? I believe this is part of the main biblical principle for us; God’s plan was to have Hannah barren and part of God’s plan is show that in spite of hardships, Hannah persevered in her faith with God.
Now look at v1 again and compare it with v9…. What difference do you see at the Temple??
When Hannah went to the Temple to pour her heart to God, it was Eli the priest there not the sons! Coincidence? I don’t think so. You see, just like He did for Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz, God was orchestrating His plan for Hannah. God would not use Eli’s sons, for even though they were priests, they were wicked\, as we will note later in this Book.
From v10-16, what was Hannah’s heart like when she prayed??
We note in v16 that she prayed with great anguish and grief, but did you notice how she started her prayer? She acknowledged God as her LORD (in capital letters; there was an emphasis on her commitment to God!)
And Hannah was praying so intensely that Eli the priest thought she was drunk! Hannah prayed with a hurting but humble heart and so committed as if she was drunk with God.
Now, we can talk about what Hannah prayed for and the vow she made, but simply, if her heart was not right, her prayer would not be right. Because Hannah’s heart was right, her prayer was right!
In v20-28, Hannah made good on her vow. Of course Hannah made good on her vow, for her prayer and commitment to God was genuine!
The main Biblical principle is simple; In spite of hardship, Hannah went to the Lord with intensity! Hannah was so into God that she was like “drunk” in the Lord!
How about us? Jesus said in John 16:33 - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Hannah is an example for Christians today. Even though blessed and saved from God’s judgment, Christians will still have troubles in this world, but they are to take heart in Jesus Christ!