Summary: A look at Hannah, a woman of God who had an incredible passion for kids, and especially her firstborn Samuel.
Now I believe that the family is the heartbeat of the church, as we point our kids and pave the way for them to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And we’re gonna pick up the story today with a look back at the story that we looked at a couple of weeks ago with Hannah and Samuel. If you want to turn in your Bible to 1 Samuel chapter 1, we’re gonna follow along and we’re gonna take a look at this woman of God who had an incredible passion for kids—and especially for her son Samuel, her firstborn, and the commitment that he made.
Hannah is a great role model for us in a variety of ways. Not so much in the way that she had to give up her child rather early in life (Hopefully that won’t be our situation.), but in a variety of different ways we can still learn a great deal from her.
So what I want us to do is I want you to understand the setting which we pick up this story in 1 Samuel 1. Before Samuel was born, Hannah had no children, and for years she pleaded with God for Him to open up her womb. And she desperately wanted a child. So much so that her life was rather miserable when she didn’t have children, and she was constantly saying to her husband how much she wanted kids. In fact, she went through a stretch where she cried all the time and she wouldn’t eat food.
I want you to pick up the story in verse 8 of 1 Samuel 1, and let’s listen to her husband’s foolish question that he asks her. “Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’”
Well, evidently not. And guys, this is not a wise question to ask. Neither God nor her husband was meeting the need that she had of wanting a child, and she desperately pleaded with God to provide a child for her.
We could describe this first season of Hannah’s life in one word, and we’ll say the word empty because that’s the way she felt. Look in your Bible at verses 10 and 11. “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord.’”
Now the priest, Eli, notices her, but he doesn’t think she’s praying; because all he sees is that her mouth is moving but no sound is coming out. So obviously she was trying to pray and keep those prayers just between God and her. And at that moment, Eli misinterprets what’s taking place and he thinks she’s drunk. So he calls her on it and in verse 15 she says, “‘Not so, my lord,’ Hannah replied, ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.’ Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.’ She said, ‘May your servant find favor in your eyes.’ Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.”
Now at this stage Hannah is childless, but she has been given something from the priest, from Eli. She has been given hope—a small measure of hope, but nonetheless she still was given something from him.
And I know that for many moms who come on a Mother’s Day it’s difficult for you to be here, because maybe you haven’t found that right man to marry or maybe you haven’t been able to get pregnant.
And I’m sure that there are many ladies, who are here in this service and on all of our campuses, who have had a difficult time coming to worship on this weekend because maybe you had an abortion years ago and you’re still trying to work through that and deal with the guilt and some of that grief. I just want you to know God can heal. God can forgive. He can do it completely.
Or maybe it’s a tough day because you can relate to Hannah’s barrenness. And if you are a married couple and you find yourselves in a similar circumstance, then pray that God will either give you a child through pregnancy or maybe through adoption or else that God will somehow make up the difference—that somehow He will make up for the wants that you have in your hearts. And maybe He’ll do it in some other way that we could never even imagine. Hannah wanted a baby desperately, but she was not able to conceive. And she went into the temple, and she asked God to give her a child; and in this particular case, God said, “Yes.”