Summary: Mother's Day Message how one mother's prayers (Hannah) changed the course of a nation.
1 Samuel 1:8–18 (NKJV)
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?”
9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”
15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”
17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”
18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Mothers teach us so much about all the important things in life.
My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside …... I just finished cleaning.”
My mother taught me Religion - “You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
My mother taught me Logic. - “Because I said so, that’s why.”
My mother taught me Foresight - “Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
My mother taught me Irony - “Keep laughing and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
My mother taught me about stamina: "You’ll sit there ’til you eat every last pea on your plate."
My Mother taught me about the weather: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."
My Mother taught me about the circle of life: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
My mother taught me well. The biggest single thing my mother ever did for me, besides give me birth, was to pray for me. She faithfully taught me about faith in Jesus, and she lived out that faith every day.
Our passage in scripture today is about one such mother who prayed for a son. This story takes place during turbulent times. You might even say it was a lawless time.
Eli was the priest at the tabernacle in Shiloh and he was the last of the Judges. To understand what was happening in that day and age it bear looking at the last line in the book of Judges:
Judges 21:25 (NKJV) In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Kind of like today. Every does what was right in their own eyes. Eli was not only a priest, he was also judge over Israel for over 40 years. 1st Samuel does not paint a very flattery picture of him and his sons. This story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel and Samuel’s early years is intertwined with the story of Eli and His evil sons who were also priests at Shiloh. The corruption of that culture also effected Eli and his sons. Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah. Elkanah was a Levite who had lived in Ephraim. Even though one wife was God intended norm, Elkanah probably took on a second wife, Peninnah, because Hannah was barren. Kind of like Abraham, Elkanah jumped the gun and had children with Peninnah because Hannah could not. But she was his favorite, but Peninnah did not let her forget she was barren.
1 Samuel 1:6 (NKJV) And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.
Children was a status symbol, and Hannah was infertile. Her husband tried to build her up she felt worthless and humiliated. It seemed unfair that a woman with Peninnah’s ugly disposition should have many children while gracious Hannah was childless. She also knew that only the Lord could do for her what he did for Sarah and Rachel, but why had God shut up her womb? Certainly this experience helped to make her into a woman of character and faith and motivated her to give her best to the Lord.