When we study the character of great men or women who have influenced the world it helps to know something about the home and the family in which they were born.
What were their parents like? What were their values that helped to shape and mould their child’s character. This is true of Samuel who was one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament. There is no doubt that Samuel owed a great deal to his mother Hannah.
The story/testimony of Hannah can be found in 1 Samuel Chapter 1. Read the full chapter and then consider the following.
Hannah was a God fearing woman and both Hannah and her husband Elkanah loved God and obeyed his law and commandments. Every day they looked to God and worshipped him and prayed to him. Every year the whole family would make a long journey to the house of God to worship Him. I guess you could think of it like a convention.
I guess you could say that this God fearing couple who loved and revered God were also a wise couple. We can call them wise because Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This was a time in Israel's history when the spiritual life of the nation was very low. The corruption and immorality had polluted a lot of people. It had even polluted the priests in the house of God. So amongst this corrupt nation we have a God fearing couple.
In today's corrupt society we too need God fearing people
So it would seem they were doing everything right. But for Hannah everything was not right. Even though she had a wonderful home and a loving husband, she had one big problem, she was barren she was childless. Her husband was satisfied because he had other children. But Hannah didn't want someone else's child she wanted her own child.
Someone else's blessing will never be the same as having your own blessing.
What is your need today?
In Hannah's case it was to have her own child and in the community she was considered as someone that God was not happy with. To make matters worse Hannah was being teased for being barren.
It’s a sad truth that this is how the Asian community often is, especially the women. They'll say oh hasn't she had a child yet? How long have they been married?
This teasing went on year after year, it got to the point where Hannah became depressed and even went off her food. Hannah had become so negative that she was overlooking all the good things in her life.
We can be like that when we have problems and difficulties to face. We can be so negative about the situation that we can become depressed, lose sleep, go off food, worrying ourselves sick. Surely this is not right for the Christian however serious the problem. We must always remind ourselves of the things that we can thank God for. We need to remind ourselves that God is our heavenly father and knows all about us.
There came a point when Hannah took a positive step. She stopped crying to her husband and she stopped crying to her friends and family, after all what could they do? So she went crying to God.
Don't you just love the Lord? He hears our cry and he takes pity on us. He's the one that we should go to, we should run to him.
Hannah didn’t offer up an animal, money or flour. She offered up a broken and contrite spirit. (Psalm 51:16-17) This sort of offering God will never despise.
You don't need all your social network friends to pray for you, God himself will hear your cry. You can go boldly to His throne of grace.
God heard Hannah's cry, in fact God felt Hannah's cry. Eli the priest didn't know what was going on.
People around you may not know what is going on inside of you. Sometimes they think they know, they may act as if they know. But only God your Heavenly Father knows what's in your heart. He knows you better than anyone else he even knows better than you know yourself.
It would seem that Hannah didn't pray a long 40 day fast prayer. The way we read it, it would seem like she just went to God’s house and cried her heart out. Or maybe she was praying in her heart on that long journey to from her village to God’s house. Maybe she stopped eating as a fast to God. The fact is she came into God’s house prepared to receive. She was so sure that she would receive what she was asking for that she even dedicated her child to God.
We can see here that there was something special about being in God’s house. Eli the priest prayed a blessing on her, she received her blessing because she knew that God had heard her cry and Hannah’s countenance was no longer sad.
And when we know that God has heard us then it is as good as done.
May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.