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.

[2] The word “fret” means, “violently agitated” or “to irritate (with anger)” (James Strong, S. T. D., LL. D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible: published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #7481 of the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, pgs. 109, 110).

2. Peninnah badgered Hannah continually.

I Sam.1: 7a “And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her…”

D. She Was Burdened.

I Sam.1: 7b “…therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?”

NOTE: [1] The words “ten sons” actually make reference to the idea of a large number. Elkanah was asking, “Am I not better to you than a large family?” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 275).

[2] I realize that Hannah was burdened because she could not bear physical children, but let’s apply that spiritually today. It is my prayer that God will create within us the burden to bear fruit for the Lord. I pray that God will stir up in us a sanctified dissatisfaction with our mediocrity, complacency, and lack of fruitfulness for Him.


A. She Makes A Plea To God.

I Sam.1: 10 “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.


13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.


15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.

16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.”

B. She Makes A Promise To God.

I Sam.1: 11 “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”

NOTE: [1] Basically Hannah told God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to the Lord for life. This child would be totally dedicated to the Lord. This is brought out by the fact that “no razor” was to ever touch his head. In essence, Samuel would be a Nazarite from birth.

[2] Mom, one of the best things you could ever do for your children is to dedicate them to the Lord.

[3] Dedicating your children to the Lord entails training them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph.6: 4).

C. She Received Her Petition From God.

I Sam.1: 19b “…and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.

20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.”

NOTE: [1] Don’t you know that when Hannah found out that she was pregnant, she must have been one happy lady. I imagine that she must have spoken to the baby in her womb during her pregnancy, and reminisced about how she had wept and prayed for him, how much she loved him, and the promise that she had made to the Lord.

[2] If you think that babies can’t hear inside their mother’s womb, you are in for a surprise.

Research indicates that loud noises can provoke movement by the fetus and alter its heartbeat. Photographs taken by ultrasound show unborn babies turning toward the tinkling of a bell or the flashing of a light…Studies indicate that as early as 36 hours or less after birth, babies are able to recognize their mother’s voice, preferring it to that of another woman. This suggests that the preference developed before birth (Alma E. Guinness, editor, ABC’s Of The Human Body: published by The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc., Pleasantville, New York; pg. 298).


A. It Was Made In Fulfillment Of Her Promise.

I Sam.1: 24 “And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her…and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young.

25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.

27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:”

B. It Was Made In The Full Knowledge That It Was Permanent.

I Sam.1: 28 “Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.”

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