Summary: God used her bitterness to impact a nation.


1 Sam 1:1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

1 Sam 1:2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

1 Sam 1:3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD.

1 Sam 1:4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.

1 Sam 1:5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.

1 Sam 1:6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

1 Sam 1:7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.

1 Sam 1:8 Elkanah her husband 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?"

1 Sam 1:9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple.

1 Sam 1:10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.

1 Sam 1:11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon 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 for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

1 Sam 1:12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.

1 Sam 1:13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk

1 Sam 1:14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

1 Sam 1:15 "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.

1 Sam 1:16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

1 Sam 1:17 Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

1 Sam 1:18 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.

1 Sam 1:19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

1 Sam 1:20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

1 Sam 1:21 When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow,

1 Sam 1:22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, "After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always."

1 Sam 1:23 "Do what seems best to you," Elkanah her husband told her. "Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word." So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

1 Sam 1:24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.

1 Sam 1:25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli,

1 Sam 1:26 and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.

1 Sam 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

1 Sam 1:28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

Hannah was going through a difficult time. She was being provoked by Penninah. Mocked, made fun, irritated year after year; so upset that she didn’t even want to eat. Sometimes life is just plain difficult. If its not one thing its another. What is one of the most natural things in the world (having a child) is a big issue in her life. And to make matters worse she has someone in her life who’s just plain discouraging.

The constant provoking that she endured led to grief and her heart to being downhearted. You might be going through a situation where you have a situation is difficult and you have a person in your life that is far from encouraging. Maybe it’s a roommate, your spouse. Hannah is a person you can learn from. Her bitterness led to something amazing. Pay close attention to these scriptures and you’ll see something magnificent.

1 Sam 1:10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.

1 Sam 1:11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon 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 for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

In Ch 2:11 1 Sam 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

1 Sam 2:21 And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

1 Sam 2:26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

1 Sam 3:4 Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am."

1 Sam 3:21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

1 Sam 4:1 And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.

One woman praying in bitterness of soul led to a nation being impacted. What happened?

Her bitterness led to weeping.

Her weeping led to praying.

Her praying led to commitment.(made a vow).

Her commitment led to sacrifice.

Her sacrifice led to her Samuel worshipping.

Samuels worship led to ministering before the Lord.

Ministering before the Lord led to him growing up in the presence of the Lord.

Samuel growing up in the presence of the Lord led to growing in stature with God and with men.

Growing up with stature led to His calling.

His calling led to God revealing Himself.

God revealing Himself led to Samuel impacting a nation with the word of God.

But it all stemmed from one woman’s bitterness. Isn’t that incredible!

Question? Is the condition of your life and the condition of your soul leading to anything spiritual.

Many in her condition just get bitter, critical, nasty, ugly and it ends there. There not spiritual at all. There’s no weeping, no praying, no commitment, no sacrifice, no worship, no ministering, no growing up in the presence of God, and no spiritual impact.

There may be impact, but it’s not spiritual.

Whatever difficult situations you find yourself in pray and commit to God and maybe in years to come God will use it to impact a nation of people.

We must pray through our challenges and commit ourselves to worship God. Oh how beautiful are the Job like characters that will worship though going through hell.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for though art with me! Praise God for that spirit!

God be praised for all those that can walk through the valleys where death, demons and hell is all around them and they still pray and worship the living God!

We’ve got to pray through our challenges, not just give in to them! Can God write about you like he wrote about Hannah or is the way you’re handling the challenge nothing to write about at all? Sometimes the way we handle our difficulties there’s no glory in it for God at all.

Hannah prayed to God with an intense desire and so must we. Though she was persecuted year after year she kept praying pouring out her soul to God.

Old E.M. Bounds said “Without desire, there is no burden of the soul, no sense of need, no enthusiasm, no vision, no strength, and no glow of faith. There is no strong pressure, no holding on to God with a deathless, despairing grasp – “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me”, (Gen 32:26). There is no total surrender as there was with Moses. Lost in the agony of a desperate, stubborn, and all consuming request, he cried, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, boot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. Or there was also John Know when he pleaded, “Give me Scotland, or may I die.”

Our souls need to pray more and not give up. Our souls need to spend more time in the presence of the Almighty God.

I encourage you to cut something out of your life in order to get it done. Sacrifice to pray and get closer to God and may God be glorified.