Summary: Hannah was desperate. Her desperation led to a time of intense prayer. Prayer then lead to full surrender and sacrifice. Full Surrender and Sacrifice lead to Celebration!
Scripture: 1 Samuel 1:1-18
Theme: Power of Prayer: Hannah and the Lord of Hosts!
Hannah was desperate. Her desperation led to prayer. Prayer lead to surrender and sacrifice. Surrender and Sacrifice lead to Celebration!
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sins of the world!
In 1996 the Apple Company was barely surviving. It's shares were hovering around 80 - 90 cents a share. The company was unfocused and floundering. Over 350 different projects were being worked on but nothing fantastic was happening. There was a lot of activity going on but little progress or success was occurring. It looked like in a matter of months or a few years the Apple brand and company would merely disappear.
But in 1997 former CEO Steve Jobs came back to Apple. In quick fashion he set into motion a global revolution. Under his direction the Apple brand not only came back but it found new life, new focus and started inventing such things as the iMac, the iPod, iTunes and of course the iPhone. Today, that same 80 cent stock has risen to be worth over 160 dollars. That means if you had bought a $ 1,000 dollars worth of Apple stock back in 1996 that same stock would be worth over $ 180,000 dollars today. Way to go Steve Jobs.
In 2008 the Sunoco Oil Company was spinning out of control. Like Apple it had lost its way and was leaking profits and revenue. Ms. Lynn L. Elsenhans was appointed CEO and in her four year tenure she led Sunoco out of financial trouble and once again towards the right direction. Under her leadership the Sunoco Oil Company not only enjoyed a 52% increase in profits but has once again become a leader in their field.
From 1996 to 2006 the University of Alabama Football Program had an overall record of 55 wins and 55 losses. Now, for most teams that would be respectful but not for Alabama fans. What was even worse was that they had a 4 and 3 win/loss record in bowl games and during that time they once won the SEC Championship. From all accounts it looked the best days of the University of Alabama's football program were in the past. Then in 2007 Nick Saban decided to take the job of being their head football coach. Since then the team has won over 120 games and has also won 4 national championships. Now, that is quite a turnaround.
Steve Jobs, Lynn Elsenhans and Nick Saban all have something in common. Each of them took over a company or a team that was either going nowhere or was headed towards disaster. But each of them were able to be a catalyst that lead not only to a resurgence but to a time of great success as well. Where would Apple be today if Steve Jobs had not returned and shared his genius with them? Where would Sunoco be without the leadership of Lynn Elsenhans? And where would Alabama football be without Coach Saban's leadership?
Each of those stories are inspirational. Each one of them has a lot to tell us about revival, renewal and the possibility of new opportunities. Each one of their stories is able to tell us a great deal about the power of one person being able to turn around a whole culture, a whole mindset and even a whole company. But what about a lady that was not only the catalyst for the turnaround of an institution but was the catalyst for the turnaround of an entire nation?
This morning, we find her story in the 1st Chapter of the book of 1 Samuel. It is the story of a woman by the name of Hannah. By all accounts we should have never heard about Hannah. After all she was merely the wife of a certain man of Ra-math-aim - zo phim (Hebrew: ??????????????). This was a little village that was located about 4 or 5 miles north-west of what one day would be called the city of Jerusalem and about 8 - 10 miles from Shiloh where the Tabernacle of God was located. Back then Ramathaim-zophim (Hebrew: ??????????????) was just a little village that very few people even knew about.
Hannah was married to a Levite named Elkanah who had been assigned to the tribe of Ephraim. You may remember that the tribe of Ephraim comes from the house of Joseph and at one time was one of the major tribes of Israel. According to 1 Chronicles chapter six, Elkanah was a Levite from the line of the Ko hath ites. The Kohathites were the Levites that were in charge of taking care of the vessels and the sacred objects within the sanctuary which would have included the Ark of the Covenant, the Table of Shewbread and the Menorah.