Summary: Hannah's prayer to God is a great template of how we can turn to God in times of affliction and persecution.
Date Written: July 11, 2013
Date Preached: July 14, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series In 1 Samuel
Sermon Title: The Prayer of a Broken Heart/Spirit
Sermon Text: 1 Samuel 1 [HCSB]
This morning I want to begin a series from the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel…This book is actually the 1st part of 4 parts to a series about the transition of Israel from a Theocratic nation where judges were used by God to lead the nation to a nation ruled by a sole king.
In the Septuagint (The Greek version of the Old Testament) 1 Samuel was not the title for this book. It was actually 1 Kings and there were 4 Kings books 1st Kings, 2nd Kings (which we know now as 1 & 2 Samuel) and there were 3rd Kings and 4th Kings (which we now know as 1&2 Kings)…
There is much we can learn from the 1st book in this series of stories about the transition of a nation… This book specifically is a book that is really an introduction to the transition period for the nation… where they begin to transition from judges leading the nation to kings/prophets leading the nation.
The prophet/priest Samuel was the LAST of these judges to lead and counsel the nation. Many see Samuel as the 1st of the great prophets.
Samuel’s role did evolve from strictly being a judge to becoming both a judge and also a prophet… and with that transition the king becomes the center of government for the nation!
However, I am not here this morning to give you a history lesson about the book of 1 Samuel… This morning I want us to focus on the 1st chapter and the tremendous prayer of a broken heart/spirit… Let’s look at the prayer of Hannah!
When we read the story of Hannah, we can see that 1st Hannah was AFFLICTED by her situation, broken and ridiculed as well as feeling alone and useless! She hurt deep within her soul! She needed God in a great way! Have you ever been there? Let’s look at Hannah’s situation…
Hannah was afflicted – 1 Sam 1:6-8 [HSCB]
6Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. 7Whenever she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way every year. Hannah wept and would not eat. 8“Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah asked. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?”
Here we find that Hannah is one of 2 wives of a man named El-kanah. She is afflicted because she has no children. Her affliction is coming from the other wife and from society in general…
She is ridiculed and mocked by the other wife; a woman the Bible calls “her rival". She would mock & make her life miserable. She would flaunt her children in front of Hannah and degrade Hannah in front of the servants and in front of Elkanah. This other wife made Hannah’s life a living hell…
However it did not end with this other woman, but also in society Hanna was being looked down upon by others because of her lack of children. To them this was an obvious sign that God was punishing her for her sin…whatever that sin may be!
She was mocked by her rival, and society ridiculed her… she was in pain, but what I find possibly worst of all is that her husband… the man to whom she should be able to turn for comfort – was NOT there for her!
In fact, it seems as if he was oblivious to her pain… he tells her, “Why are you worrying about all these people, you’ve got me and I am better than 10 sons!”
He thought that all his wealth and what he provided as a husband was what she really needed… but what she needed was his heart, not his wallet!
When we look at Hannah’s situation we can see that she felt all alone and possibly she may have believed that because of what OTHERS thought of her that maybe God had really abandoned her as well…
This sounds a lot like the book of Job… Job’s friends told him that he MUST have sin in his life because God would not allow such suffering to one without sin!
Likewise in the NT we find the same thought pattern prevailing! You MUST be guilty because God is punishing you for something…
This led Hannah to feel all alone in her marriage. Elkanah’s kindness toward her was not what she needed, she needed a touch from God! So Hannah got on her knees and cried out in her affliction!