Summary: The Bible tells us that God closed up Hannah’s womb. Really? Would He do that, or was this the kind of comment where we call something an "act of God?"

Real Mothers are special people.

Real mothers would like to be able to eat a whole candy bar (all by themselves) and drink a Coke without any "floaters" in it.

Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.

Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.

Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of shag carpets.

Real Mothers do NOT want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.

Real Mothers sometimes ask "Why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says, "Because I love you best."

Real Mothers know that a child’s growth is not measured by height or years or grade...It is marked by the progression from Mama to Mom to Mother.

APPLY: Real mothers are a class unto themselves.

Real mothers have an investment in the future – because their children ARE the future.

One of the preachers I talked to this week said that he had observed that: “Real Mothers are selfless when it comes to their children. They’ll put up with dirty diapers, the throwing up, the spitting up, the crying for hours. They give up their time and their sanity because this child is theirs. They are selfless… because they are REAL mothers."

This morning we’re talking about a “real mother” out of Scripture.

Her name is Hannah.

Hannah is a very special woman because she’s one of those rare women that God holds up for us to see and admire.

Now, as we’re introduced to Hannah, we find that she has a problem.

What’s her problem? (she can’t get pregnant)

Why can’t she get pregnant? (God has closed up her womb).

Oh really?

I read a sermon online by a one preacher who implied that God really didn’t close up her womb. It was just one of those comments that people make when they don’t know the cause of a tragedy or a natural disaster. In fact you’ll hear it on the news when a tornado has swept through a town. They call that kind of disaster an… “act of God”.

They don’t really think God caused the tornado.

And this preacher really didn’t think God caused Hannah’s womb to be closed.

Now, I have a couple of problems with that:

1st problem is this: The Bible tells me “God closed up her womb.”

It doesn’t say “Hannah THOUGHT God closed her womb.”

Or that “Elkanah thought…”

Or that “the people thought…”

It said “God closed up her womb.”

Now excuse me… if the Bible tells me God closed her womb my first thought is – that’s probably what happened.

My 2nd problem with the “act of God” approach is that scripture only uses this phrase (closed a womb) one other time I know of. It happened way back in Genesis.

In the days of Abraham (Abimelech) the King of Gerar had a nasty habit of killing men so that he could gain their wives for his harem. Apparently Abraham’s wife Sarah was desirable. And since Abraham had no desire to be killed by the king, he passed Sarah off as his sister. Sure enough - Abimelech took her into his harem.

BUT before the King of Gerar can take her to his bed, God appeared to him in a dream and explained the situation. He told Abimelech that Sarah was Abraham’s wife, that Abraham was His prophet, and that if the King ever touched Sarah – he was a dead man.

This dream appropriately frightened the King so that he returned Sarah to Abraham and pled for Abraham pray for him.

Then we read: “… Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the LORD had CLOSED UP EVERY WOMB in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.” Genesis 20:17-18

Now, in that story, there’s no question that God closed up the wombs of Abimelech’s harem. God was punishing the King of Gerar for his nasty habit of killing husbands to get their wives.

But here in I Samuel it tells me God closed up Hannah’s womb.

Was God punishing Hannah?

Did God hate her or something?

Oh, I don’t think so.

There’s nothing in this story to tell us that she was wicked or evil in any way. In fact the picture painted here is of a godly woman who is in trouble (heart’s breaking) and she’s praying with all of her heart that God would help her.

That’s not the kind of person God punishes

2 Chronicles 16:9 says “…the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. – That’s Hannah.

God wasn’t punishing Hannah.

God’s eyes had ranged throughout the earth to find a woman just like her.

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Bill Scott

commented on Sep 1, 2014

Excellent insight

Danny Brightwell

commented on May 4, 2015

Excellent lesson, Jeff, thank you so much for sharing it.

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