Summary: God honors the prayers of women of faith!
WOMEN OF FAITH
I SAMUEL 1: 1-20
MOTHERS DAY MAY 13, 2001
INTRODUCTION: E-mail: what men know about women: list of one through 10 with all ten lines blank! Erma Bombeck writes: For the first 4 or 5 years after I had children, I considered motherhood a temporary condition – not a calling. It was a time of my life set aside for exhaustion and long hours. It would pass. Then one afternoon, with 3 kids in tow, I came out of a supermarket pushing a cart (with four wheels that went in opposite directions) when my toddler son got away from me. Just outside the door, he ran toward a machine holding bubble hum in a glass dome. In a voice that shattered glass he shouted, “Gimme! Gimme!” I told him I would give him what for if he didn’t stop shouting and get in the car. As I physically tried to pry his body form around the bubble gum machine, he pulled the entire thing over. Glass and balls of bubble gum went all over the parking lot. We had now attracted a sizable crowd. I told him he would never see a cartoon as long as he lived, and if he didn’t control his temper, he was going to be making license plates for the state. He tried to stifle his sobs as he looked around at the staring crowd. Then he did something that I was to remember for the rest of my life. In his helpless quest for comfort, he turned to the only one he trusted his emotions with – me. He threw his arms around my knees and held on for dear life. I had humiliated him, chastised him, and berated him, but I was still all he had. That single incident defined my role. I was a major force in this child’s life. Sometimes we forget how important stability is to a child. I’ve always told mine, “the easiest part of being a mother is giving birth… the hardest part is showing up for it each day…” Mother’s day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produce to wash dirty faces, all the old gum they held in their hands, all the noses they wipe, and all the bloody knees they “made well” with a kiss. This is the day mothers are rewarded for washing all those sheets in the middle of the night, driving kids to school when they missed the bus, and enduring all the football games in the rain. It’s appreciation day for making your children finish something they said they couldn’t do, not believing them when they said, “I hate you,” and sharing their good times and their bad times. Their cards probably won’t reflect it, but what they are trying to say is, “Thank you for showing up.”
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day tells the story of a real woman with real issue who faces them with real faith. She discovers that there is a real God who really cares about those who seek Him out with “Great Faith.” This text is a challenge to men and women alike to seek God when times are tough rather than run after worldly solutions. Hannah teaches us about a real faith as she proves to be a woman of faith.
THESIS SENTENCE: God honors the prayers of women of faith!
I. WOMEN OF FAITH HAVE REAL PROBLEMS/ISSUES (VV. 1-8)
A. Hannah was a real woman!
1. As we read the story of the scripture, often, because of lack of searching on our part, we feel that the heroes of the faith were people unlike us.
2. Often, we might say to ourselves, they don’t live in our day, they didn’t struggle with our struggles.
3. Surely life was easier back then!
4. BUT, as we carefully study scripture, LIKE IN SUNDAY SCHOOL (RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU ATTEND SUNDAY SCHOOL!), you will notice that the people of the book had every bit as much struggle, and could I say more, than we do today. We might know more today, but then again, I doubt it!
B. Real women have real problems!
1. Hannah had some serious issues!
2. She shared a husband with a quarrelsome woman.
3. In verse 6, this woman, Peninah is called her “RIVAL.” This is not a pleasant term!!
4. This same verse states that her “Rival” also “Provoked” her!
5. What was the issue of this provocation: Hannah was barren, she could not have children. According to the scripture, God had closed her womb. This is serious business.
6. Verse 7 says that her “Rival” “Provoked” her until she (Hannah) would not eat. This is what you call serious verbal abuse!
7. And if this weren’t enough, Elkanah tries to make it all better by saying, “Aren’t I better than ten sons!” Isn’t that the way us men do it, look at a worst case scenario and say, “Well, at least you have me!”