Learning from Hannah
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – May 12th, 2019
- Mother’s Day is special day set aside to honor the role moms have in our lives and in society
- Early “Mother’s Day” was mostly marked by women’s peace groups. A common early activity was the meeting of groups of mothers whose sons had fought or died on opposite sides of the American Civil War.
- In its present form, Mother’s Day was established by Anna Marie Jarvis, following the death of her mother on May 9, 1905; She gave out white carnations (her mother’s favorite flower) to the mothers at her church. She campaigned to establish Mother’s Day as a U.S. national, and later an international, holiday. Anna Marie tirelessly gave of herself to Mothers even though she never had any children of her own.
- 1914, President Woodrow Wilsonmade a proclamation declaring the first national Mother’s Day as the second Sunday in May.
- Mother’s Day is set aside to honor the role our mother has played in our life. Every single person in this room has a mother. None of us would be here if it was not for her. We are told to honor our father and our mother – this is the first commandment with a blessing “so that it will go well with you.” Take time to honor your mother today, regardless of how she has treated you.
- I did not fully come to appreciate the role of mothers and my own mom until we had kids.
- Today we are going to focus on a mother from the Bible who really made a difference. Her name is Hannah and we read about her in the opening pages of the book of 1stSamuel.
Life has blessings and challenges
1 Sam 1:1-8 ESV
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
- Life is an up and down journey – the highs give us perspective and the lows give us character. Hannah’s life, like ours, had both blessings and challenges.
- She had a husband who worshipped God (1:3)
- She was loved (1:5)
- She was provided for (1:5)
- Her husband looked to connect with and help her with her pain (1:8)
- Her husband had divided interests (1:2)
- The Lord had limited her (1:5)
- She had a persistent, provoking and irritating rival (1:6-7)
- Her husband did not give her the help she needed (1:6-8)
Prayer is the best response to pain
1 Sam 1:9-11 ESV
After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
- She prayed out of her deep distress with bitter weeping. Life at times may bring these things, and in them we are to express ourselves fully to the Lord.
- God does hear your prayer; you do not need to bargain with Him. However, if it is in your heart to honor God by dedicating what He will give you in answer to your prayer, then you are free to do so. If you do make a vow, follow through with what you have committed to do – which Hannah did.
1 Sam 1:12-18 ESV
As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
- Know that sometimes people will misunderstand your heartache and your prayer.
- Do not try to medicate your life by pouring things into it, but instead choose to pour out your soul to the Lord. Don’t make a choice that is worthless but choose to give yourself to something that will make a real change.
- After you have made prayer the first priority – recruit others who will pray for you as well. Trust in the promises of God and know that God’s ear is especially attuned to the broken hearted.
Ps 34:17-18 ESV
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Ps 147:3-6 ESV
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars;he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
Luke 18:7-8 NIV
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.
Wait for the Lord to answer
1 Sam 1:19-20 ESV
They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”
- Continue to worship God while you are waiting. Continue to turn toward Him, not away from Him.
- The Lord will remember you, and in due time, you will see the response of the Lord.
Ps 31:24 ESV
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
- All of us have a mixture of blessings and challenges. In heartache and pain, call upon the Lord, pour yourself out to Him, trust in His word and wait for Him to respond.
- Because of choosing to turn to the Lord, may the Lord turn your mourning into dancing. May the fruit of your pain be a blessing to you, the people of God and to the Lord.