Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 Samuel 1:9-17, 20-28
9 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.” 12 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 your wine away 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”….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.” 21 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”
During the period of the Judges the people of Israel were in dire straits because they lacked godly leadership. The priesthood was defiled, there was no sustained prophetic message from the Lord, and the law of God was being completely ignored. As He often did in Israel’s history, God began to solve the problem by sending a baby. Babies are God’s announcement that He knows the need, cares for His people, and is at work on their behalf. The arrival of a baby ushers in new life and a new beginning; babies are signposts for the future, and their conception and birth is a miracle that only God can do. To make the event seem even greater, God sometimes selects barren women to be the mothers, as when He sent Isaac to Sarah, Jacob and Esau to Rebekah, and Joseph to Rachel.
Here God hears the cry of another barren woman, Hannah, and does another miracle by sending the great and final judge into this world by the name of Samuel. He served as the prophetic bridge between the chaos of the time of the Judges and the eventual prosperity of the Kingdom of David. The point is that at a time when it seems as though God is silent and that He doesn’t care. He is actually at work to bring a miracle for His own glory!
In Hannah, this godly mother, we see a wonderful picture of Christ. First we see Christ in her barrenness. Hannah was completely unable to have children, so she turned to the author of life itself, the Lord of all creation. She called on the name of Yahweh God and a child was born in her. So too, you and I are barren of spiritual life, but when we call on the name of the Lord for salvation Jesus is born in us. Secondly, we see Christ in Hannah’s brokenness. Hannah had a deep desperation in her heart for God to do something in her life. Hannah was being laughed at, talked about, and scorned. When she came to worship many eyes were on her, even the priest thought she was crazy. However, instead of getting bitter she got better. Just like Jesus when He was being nailed to the cross cried, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Thirdly, we see Christ in Hannah’s blessedness. She had longed for a child, and the Lord answered her prayer; but the moment he came she dedicated him to the Lord. It’s amazing to think that the very thing she longed for she immediately gave back to the Lord. Maybe that’s because she longed for the Lord more than the blessing. For Hannah the joy was knowing the Lord heard her prayers not that physical blessings had been given. The Lord was her blessing. Scripture says for the joy set before Him Christ endured the cross, and so too when Christ is our joy enduring in the faith gets a little sweeter. By the way, in chapter 2 it says God gave Hannah 5 more children! What we give up for the Lord He will replace multiple times over!
It’s been said there’s nothing like a mother’s love. That may be true, but I would also add to that there is nothing comparable to the Father’s love. In Hannah’s love for her family and her love for God we see a beautiful picture of Christ. Today, let’s be like Hannah: prayer warriors, humble servants, and sacrificial worshippers casting our cares on Him because we know He cares for us.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, thank you for loving me. Even when I don’t understand what you’re doing, help me to trust in You. Lord, You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. You love to give good gifts to Your children. So, today Lord, fill me with Your Spirit and bless me once again with Your Presence. I long for Your touch today. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
2 Timothy 1:12
I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.