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Sermon Notes 5/8/22: Hannah: Her Pain Had A Purpose

Hannah: Her Pain Had A Purpose

There was a time when Mother’s day was very painful in the life of Erin and I

We were married in 2004 and Elizabeth was not born until 2018

For many years it seemed even though we prayed for a child God was silent and the heavens were brass

There were many times I simply felt like giving up and throwing in the towel

But the Holy Spirit would always bring to my mind Hannah

What God showed me over and over again was in the midst of Hannah’s pain, God was shaping and molding her heart and life

She never relented in prayer and I am sure there were moments she may have wondered if God even heard or cared

I am sure there are some in the room today who are dealing with different issues in life who have prayed, are waiting, and may even wonder if God cares or is moving

But the truth is God is always faithful

James 5:16 tells us 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective [a]prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

The pain and sacrifice of Hannah’s life would make way for the great prophet Samuel

We may not always understand all that God is doing, but He has simply called us to trust Him

1 Samuel 1:1-8

Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

3 Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; 5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb. 6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8 Then 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 better to you than ten sons?”

· We are given the background and heritage for the prophet Samuel

o His father was a levite and had two wives

o 1 Chronicles 6:33-36 33 These are those who [a]served with their sons: From the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 34 the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, 35 the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, 36 the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,

o The focus of this chapter will be on Hannah

o Elkanah most likely had two wives because Hannah was his first and was barren

o He married Peninnah to carry on the family name

o Having males sons was vital to the continuation of the family

· Elkanah is a godly man taking part in the three feast yearly the Jews were called to observe

o Passover, feast of weeks or Pentecost, and tabernacles

· It is here that we find out a rivalry exist between the two women

o Polygamy always carries with it consequences

o Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion

o She was the one he truly loved

o Because of this Peninnah provoked her bitterly and irritated her

· It was God who closed Hannah womb for a period of time

o It would have caused incredible pain and heart break to a woman not to bear children

o She would have been seen as cursed by God

o But God had a purpose in closing Hannah’s womb

o It prepared her to give her son Samuel to the service of the Lord

1 Samuel 1:9-11

9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She, [a]greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 She made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a [b]son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

· Hannah is heart broken

o The continuous treatment from her rival had produced within her incredible distress

o But she demonstrates her faith and trust in God

o She doesn’t abandon the Living God

· She refers to the Lord as Lord of Host

o It speaks of God’s sovereignty

o The commanders of the armies of Heaven

o The one who is in control of all things

o Hannah was a woman of prayer and her heart ache produced in her what is known as fervent prayer

o James 5:16 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective [o]prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

· She asks specifically for a son

o Her pain and anguish has prepared to give the one thing she desires above all else back to the Lord

o Sons were vital for carrying on the name of the family

o But this child would be a special child

o Just like Samson before him and John the Baptist after him this child would be a Nazarite for life

o Consecrated to the service of the Lord

o Often times we fail to understand there is purpose in the pain

o God uses pain and suffering to shape and mold the human heart

1 Samuel 1:12-18

12 Now it came about, as she [c]continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 15 But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman [d]oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not [e]consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and [f]provocation.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” 18 She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

· Eli most likely because of the Jewish feast that took place often would encounter those who were drunk

· But Eli also failed to demonstrate true spiritual discernment during his time as High Priest

o It can be seen in the life of his sons

· Hannah is not drunk she is a woman travailing in prayer

o She continues in prayer because she trust the Living God

o Her faith is not shaken regardless of the ridicule she faces or the silence from God

o This is often where God shapes a person to be used by Him

· Yes Samuel would be used greatly by God to judge and lead Israel

o He would be the prophet used by God to anoint both Saul and David

o But it required a mother who willingly would consecrate her son to the Lord

o This was not forced by God, But God had chosen Hannah

o God had closed her womb

o God is the author of life

· Sometimes we view barrenness as a curse and fail to understand what God is doing in the heart of a woman during that very painful season

o We must remember the thing God is most concerned with is the condition of our hearts

1 Samuel 1:19-20

19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah [g]had relations with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 It came about [h]in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.”

· God never forgot Hannah

o God knew exactly what He was doing

· When it says the Lord remembered Hannah it simply means that God opened her womb

o God heard her prayer

o When we are praying and waiting on God we can feel like God doesn’t hear and God doesn’t care

o But in that time of waiting He is shaping our hearts

· God moved in His time and gave her a son

o Hannah hadn’t manipulated God into moving

o This was God’s will the entire time

o It was the season of having her womb closed that she would say yes to giving her son over to the work and service of the Lord

1 Samuel 1:21-28

21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and stay there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best [i]to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the Lord confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 26 She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. 27 For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 So I have also [j]dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is [k]dedicated to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

· The process of weaning took about 2 to 3 years

o Hannah would nurse and raise Samuel during that time

o She would enjoy the blessing that God poured out in her life

· But she was also committed in her heart to give him to the Lord

o I am always amazed by this account now that I am a father

o My daughter is now three and the last three years I have watched her grow and be her dad I could not imagine parting with her permanently

· When the time came Samuel was brought to the temple

o The sacrifice shows the greatfulness at which Hannah has for the faithfulness of God

o Hannah had diligently prayed and the Lord heard every prayer

o I am sure there were many years as Hannah watched the children of her rival grow up and the verbal abuse that she took would break her heart

o I am sure there were many moments where she wondered God do you hear me

o God do you care

o I am sure she felt like a forgotten woman

Now you may be wondering did Hannah have any other children

The answer is yes

1 Samuel 2:18-21

18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy [a]wearing a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you [b]children from this woman in place of [c]the one she dedicated to the Lord.” And they went to their own [d]home.

21 The Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.

· Hannah would see Samuel every year

o Each year she would watch him grow and would make for him a linen ephod

o Hannah loved Samuel dearly but she had given him and consecrated him to the Lord

· But because of her obedience and sacrifice God blessed her greatly

o She would have three sons and two daughters

o Sometimes when God calls us to sacrifice we may struggle with obedience

o But God shows time and time again in His word that blessing always follows obedience

o God is faithful and there is nothing that is too hard for God

o Hannah’s heart and life was greatly shaped by the painful season of barrenness she experienced

o But God had a purpose in all of it and He never forgot Hannah

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