Text: I Sam 1:1-2:1
Title: Your commitment will be honored
Here we have a woman in our text, Hanna whose name means grace or favor who is dealing with some misfortunate events that caused her much sorrow. Her husband, Elkanah had another wife, Penninah, jewel. Not if that was bad enough Hanna had no children and Penninah did. In that Jewish culture a woman with children was honorable especially having a son. A son measured a woman worth. It is a terrible thing for a woman to have to compete with another woman for a man. Especially when she thinks she can’t offer what the other woman can offer him. Hanna had to deal with this sorrow because the Lord shut her wound. Her husband was a faithful man in making sacrifices to the Lord. Year after year he would take his family to Shiloh where the house of God was to worship and make a sacrifice. Shiloh means a place of rest. It is always good to take your family to rest in the Lord. On the day when Elkanah made a sacrifice, he would give portions to his other wife and her children. But to Hanna, he gave her a double portion because he loved her even though the Lord shut up her womb. The text says that Elkanah loved Hanna. He preferred favor over jewels. This comes to show you that God doesn’t love you for what you can do for him. He just loves you for you. My brothers and my sisters, God will give you double for your trouble because he loves you. God always has a way of comforting the brokenhearted with a blessing. But even at Shiloh, Hanna with her double portion of blessing didn’t find rest at the place of rest. Penninah would provoke her to anger because she could not have a child. This went on year after year. Every time she would go into the house of the Lord to worship, she would hear this woman’s mouth. Please tell me this stuff doesn’t happen at Tried Stone, a sister tearing another sister down. Every time Hanna would hear words coming out of Peninnah’s mouth, it would eat her up to the point she would not eat and she would cry. She was hurt by another sister who thought she had the up hand. Her husband saw all the pain that she was going through and tried to comfort her in a macho type of way but it did not work. He says to her in v. 8 “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? No matter how great a husband Elkanah was, it was not enough to satisfy the longing for Hanna to have a child. She wanted to produce for herself. Having a man was not good enough for her. Her deep sorrow lead to her…
We have to know no matter how long we are going through, God does attend to our pain. Look what happens to Hanna. One day after dinner at Shiloh, Hanna got up and went to pray. No matter how painful life can be get up and pray. Eli the priest saw Hanna in the temple. Hanna was praying weeping bitterly and she made a vow, “Lord of Host look at your servant’s affliction and remember me and not forget me. Give me a son that I will dedicate to you and no razor will touch his head which mean he will be set apart for you.” As she continued to praying, Eli the man of God saw that her mouth was moving but he could not hear her words and mistaken her for being drunk. His perception of her was wrong. He must have been used to seeing drunk people act like that in the house of God. But Hanna answered him telling him she was just pouring out her soul before the Lord. Everybody can’t hear you pour out you soul. Some things are only for God. Hanna was just crying out to God in her anxiety of not get pregnant and her anger of being ridiculed and embarrassed. Have you ever cried out to the Lord like that for your desire and you being persecuted happen at the same time? Your emotions have peaked and you put it all before the Lord and hold nothing back. The problem is that we are too cute and arrogant when we come before God. We want to hold on to stuff and not be real with God and wonder why we don’t get a break through. But the Bible says to come bold to the throne of grace and obtain mercy and find grace in the time of need. Look at your neighbor and tell them to go bold and let it out! Hanna lets it out before God. Look what happens next. Eli made a mistake and gives her a prophetic blessing. He says to her “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” She was receptive to that word. The text says that she went her and ate and she was no longer sad. A word from God changed her disposition. All you need is Word from the Lord about your situation. That is why you come to church to get a Word. God has word for you today and it is “Go in peace, everything is going to work out” according to his word!
Results of he supplication: bearing a son
The next day they arose early in the morning and went back home. The text says that Elkanah knew Hanna and the Lord remembered Hanna and she conceived a son. She named him Samuel which means “asked of God”. I can thank God for my Samuel experiences. She was once barren now she got a baby. I thank God that he is able to turn some things around in my life. Somebody can testify, you we once broke not you got money. You were once depressed but now you got joy. The same God who shuts something down in your life is the same God who is still doing miracles. Hanna is blessed with a son.
Next, Hanna gives us a lesson about integrity. She made a vow to God and is going to make good on it. Look at verse 21. When it was again time for Elkanah and his family to make yearly a sacrifice to the Lord, Hanna did not go. She said to her husband, “as soon as he is weaned I will bring him to the temple”. In order for Samuel to be dedicated to the Lord, he had to be weaned. He couldn’t be breast feed. He had to eat real food. He had to be detached for his source dependence. In other words he had to grow up. This wise on Hanna part to make sure he child was ready for God to use. But this sheds light on a present day problem of mothers. They don’t want to wean their children and wonder why they don’t grow up. Some mothers hold on too long. You have 30 and 40 year old child that you are weaning it is time for you to take them off your breast and give them to the Lord. Elkanah did not stop Hanna. He told her do what you have to do. The Lord will establish his word. So Hanna nursed him until he was weaned. Then she took him up and made of a sacrifice, the bull for a burnt offering, flour for a sin offering and wine for a peace offering. With a great blessing of her son, she made a great sacrifice. Her sacrifice was costly. Many of us are guilty of forgetting about the Lord when he blesses us. We don’t want to sacrifice anything to Him. “God if you do this for me I will be in church every Sunday”. I will only see two weeks in a row. We think that God is obligated to bless us and we don’t have to do nothing in return. But we are called to do one thing. We don’t have sacrifice animal anymore but we do have give the sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of our lips for great things He has done in our life. When they slaughtered the bull they brought to the child to Eli in the house of God and Hanna prayed in verses 27-28, paraphrased “ Oh Lord you heard my pray and blessed me with the child and I give him back to you and as long as he lives he is yours. Hanna kept her word and gave her son to serve God. Hanna was so happy that God heard her prayer and gave a son, she wrote a song about it. I Samuel 2:1-10 is called Hanna’s prayer which is actually a song of praise. She praises God for His sovereignty of her situation. She sings “My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” This mother had a song in her heart about the great things the Lord has done for you. Our lesson today is that despite this mother’s pain in desire for a child, he will hear our sincere desire and give us favor because of our devotion. If you read on not only did Hanna have a son but in verse 21 it tells us that she had 3 more sons and 2 daughters. Hanna expressed the favor of God.
Celebration: There are some mother’s here who got a song too. It may not be the same as Hanna but it expresses how God made way for you! I need some mother to sing there song. Nobody can tell it like you can tell it.