The Life of a Mother

The Preparation for a King / 1 Samuel 1–7  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  21:44
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The Pledge of a Mother

This morning, we are once again going to take a look into the life of Samuel’s mother, Hannah. This being Mother’s Day, I thought I would move the text around to look into her life on a day we celebrate the Mother’s in our lives.
This morning’s message will be a bit different this morning and running the service on Zoom it lends itself to this. I want to let you hear from Heather, my wife, and a mother’s perspective on this passage.
I am going to invite Heather to join me here in the screen and we are going to look at this passage together and see how God Speaks to us this morning.
I was discussing the sermon with Heather and I would love for you to hear her perspective on the Plight of Hannah.
A perspective from a mother

The Plight

Hannah has lived a devote life; she has done what every good Jewish girl did and that was to marry according to her parents’ wishes and have many sons for her husband. Yet that did not come to be. As years went by, not only did she not have children, but she had to share the love of her husband with a second wife who seemed to be able to bear many children. Penninah made Hannah’s truly miserable as Scriptures says that she would “provoke” her, other versions say that Hannah was taunted.
When Eli and Hannah went on their yearly pilgrimage to the temple, she wept bitterly in prayer. She was soul weary with her burdens· Scripture says that she was deeply troubled; and that she poured out her soul,
For Hannah, the burden was barrenness; the inability to have children. As a woman, what barrenness are you carrying? It could be the inability to have children, or your daughter cannot have children and therefore you are one of the few women in your circles who can’t brag about grandchildren, because there likely won’t be any.
It could be that your family relationships are broken and scarred. This certainly was not what you had imagined. Holidays are barren and you would rather skip them then endure them. Maybe it is your career that is lacking; causing your soul to be barren and dry; shriveled up.
Notice that Hannah spent time with the Lord. Her husband could not solve the problem, maybe she long expired the patience of her friends. Even the priest misunderstood her.
Maybe the people in your life mean well, but their words of advice seem to lack empathy. You lack the peace that you need.
Hannah brought her distressed soul to the Lord. She wept, she bared her soul to God—she went to the right place.
Hannah made a solemn vow. She made an “I’m-all-in-and-nothing-will-cause-me-to-waver” kind of vow. She opened her hands. She brought her passion, her desires, her gut-wrenching requests before God and rather than dictate to God what and how he was to fulfill her request, she lay her hands open to give to the Lord.
When we lay our dreams bare before the Lord and let him answer the way he sees fit, we also surrender our expectations. We let go of our expectations. We become detached from the results; the results, the answered prayers are in God’s domain.

Hannah’s Vow became a Family Vow

Thanks Heather, I love those questions, what barrenness are you carrying? This morning what have you brought with you as you gather to worship God?
This morning’s passage brings us up to 1 Sam 1:21-28
Let’s read the first section of the passage found in 1 Sam 1:21-28 .
1 Samuel 1:21–28 ESV
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.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Did you catch the small phrase in the beginning of the passage? We often read through passages and sometimes familiar passages and some words slip by us.
did you catch the phrase
To pay his vow

Hannah’s Vow became a Family Vow

In her distress, Hannah vowed to God that if he would grant her deepest desire, she would bring him back to the temple where her son’s life would be given back to the Lord in full service to Him for the rest of his life.
The parents of Samuel, the upbringing of the man who would usher in God’s kingdom had parents that were in it together. They were on the same page when it came to raising Samuel.
Hannah’s vow became his vow.
In that time of the day, as the head of the household, the ruler of the family, he had every right, and position to trump what his beloved wife wanted, what she vowed.
Hannah’s vow was to give up and let go a firstborn son.
Elkanah had to also had to give up a son. Give up not of his choice, but that of the vow of his cherished wife.
The text adds this line about fulfilling the vow at the end of the yearly worship dedication.
What we must realize it the commitment between the two parents.
Why would Elkanah in a day where he could have overturned this vow, denounce the vow,
what made him adopt this vow as his own.
He did this because he respected his wife and in their parenting that they became a God Honoring Family.
Let’s keep reading
1 Samuel 1:22–23 ESV
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.

The God Honoring Family

The vow was known, they didn’t mourn the fulfillment of the vow, rather The family continued in their practice and were heading up to the yearly worship, but something was different, Hannah chose to stay behind.
In the midst of the family routine to honor God, Hannah asked a simple request. to stay with the child. knowing the fulfillment of the vow was close and this fulfillment would bring honor and glory to God. Her husband was fully supported.
I can almost feel the excitement in Elkanah’s voice as he was almost excited at the fulfillment of the vow.
You could hear him say, God is going to do great things through this son, let’s get him to the temple, but you know him. Wean him, establish a firm foundation, but remember, The Lord will establish his word through this boy. He too saw the glory of the vow. That this son was a promise given by God for blessing.
You can see the connection between the couple. The common purpose. Folks to be a God honoring family, you need to be together on your purpose. We need to follow the example of this couple and be together on purpose to do all things to allow the Lord to establish his word through our lives.
Both Elkanah and Hannah were in this together. It’s in this togetherness that gave a strong foundation for their son’s life and God’s calling on his life

The Fulfillment of the Mother

A few years have gone by and it’s time for the child to be delivered as promised in the Vow.
We see once again the means of the family, to bring a generous offering to the lord by a bull. Some renderings of the text refers to 3 rather than a 3 yr old, but it showed to the people surrounding that they were giving up much.
We all know the greater sacrifice was the giving up of the son.
what is Hannah’s response?

The response

You would think that Hannah might be angry or at least a little bit disappointed. Here she prayed to God for a son and God granted her the request. She followed through on her vow and her response is one of praise
When God answers our prayers, do we respond with praise or is there a “but clause” included? “Thank you, Lord, for this answer, but can you….” “Glad you got me out this scrape, but could you…”
When we truly let go and let God answer the way he sees fit, our response should be a response of praise.
As we break out into rooms, I want to leave you with a question to ponder.
Q#1 Has there been a time in your life that you asked God for something and you responded with a vow?
This story is such a picture of the sacrifice Christ did for us. He left the realm of Heaven to come to this earth so that God’s promise of salvation could be fulfilled through Him. He came to earthly parents to fulfill the promise of Salvation
Let’s take a moment to break out into smaller groups/rooms. While in the room greet one another, if you are willing to share your answer to the question, do so, but also discuss, what has God done in your life as you acted in obedience to something in your life.
Leaders of the room,
Spend some time greeting one another and discussion then come back in 5-7 mins. Once a few groups have returned, I will give you warning to wrap things up and join us again in the main session.

The Prayer of a Mother

Welcome back, This second message we will be focusing on the prayer of a mother.
The second question I have for you, is this
Q#2 What is worship for you. How do you worship God?
This next passage that we are going to look at is a description of worship that Hannah spoke as she reflected upon the act of giving up of her son.
One commentary writes,
The Bible Reader’s Companion 1 Samuel 1:1–2:11
A sovereign, gracious God (2:1–11). Hannah’s prayer celebrates God’s sovereignty, expressing her personal joy (vv. 1–3), sharing her personal testimony (vv. 4–9), and concluding with a prophetic affirmation that God will judge the earth through a coming King He will anoint.
Let’s read the text 1 Sam 2:1-10
1 Samuel 2:1–10 ESV
1 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 2 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6 The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. 8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. 9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

Hannah Exalting in the Lord

Hannah begins this Prayer by bringing in the focus of who we worship. She exalts the Lord. Notice the use of the horn as a description in her praise of God.
One commentary writes,
The New Manners and Customs of the Bible 2:1 Horn
The horn was a symbol of strength, and Hannah rejoiced that God had strengthened her that she might give birth to a son. Previously, Hannah’s enemies had viewed her condescendingly and demeaned her because she was barren. But God had changed all that. He had given her strength and thus elevated her in privilege and honor. When the horn is spoken of as being depressed, it represents the loss of strength, privilege, and honor
In our worship, our first response is to have our focus on God. He is our strength, our salvation.
It is why we can worship Him.

Hannah Exalting of the Lord

The next part of Hannah’s prayer was the exultation of the Lord.
Exalting takes on many forms in our worship. As we look at this prayer, we can notice many things.
She begins with a description of her relationship with God. God is her rock her, steady place.
Isn’t it interesting to note, that the man whom Hannah’s son later crowned as Israel’s King would pen these words as he was worshiping the same God Hannah was
Psalm 18:1–3 ESV
1 I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Heather: One thing that stood out for me
Take a look at· Vs 3—we often play this game where our words speak one thing but they do not reflect the true nature of our heart. We think we are fooling God, as if God couldn’t handle the truth. God knows what is on our hearts; our prayer life should be an honest dialogue
· Vs 4-8 of Hannah’s prayer acknowledges that God does things in his own way. It seems backward; it seems upside down and yet, He is Sovereign. He is aware that it may seem upside down to you, but it is exactly as he meant it to be.

Hannah’s Expectations of the Lord

We asked you earlier to think about the next question:
What is worship to you
Here is another thought, do you have expectations of God? I mean when you come and worship Him are there anything you have come to expect from God. May it be what he has done in the past in your life and will continue to do?
Hannah had some expectations of God.
She said,
1 Samuel 2:9–10 ESV
9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
She believe that in her worship, she had come to rely on That God is trustworthy--his character is trustworthy. We can trust in this characteristic of God.
God asked Noah to build an ark, even when the earth had not seen such rains before.
God tested Abraham's faith with his request to sacrifice Isaac.
and in someway, God tested Hannah's character in fulfilling the vow.
All of these situations, their faith was tested and God chose to take those situations and teach them to trust in Him.
E.M. Bounds, a Civil War chaplain wrote about the trustworthiness of God. He said that "True prayers are born of present trials and present needs. Our prayers need to be focused upon the present. We must trust God today and leave tomorrow entirely with Him. The present is ours; the future belongs to God. Prayer is the task and duty of each recurring day--daily prayer for daily needs."
We can trust God for tomorrow.
Hannah trusted God for tomorrow. She prayed that she would receive a son and that she would consecrate him back to God. Was she thinking about how difficult it would be to give her son up? Did she really think through how hard it would be to have the son that she bore, the son that she raised only to have to give him back? To rarely see him? To risk future ridicule from Peninah? Did she realize that her heart would break when she had to say goodbye? That he would miss family gatherings?
No, it was not part of her picture because she trusted in a God who held tomorrow.
Do we pray for today's needs, but hang on to tomorrow’s worries?
We pray for our kids that they may have good relationships but then we worry about who they will meet, what happens when there is a disagreement with their spouse? We pray that our kids will find jobs but then we worry about this pandemic and what if they lose their job. We pray today for their health, but what if tomorrow's doctor's appointment reveals they have cancer. We just knew that they should have seen the doctor sooner.
We need to let go, as Hannah did. She prayed for today's needs. Tomorrow was held in God's hands

Example of Worship

What a great example of worship set out by Hannah.
We have the benefit of watching and experiencing Hannah’s act of worship by giving up of her son, Exalting in the Lord and of the Lord and handing all things over to Him who has all things in control.
We worship God not because of what we get from Him rather from who he is and what He has done for us.
I have left you with a question, what is worship. How do you worship. Is worship just on Sunday morning, is it a pattern in our lives,
In closing, I’ve moved things around this morning. We are going to close with a song, benediction, and then open the breakout rooms. If your willing, spend some time in your room praying for one another and or encouraging each other as we worship together.
The main session will remain open if you would like to gather after to greet one another.
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