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Leader Guide ESV, Unit 10, Session 1
© 2019 LifeWay Christian Resources, Permission granted to reproduce and distribute within the license agreement with purchaser.
Edited by Rev. Lex DeLong, M.A., June 2022.
Summary and Goal
Hannah is a woman in a difficult position with no hope in sight.
When she came to her breaking point, she chose to go to the only One who could help her in the midst of her pain.
The Lord responded and blessed her with a son who would one day become a great prophet for the Lord.
He was cause for Israel to worship God, and he was called to share God’s word in a ministry that pointed forward to God’s fulfillment of His Word for their good and His glory.
Session Outline
God’s response to prayer is for your good and His glory (1 Sam.
God’s response to prayer is always a reason for joy and worship (1 Sam.
God’s response to prayer will always reveal His faithfulness to His word (1 Sam.
Session in a Sentence
God’s good and glorious response to prayer compels His people to worship Him as He reveals His Faithfulness.
ORIGINAL: God communicates His words through faithful servants who are dedicated to Him.
Christ Connection
Samuel was the long-awaited son whom Hannah dedicated to God for His service.
God was with Samuel and he became a prophet who spoke the words God gave him to the people.
John 1:1 says that Jesus is the Word, the long-awaited Son of God sent to show the world what God is like.
p. 11 (DDG) Humanity has a tendency to doubt God’s sovereignty and goodness.
People struggle with the hardships of life, especially the things that are yet unknown around the corner.
Whether jobs, families, or life that don’t turn out the way you thought they would, often we tend to struggle with the idea of God’s sovereignty over them, His goodness, and how the two co-exist.
Nothing is impossible for the Lord, but we sure are prone to think some things might even be beyond God’s reach or that maybe God is somehow different in character than we thought Him to be from the pages of Scripture.
Whatever the circumstance, the things that are out of our own hands often feel out of God’s hands too.
But nothing is beyond God.
He is sovereign.
He is omnipotent.
He is omniscient.
He is omnipresent.
And what’s more, He is omni-benevolent, meaning He is all good and He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Rom.
Ask this question:
What, or whom, does the world run to when life feels beyond their control?
(to God; to other world religions; to despair; to escape through entertainment or substance abuse; to family and friends; just run away)
· Unless the people of the world repent of their sin and turn to Jesus, no matter where they go or to whom they run, they will still be living lost and wandering in a world beyond their control.
For that matter, Christians also live in a world beyond our control, but we know the One who is in control, and that should make all the difference in the world for how we live and respond to our circumstances.
We are going to encounter Hannah, a woman in a difficult position with no hope in sight.
When she came to her breaking point, she chose to go to the only One who could help her in the midst of her pain.
The Lord responded and blessed her with a son who would one day become a great prophet for the Lord.
He was cause for worship to God and he was called to share God’s word.
Furthermore, his ministry pointed forward to God’s fulfillment of all He had promised—Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man.
Point 1: God’s response to prayer is for your good and His glory (1 Sam.
ORIGINAL: A son is dedicated for God’s service
DDG (p.
In the waning period of the judges, an Israelite named Elkanah had two wives: Hannah, who was barren, and Peninnah, who provoked Hannah because of it.
This family worshiped yearly at the sanctuary in Shiloh.
Shiloh (modern Seilun, nine miles north of Bethel) had functioned as the early center of the Israelite worship of Yahweh since the days of Joshua.
It was there that the Tent of Meeting (ʾōhel môʿēd) was set up (Josh 18:1), and covenant-related activities—for example, the determination of tribal allotments within the Promised Land, celebration of annual festivals, and calls to holy war—were carried out (cf.
Josh 18:8; 19:51; 21:1–2; 22:9, 12; Judg 18:31; 21:12, 19, 21).
Even in Eli’s day the Tent of Meeting was still in use at Shiloh (cf.
2:22), but it had been augmented by a more permanent architectural structure (cf.
1:7, 9; 3:15) that served as the center of Yahwistic activity.
On one occasion, Hannah reached her breaking point.
Did she try to run away from her affliction?
Did she lash out against her rival?
She took her anguish and resentment to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to take notice of her affliction and to bless her with a son (1:9-11,16).
And the Lord listened.
· Peninnah had children, yet she saw barren Hannah as her rival and took opportunities to provoke Hannah over her barrenness, most likely jealous of Elkanah’s love for Hannah.
On their yearly journeys to worship in Shiloh, Elkanah would give portions of meat from their fellowship offering to Peninnah and their children, but he would give a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, even though she was childless (1:4-7).
Read 1 Samuel 1:20 (DDG p. 12).
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.”
Samuel - literally, “Heard by/of God.”
Ask this question.
What must Hannah have believed about God to pray to Him under these circumstances?
(God hears prayers; God responds to prayers; God is not annoyed by the cries of our hearts; God is sovereign over the womb; God cares for those who are afflicted)
Hannah was an ordinary woman, yet her prayer was powerful, honest, and answered.
· Although the Lord may not answer all of our prayers in the ways that we hope and expect, Hannah’s example is a picture of humility and desperation for the Lord that we should follow.
We all share in the privilege of being able to approach the Lord in prayer (Phil 4:6-7; Heb.
Phil 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As a part of praying to the Lord for a son, Hannah vowed that she would give that son to the Lord for His service.
So when the time was right, Hannah brought Samuel to Eli, the high priest at the Lord’s sanctuary.
Read 1 Samuel 1:24-28 (DDG p. 12).
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.
DDG (p.
· When Hannah prayed years before in the sanctuary, Eli, the priest, saw her lips moving but heard no words.
He mistook this as a sign of drunkenness and rebuked her for it (1:12-14).
She earnestly and humbly explained to him, however, that she was crying out to God because of her deep pain (1:15-16).
· Eli then responded with a simple blessing and hope that her request would be answered.
His words had an immediate and lasting effect on her, as she left, ate, and the sadness on her face disappeared (1:17-18).
When Hannah returned to the sanctuary with her son, she took joy in reminding Eli about her prayer and showing him God’s answer.
Hannah’s joy and gratitude to the Lord, coupled with her faithfulness, led her to fulfill her vow.
The Lord gave her a great gift, so she made good on her promise to give her son to the Lord.
Samuel would serve the Lord all the days of his life.
And the response was worship to the Lord (1:26-28).
Point 2: God’s response to prayer is always a reason for joy and worship (1 Sam.
ORIGINAL: A son is reason for joy and worship
Read: Ask a volunteer to read 1 Samuel 2:1-2,6-8 (DDG p. 13).
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.
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.
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