A Mother’s Day Message From Hannah

A Mother’s Day Message From Hannah



Introduction: Every Mother Knows This…
A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house, 4 inches deep.
A 3-year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

When you hear the toilet flush and the words 'uh oh' , it's already too late.

Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.
Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
Super glue is forever.
No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
The fire department in Daphne, Alabama has a 5-minute response time.
The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
It will, however, make cats dizzy.
Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Transition Statement:
Motherhood…well parenthood is difficult.  Someone asked me the other day what it was like to be a parent.  I told them to stay up for 24 hours straight.  Then I told them to go fun 5 miles.  The I told them to take that feeling and stretch it over the rest of their life.  Welcome to parenthood.  

Oh, I am thankful for Godly mothers.  One of the most famous mothers in the Bible has to be Hannah.  If you don’t know much about Hannah, you will hear her story this morning. 

Hannah’s Story Is Filled With Trouble, Tears, And Triumph!

Background:
Here we have the story of Hannah and the birth of the prophet Samuel.  Her son Samuel will eventually be a very important character in the Old Testament as he will be God’s prophet to the people.  Samuel would also anoint King Saul and King David.  Samuel would be enormously powerful and stand for God as the people fall into idol worship.  We learn from today’s Scripture that Hannah was a normal everyday woman living in ancient Israel.  According to the Scripture, Hannah is the first wife of Elkanah.  However, trouble arrises in the marriage when Elkanah discovers that Hannah is barren.  This is problematic for Hannah on many fronts.  

Social:
Socially women that had no children were looked on with disdain.  As they got older and the husband died, they would have no one to care for their needs.  

Financial:
Financially, having children was a woman’s way of providing for herself in old age.  

Religious:
Religiously barren women were looked down upon.  People would assume that God was punishing a woman for a family’s sin or personal private sin.  We will see that Eli the priest looks down on Hannah falsely assuming her prayers to be some sort of drunken outburst.  

We certainly see all these issues play out in Hannah’s life.  We also need to remember that women in these days had no rights or civil liberties.  Men assumed all roles of leadership.  It was very important for men to provide male heirs.  So, if a man married a barren woman, it was socially acceptable to take another wife.  Hannah experiences both the powerful disappointment of not bearing a child but then to see her husband take another wife must have been equally heartbreaking.  To make things worse, the new bride is a “Fertile Myrtle”.  She gives birth to numerous children and is more than happy to hold her productivity over Hannah’s head.  

Like any good husband living with multiple women, Elkanah desires peace so he aims to please Hannah by giving her special treatment.  Yes, he loves his wife, but his actions have merited hurt feelings.  

So, let’s read the story today and try your best to put yourself in Hannah’s shoes.  Let’s see how she felt and see how God turns this trouble into a testimony.

I Samuel 1:1-20 ESV
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And 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 more to you than ten sons?”

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.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 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.”

Follow Hannah’s Example!

I. Hannah’s Disappointment vs. 1-8,14
I Samuel 1:1-8 ESV
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And 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 more to you than ten sons?”

Illustration: Bring Me Water
A small boy is sent to bed by his mother...
[Five minutes later] 
"Mom..." 

"What?" 

"I'm thirsty. Can you bring me a glass of water?" 

"No. You had your chance. Lights out." 
[Five minutes later] 
"Mom..." 

"WHAT?" 

"I'm THIRSTY...Can I have a glass of water??" 
"I told you NO! If you ask again I'll have to spank you!!" 
[Five minutes later] 
"Mommm..." 

"WHAT??!!" 

"When you come in to spank me, can you bring me a glass of water?"

Hannah Was Down In The Dumps!

A. Barren vs. 1-2
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.”

Point:
Unfortunately, life can be very disappointing.  Things just don’t turn out the way we wish they would.  Hannah no doubt was excited to be married.  This was the man of her dreams.  Scripture even tells us that her husband loved her.  However, when it counted, Hannah felt she came up short.  She could not have children.  This was a disappointment to her and to her husband.  She was completely barren.  Hundreds of thoughts raced through Hannah’s mind.

“What’s wrong with me?”

“Is God punishing me?”

“Will he leave me because I can’t have children?”

The chief value of a woman in biblical times was first her chastity and, after marriage, her reproductivity.  Hannah was not alone in this disappointment.  Rachel, wife to Jacob was barren.  Then came Sarah, the wife of Abraham.  Next, poor Hannah.  In each case, people tried to fix the problem only to cause more trouble for themselves.  Hannah is no different.  Being barren was disappointing, but what happens next is even more troubling. 

B. Belittled vs. 3-5
Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.”

Point:
Scripture tells us that Hannah’s husband takes for himself another bride.  Why?  It is safe to assume that Elkanah knew the social stigma attached to having no children.  Instead of turning the situation over to God and trusting Him, Elkanah takes the situation into his own hands and marries another woman.  Although this practice was common in the ancient world, it never works out well.  Sure, his wife bears him many children but at what cost.  Imagine ladies you suffered from the same ailment that prevented Hannah from having children. How would you feel if your husband fixes the problem by marrying another woman.  Everything that was once yours you are now sharing with another woman. 

Scripture does tell us that Elkanah loved his life.  He loved her enough to give her double portions of his sacrifice to Hannah.  This is a nice sentiment but the damage had already been done.  There is no sacrifice that could heal the self inflicted wounds that Elkanah had given to his wife.  There is no amount of “I love you’s” that would do the trick.  Elkanah belittled his wife and selfishly made her feel small to feed his own ego and stave off social taboos.  Elkanah, although spiritual, was weak and faithless in his approach to his walk with God and it rubbed off on everyone in the house.  

How do I know this?  I will show you in just a moment.  Just put a pin in that thought and we will come back to it.  

C. Bullied vs. 6-8

And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And 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 more to you than ten sons?”

Point:
Poor Hannah’s story just gets worse.  She is barren.  Her husband then marries another woman.  Hannah’s situation is sounding like a country son.  We are now introduced to what the Scripture calls Hannah’s “rival”.  This just shows you how terrible things had gotten at home.  Have you ever noticed that when a husband introduces a second woman to the mix that things at home seem to fall apart? When the family unit beings to break down in the home, there are lots of unintended consequences that occur.  Elkanah thought he was doing the right socially acceptable thing.  In brining another woman into the fold, the peace and tranquility that naturally occurs in the home is vacant.  Elkanah is now surrounded by two contentious women.  He is now sacrificing three times as much as he is expected. 

Illustration: Peace In The Avengers
A few days ago my wife and I went to see the new Avenger’s film.  Without spoiling the movie for you, I will tell you about a short scene.  The world is falling apart. Chaos is at every turn.  It seems as if evil is going to win and the Avengers (Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Hawkeye) are on the run.  So, where do they go.  Hawkeye reveals to the group that he has a home off the grid.  



There is so much more that Hawkeye reveals. The group finds out that he is married and has children.  When they enter his home they find  legos scattered and home projects that need to be done.  Hawkeye’s wife is able to discover an injury that the doctors had repaired saying “your girlfriend won’t even know the difference” but his wife knew the difference.  This speaks to the one flesh that takes place between man and woman when they are married.  

The Avengers all comment on how they long for an existence like Hawkeye.  The Hulk finds peace there.  It reminds Captain America about a day gone by.  It provides a place for Iron Man to think and be retrospective.  The home become a place for the Black Widow to deal with her past and come to grips with her present.  

In short, this home, is a place of peace.  

This superhero film puts on display the value of a Biblical home.  One woman, one man becoming one flesh and raising children together.  As the world collapses and evil takes hold we see the home as the centerpiece for peace, love and nurturing.  

This is not the home that we see in our culture today.  This is not the home that we read about in I Samuel 1. 

Point:
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the mistakes of Elkanah.  We can learn lessons about fidelity, patience, and compassion.  Elkanah’s second wife Peninnah is a real piece of work.  Scripture tells us that she not only had the upper hand in her procreation, but she used her success to deride Hannah and build her on self esteem.  Oh, I have met people like that.  People that have a weak sense of purpose and low self esteem.  They have to tear others down in order to build themselves us. 

Hannah was targeted and bullied because of her perceived short comings.  

So, where do hurting people go when their home is a battlefield?  Where do they go when they feel like they have no where else to turn?  Church of course.  They come here to pray, to read Scripture, to worship and hopefully to be encouraged by people close to God.  So, that’s what Hannah does and instead of a steady hand on the back, she get’s slapped in the face.

D. Bruised  vs. 14

14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 

Point:
So, Hannah heads to church.  She goes to the one place where she can find refuge.  She is looking for a little hope, a little encouragement.  Unfortunately, that is not what she receives.  Hannah is viewed as an inconsiderate drunk.  Ouch.  If you cannot go to the church to find healing, where can you go?  This question is answered for us in point II. 

Follow Hannah’s Example!

I. Hannah’s Disappointment vs. 1-8,14
II. Hannah’s Decision vs. 9-10

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.

Illustration: Giving Up So Quickly
Little Billy’s mom was rubbing moisturizing cream on her face as Billy walked in.
“Mommy, what are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m putting cold cream on my face,” she replied.
“Why, Mommy?” Billy asked.
“To make my skin look beautiful,” she said.
When she started wiping the cold cream off her face with a kleenex, Billy said, “Gosh, Mom, you're giving up already?"

Statement:
I tell you what, if I was like Hannah I might have just given up.  Yet, that is not what she did.  Let’s look at what Hannah did.  

A. She Went From Paralyzed To Proactive vs. 9

After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose.”

Point: 
There are so many verses in the Bible that I find inspirational.  This would be one of them.  In light of everything that Hannah has been dealing with, she rose.  When everyone else around her were making merry, Hannah got serious about her faith.  This is a significant point because it seems that Hannah allowed the abuse from Peninnah to occur for a long time.  Generally people that are abused never do anything about the abuse.  They continue to live in it and resolve to themselves that this is going to be a normal part of their life. They become paralyzed or trapped.  Hannah I’m sure was tempted to do the very same thing.  However, Hannah rose.  She traded her sad situation for success.  She let go of her weakness and became God’s winner.  

Friends, I believe that if you are dealing with significant issues in your life that God wants to help. However, we have to make the decision to rise to the occasion.  We have to seek help to receive help.  Would Hannah become receive what she was seeking if she had sat at the table, not prayed and never gone to the temple?  Perhaps.  I believe that it was Hannah’s decision to rise and to pray that opened the door for God’s movement in her life.  

“Preacher, I wanted a family.  Preacher I wanted a child.  I prayed and God has still not granted me that request.  Am I doing something wrong?”  The answer is no.  You see Hannah situation had to be remedied on God’s timing for His glory.  The same is with you here today.  We must wait on the Lord and not go weary in our prayers.  At the same time, God has opened up other avenues of having families nowadays.  Namely adoption.  Perhaps the Lord is calling you to expand your family through adoption.  Follow Hannah’s example to pray.  Let’s look at the next point.

B. She Went From Pitiful To Prayer Warrior vs. 10

Point:
So, Hannah rose.  She rose with a purpose.  She went to pray.  Notice that Hannah did not worry about looking pious.  She got down on her hands and knees and bowed before the Lord.  She wept bitterly.  She let it all out.  Notice that she did not worry about the people around her.  Eli thought that she was crazy.  He thought she was drunk. Hannah didn’t care.  Hannah determined in her heart that there was one place to go to find help and it was a the feet of the Lord.  

When was the last time that you were that desperate?  When was the last time that God had stripped everything else away so that you had to fully rely on Him to meet and supply your needs.  Most of us really don’t want to get there do we?  Most of us really want to be comfortable.  Hannah was not comfortable.  Hannah had nothing left to give and no where else to go so she when to God. Notice, it was in this moment of deep sincere prayer that Hannah sees the power of the Most High God in her life. It was in the darkest moment when the light of God shone in her life. 

Friends, God never promises us that our life will be easy or comfortable. He actually promises us that our lives will be hard and difficult.  However, in the difficulty, we can see God move in our life.  We can see the blessing from pain and suffering.  Yes, Hannah was pitiful and I pray that each one of us will be just as pitiful as her so that we can see God move in our lives as powerfully as she did.  

Romans 8:28
"We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose"

Philippians 4:6
”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God."

Follow Hannah’s Example!

I. Hannah’s Disappointment vs. 1-8,14
II. Hannah’s Decision vs. 9-10
III. Hannah’s Declaration vs. 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.”

Illustration:
A man went to the store with his 3-year-old daughter in tow. Since he was just there to grab some essentials like milk and bread, he opted to save some time by not pushing a cart around the store.

"That's not the way Mommy does it," his daughter informed him.

"I know, dear, but Daddy's way is OK, too," he replied.

Leaving the store in the rain and without a cart, he carried the bag of groceries, his daughter, and the milk quickly to the car. Not wanting to set anything down on the wet ground, he set the jug of milk on top of the car, efficiently whisked open the car door with his now free hand, scooted the groceries in and set his daughter into the car seat in one swift motion. Then he hopped in himself.

"That's not the way Mommy does it," his daughter informed him again.

"Honey, there's more than one way to do things," he replied patiently. "Daddy's way is OK, too."

As they pulled out and headed down the street, he became aware of the scraping sound on the roof as the jug of milk slid down the length of the rooftop, bounced off the trunk of the car and splattered to the ground, sending a froth of white milk in every direction.

In the millisecond he took to process his mistake, his young daughter looked at him, and in a most serious voice said, "That's NOT the way Mommy does it."

Point:
Let’s be honest, Mommy’s way of doing things is just plain better sometimes.  When praying to God, Hannah, this future Mommy does some things really well.  Let’s look at what she does.  Let’s see what she promises.  

A. Hannah Would Pray For Samuel

Point:
We see here from Scripture that Hannah was a prayer warrior.  No doubt she has prayed for herself on many occasions but now she is praying for something else.  She is now entering into a prayer agreement with God Himself on behalf of her unborn son Samuel.  I imagine that this would not be the only time that she would pray for him.  I think that she prayed for Samuel often.  Do you pray for you children moms and dads”  If not, why not?  My wife and I pray for our boys daily.  Our boys are covered in prayer when they rise and go to school and they are prayed for at night.  Specifically I pray that our boys become good leaders, listeners and learners.  I also pray that God would give them a heart for the hurting.  Our boys hear us pray for them out loud and in their presence.  I believe that we are raising up a generation of Biblically illiterate children and children with handicapped prayer lives.  Why?  Mainly because I am around Biblically illiterate parents with handicapped prayer lives themselves.  Parents, you cannot expect your children to go deeper in God’s Word and have more active prayer lives than you possess yourself.  Hannah would set an example for what a prayer life should be for her young son.  

B. Hannah Would Purpose Samuel

Point:
Hannah told God that she would give Samuel back to God as His servant.  God fulfills the request and Hannah keeps her promise.  She gives Samuel to the Lord for HIs purpose.  As parents we often live out our lives through our children.  We were not great athletes so we expect our children to somehow be Michael Jordan.  We did not make good grades and now we expect our children to be straight A students.  We often project our hopes and dreams into the lives of our kids never thinking for one moment what God might use our children for.  It is hard to do, but I daily give my children back to God.  I have to trust that God will use my boys the way He wants and that I will have the good sense to let them follow God’s leading.  This does not mean that they will not stray from the path.  They probably will.  It does mean that I acknowledge that these kids my have my DNA and share my blood but I do not set the course of their lives.  God ultimately has ownership over my kids and it will be him that directs their path.  

So, when you pray for your children, do you ask God for His will to be done in their lives?

C. Hannah Would Parent Samuel

Ok, remember that pin, let’s take it out for a second.  Hannah not only prays for Samuel, but she also tells God that Samuel will be His servant and that she will take the necessary steps to make sure he stays committed to serving God his entire life.  This is a difficult proposition and many parents have failed in their attempts to accomplish the same things Hannah is promising.  Part of the promise that Hannah makes is putting young Samuel in a position to be taught the necessary Scriptures.  Where does she take him to do this? We discover the answer in verse I Samuel 1:22.

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.”

Now this sounds great and it was very beneficial to Samuel to sit at the feet of Eli the prophet.  If you read the Scripture on your own you will see just how easily Elkanah gives up his responsibility as Samuel’s father to teach him and instruct him in spiritual matters.  Hannah is quick to take Samuel to the temple and remove him from the influence of his Dad.  Friends, that is a sad commentary.  Elkanah tells his wife that essentially he wants no say so in the matter “Do what seems right to you”.  

Things are no so different today.  Many of us saw the rioting in the streets of Baltimore.  We saw this women dragging her son off the streets.  There is great debate as whether she did something wrong in hitting her son.  I am not going to answer that debate today but I will ask the question, “where’s the father”.  You see, Mother’s Day can be richly enjoyed when we all acknowledge that God created the home to be filled with a Godly husband and wife living united in a partnership to raise Godly children together.  



We live in a society where the Mother’s are the ones leading the charge to church while the husbands take a “do what seems best to you” mentality.  In order for our homes to be at peace, we must partner.  Mothers, in order for your sons…and daughters to see God in their lives, they must be prayed for, they must be purposed and you must commit to parent them down God’s path.  

Mothers, this means that you will have to make hard decisions and sacrifice the friendship to your child in order for you to answer the mandate of God to be the parent of said child. 

Mothers, remember, follow the example of Hannah.  It is never to late to pray for your kids, you husband and your entire family.  

Lastly, listen to this word from the Lord.

Proverbs 31:29-30 ESV
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.


Hannah’s Mother’s Day Miracle Can Be Your Message!

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