Hannah: A Model for Motherhood
1 Samuel 1:1-2:11
In a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip,
Calvin is standing by his mother’s bed when he says,
“Hey, Mom! Wake up.
I made you a Mother’s Day card.”
His mother was very pleased and started to read it out loud.
“I was going to buy a card with hearts of pink and red.
But then I thought I’d rather spend the money instead.
It’s awfully hard to buy things
when one’s allowance is so small.
So I guess you’re plenty lucky I got you anything at all.
Happy Mother’s Day!
There, I’ve said it. Now I’m done.
So how about getting out of bed
and fixing breakfast for your son.”
Last Sunday as we were driving to church
Mattias leaned over from the back seat
gave Hedi a kiss on the cheek and said,
“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”
“But it’s not Mother’s Day today – that’s next Sunday.”
And Mattias says,
“Oh no! I wasted a perfectly good kiss!”
It’s not easy to be a mom!
A mother was talking to an old college friend and said,
“I remember before I was married
that I had three theories about raising children.
Now I have three children and no theories.”
Almost 100 years ago, in 1914,
by an act of Congress,
President Woodrow Wilson of the United States
proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
He established the day as a time
for “public expression of our love and reverence
for our mothers.”
The Sunday School children
Have already helped us to celebrate our moms
By telling us with their songs and poems
How special our mothers really are.
We want to look at the first two chapters of 1 Samuel,
To identify some important traits
of a Woman of Faith.
You know the story of Hanna and Samuel
And I won’t read the whole story now.
Hannah was one of the two wives of Elkanna –
(in those days it was legal to have more than one wife).
Hannah couldn’t bear children,
And Peninnah, the other wife,
Made fun of her and hurt her feelings deeply.
So Hannah went to the temple and prayed to God.
As she was praying in the temple the Priest Eli,
Thought that she was drunk.
Hannah’s prayer was very real
And she made a deal with God,
That if God would give her a child,
She would dedicate him to God as a servant.
We can learn a number of things from Hannah
As a woman of faith:
1. Hanna had real problems (1:1-8).
It’s easy to think that the heroes in the Bible
were somehow different than we are.
We might think that it’s tough to relate to them
because their lives were so perfect
and their culture was so different than ours.
But actually, the Bible is filled with real people
with real problems,
who face them with real faith.
2. Hannah expressed her dependence on God in prayer (1:9-18). Hannah had some problems
but she didn’t shut down
or lash out at those around her.
She expressed her faith in prayer.
She went looking for God in the temple,
And waited for God to answer her prayers.
Sometimes God uses our problems
to get our attention
and to tell us about His plan.
3. Hannah experienced God’s provision (1:19-20).
Verse 19 tells us that once again
they got up early the next morning
and worshipped before the Lord.
This was their regular practice,
not something they did just once in awhile.
Then they went back home.
A short time later,
Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son,
naming him Samuel.
His name sounds like the Hebrew for “God hears prayers.”
Every time she called his name
she was reminded that God provides
and God answers prayers.
4. Hannah kept her promise (1:21-28).
After Samuel was born,
Elkanah went once again to Shiloh in order to worship.
Hannah decided to not go until Samuel was weaned,
which would have been at around three-years-old.
She dedicated herself to her child,
nursing and nurturing him,
knowing that when he is able to eat on his own,
she “…will take him and present him before the Lord,
and he will live there always.”
Many people make promises to God,
only to forget them once time passes.
Not so with Hannah.
She fully intended to keep her promise
because she knew that Samuel
did not really belong to her anyway.
Hannah not only dedicated herself to her child,
she dedicated her child to the Lord.
She then brought Samuel to the house of the Lord.
Verse 28 says,
“So now I give him to the LORD.
For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD…”
5. Hannah praise God for His faithfulness (2:1-11).
The second chapter of 1 Samuel is a beautiful psalm of praise:
"My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 "There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
I believe that one of the most difficult experiences of a mother
Is to give up her child.
Here, Hannah has just dropped off her young son
At the temple
To serve the Priest.
But, there is no sadness in her voice
As she returns Samuel to God.
Rather, she breaks out into praise
As she realizes that God has plan for her child.
She was thrilled to be the parent of a prophet…
An instrument in God’s work of salvation!
Hannah is an example of a woman of faith.
I want to leave you with some closing thoughts from this story:
you are of great worth to God
whether or not you have a child.
Lift up your head and realize
that God loves you for who you are,
not for what you do.
He understands your sorrow and your pain
and He will meet you right where you are.
make it your mission to give your children to the Lord
for a lifetime of dedicated service.
There’s no greater purpose,
and no higher honor,
than to have your children give their lives
in service to the Lord.
3. Be an Example:
One of the lessons from the life of Hannah is
that each of us needs to grow
in our own relationship with God.
If you want your kids to learn about God,
and to love Him with all they’ve got,
it’s first got to be real in your life.
That reminds me of what happened
one Sunday after a Child Dedication service.
As a young family was driving away from church
after the dedication of their baby,
little Johnny, the older brother,
cried all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His mother asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
“The pastor said
he wanted us to be brought up in a Christian home…
but I want to stay with you guys!”
Mothers and fathers,
if you want your kids to be brought up in a Christian home,
make sure that Christ is at home in your heart.
If He is,
then spend the rest of your life
giving your children back to the Lord
they belong to Him anyway.
May God bless you on this Mother’s Day!