Right in God's Eyes
1 Samuel 1:1-20
o This book was written to the exiles in Babylon to answer the question- "How in the world did we get here?"
o The time period in which the book of First Samuel starts can best be summed up with two verses. (Judges 17:6 and 21:25)
o Men did what was right in their eyes (not tov)(the word right here has the connotation of ego behind it)
I) When right is wrong (right in our eyes) v. 1-3)
A) Elkanah did what was right- in his own eyes
1) He was a man of standing- four generations, as well from the tribe of Levi (v. 1)
2) He had two wives- why? (Gen 2:24) Already from the very beginning we are being alerted that there is a problem here.
(a) What led to this choice? (v. 2)
B) Hannah and Peninnah were the two wives of Elkanah
1) Hannah was the ehad wife
2) Peninnah was the second wife
3) Peninnah had children but Hannah had none (this is very important)
4) Elkanah did what was right in his eyes because he wanted an heir.
(a) Yet his "right" response to this situation(taking the matter into his own hands) caused a great deal of heartache
(i) We can only imagine what kind of heartache Hannah must have gone through.
C) Elkanah did what was right in the eyes of God. (v. 3)
1) He took his family to worship - this is a time of worship apart from the three times a year that they were required to go.
2) Who they went to worship is Huge!
(a) The LORD God Almighty- this is the first time this name appears in the Bible.
(i) Speaks of His power and might and that He alone is the King of Israel.
(ii) The people of this day called God this but it appears that they did not connect the name with what He was able to do.
(iii) The people who were reading this book for the first time also knew about God, they knew what He had done in bringing their ancestors out of Egypt, and other things yet they did not take these things to heart, neither did they worship and revere God for who He was.
(iv) Now consider Elkanah, he went to worship the LORD God Almighty - yet when their was a situation in his life that he needed to seek the LORD in he didn't instead he turned to his own ways.
(b) It is one thing it is one thing to know about the LORD, it is another to turn to Him in our hour of need.
II) When right is honoring. (v. 4-11)
A) Hannah did what was right even when others were doing wrong.
1) Peninnah provoked Hannah- she is referred to as "her rival"(v. 6)
(a) To irritate her and provoke her so that she would weep and not be able to eat the sacrifice. Her motive for this was probably born out of Elkanah's love for Hannah.
(b) This went on year after year
2) Elkanah did not do the right thing- he allowed Peninnah to harass Hannah.
(a) As well he did not understand the pain that he caused by bringing Peninnah into their house.
(b) Nor did he comprehend the hurt that Hannah bore due to her being barren.
B) Yet in all of this Hannah did the right thing, she does not lash out at Elkanah, she does not seek vengeance on Peninnah nor does she lash out against God.
1) After all we are told that it was God who had closed her womb. (v. 5, 6)
(a) Why did God do this?- If God is loving why would he have withheld this joy from her?
(b) There are those times that God in His love for us has something else in mind. Yet when we receive from God do we see it as coming through His love? Can God give us His second best?
(c) God best can sometimes at first blush seem wrong. ( John 9:1-3)
2) In the midst of her anguish Hannah does the right thing. She turns to the LORD God Almighty. (v. 11)- This is a pivotal verse
(a) If you will only look (Abraham called God - "The LORD will provide- lit. The LORD will see Gen 22:14)
(b) And not forget me… This brings up a theological question- does God forget? (Is. 49:15) Does God not see? (Heb. 4:13)
(c) And give me a son, then I will give him to the LORD - I wonder if this is what God had been waiting for?
III) When Right is remembered ((v. 12-20)
A) Eli confronts Hannah assuming that she is drunk- How long had it been since he as seen someone pouring out their heart to God? When Eli realized her sincerity he blessed her.
B) Go in peace- Hannah poured out her heart to God in the midst of anguish and she left in peace.
1) Nothing has happen yet, yet something has taken place- in the heart of Hannah.
2) God was moved by her petition, God was moved by her heart.
3) V. 17 signals a change in Hannah so that in 18 she eats and is no longer downcast.
C) God remembered Hannah- God heard her prayer and gave her a son