09(1Sam 01) God Answers Hannah
The events of the book of 1 Samuel take place during the time of the Judges. Eli the character mentioned here in our passage was both a High Priest, and a judge for approx 40 years. Let me share some things with you about the moral climate of the day.
I. It was a time when there was a lack of Revelation.
1 Sam. 3:1 And the word of the Lord was precious (valuable) in those days; there was no open vision. Deborah the Prophetess, and one unnamed prophet were the only ones that openly prophesised. Imagine a time when the people were so sinful that God was silent. Why such a lack of prophecy? Could it be that revelation was so rare because God could find few that were faithful?
Amos warned in Amos 8:11-12 that there would come a time when there would be a famine of the word of God. Amos 8:11 Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
We see this already taking place in many parts of the world....could it be that there will soon be a famine of the word here in our country?
Adam Clark said.... The most grievous of all famines, a famine of the words of Jehovah; a time in which no prophet should appear, no spiritual counsellor, no faithful reprover, none any longer who would point out the way of salvation, or would assure them of the mercy of God on their repentance and return to him. This is the severest of God’s judgments on this side the worm that never dieth, and the fire that is never quenched.
II. It was a time when there was a lack of restraint.
Jdg. 21:25 reads....”In those days there was no king in Israel every man did that which was right in his own eyes. No prophet preaching.......no moral absolutes, situational ethnics......do your own thing......if it feels good do it. Those days kinda remind me of our days. The key word today of course is “tolerance”. Even the sons of Eli showed no restraint!
1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial they knew not the Lord. Oh how sad that a man like Eli who was High Priest, and Judge should raise up sons that knew not the Lord. Let up never make the assumption that just bringing our children to the house of God will be enough to introduce them to the Lord.
Though the sons of Eli inherited the position of Priests, they used their office for personal gain, and lived in immorality. Eli did very little to restrain them. As a result of their sinfulness, they along with their father would die tragic deaths.
III. It was also a time when there was a lack of respect.
Because of the sin of Eli’s sons the children of Israel began to despise the offerings of the Lord. There was a lack of respect for the house of God, the ministers of God, and the sacrifices.
1 Sam. 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was great before the Lord for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
1 Sam. 2:24 Eli says to his sons that they caused the Lord’s people to transgress. When things are not done right at the house of God, and by the ministers, people will lose respect for it.
In spite of all that is taking place in the land God is about to use one woman to make a difference. One person can make a difference. This woman was Hannah.
Look back with me to the passage we read. One day Eli is sitting at the door to the house of God. It’s business as usual at the house of God. Eli is there to fulfill his responsibilities and role as the High Priest. Eli looks up from his seat, and sees a family approaching....his eyes focus upon the woman.
Perhaps he had never seen anyone come to the house of God in such a manner!
IV. How do we come to the house of God?
A. Hannah came to the house of God barren.
She had no children, and she desperately wanted to conceive. Have you come to the house of God barren? Perhaps in a different sense than Hannah. Perhaps you’re running on empty. Living in the world that we live in got you down?
B. Hannah came to the house of God burdened.
1 Sam. 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul......
The word “bitterness” can also be translated “heavy” Are you heavy-hearted this morning ?
C. Hannah came to the house of God believing.
a. She prayed
She prayed from her heart....her lips moved, but no words were heard...it was between her, and the Lord. The way prayers should be.
b. She persisted. 1 Sam 1:12 She continued praying. To use some old terminology.....she prayed through.
c. She poured. 1 Samuel 1:15 “....I have poured out my soul before the Lord.
Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God......
Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night......pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord.
d. She promised.
If God would answer her prayer and cause her to conceive she would give him back to the Lord.
What have you promised to God that you’re holding out on?
e. She prevailed. 1 Sam. 1:18 Her countenance was no more sad. V. 19 “....and the Lord remembered her.”
f. She praised. 1 Sam. 2 records the prayer, and praise of Hannah after God answered her prayer.
1 Sam. 2:11 And the child did minister unto the Lord. Samuel would go on, and grow up to make a difference for the Lord. 1 Sam. 2:26 And the child Samuel grew on and was in favor both with the Lord, and with men.
Easton says that Samuel was a spiritual power in the land. From Ramah, his native place, where he resided, his influence went forth on every side among the people. With unwearied zeal he went up and down from place to place, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting the people, endeavouring to awaken in them a sense of their sinfulness, and to lead them to repentance. His labours were so far successful that “all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.”
Oh that God would help us to be like Hannah.....to come to the house of God as she came!