Hannah’s example of faith (A sermon for Mother’s day)

Preached on 12/5/07 at Village Church

Series: Women in the Bible
1 Samuel 2 (Hannah’s Prayer)

1 “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.

[prayer]

  • In the United States, there are about 82.5 million mothers. (source: US Census Bureau)
  • Mother’s Day is widely reported as the peak day of the year for long distance telephone calls
  • Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for many restaurants
  • Retailers report that Mother’s Day is the second highest gift-giving holiday in the United States (Christmas is the highest).
  • About 96% of American take part in some way in Mother’s Day (source: Hallmark)

We want to join 96% of the population in the celebration of mother’s day.

If you are a mom this applause is for you… [invite to clap hands]

I realize not all of us here today are mothers, you do have to feel left out. Every one of us has a reason to celebrate this weekend, I am assuming all of us here today have a mother.

Motherhood has been considered a special vocation through the ages – mothers have always filled an important, essential, un-replaceable role in society.

Doctor Ursula Anderson in her book Where Is God In Why We Are the Way We Are puts forth the theory that mothers have a key role in the effort of taking the violence out of this world. Because mothers can impact a child affecting the way that little person is wired [except for genetic encoding]

Mothers have the delicate mission of shaping the child’s life in the first years. Mothers are widely recognized as being the strongest single influence in a person’s life.

We are familiar with the idea of God as a caring father, protecting his children. Less common is the depiction of God as a mother. But In many passages we find a feminine side of God. A motherly face of God.

Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . .

In their ability to nourish and comfort, women typically better portray that side of God’s nature.

Numerous passages in the bible refer to God as giving birth (Deuteronomy 32:18, Psalms 90:2). Giving birth is typically of mothers, unless medical engineering is getting way ahead of me. The only guy I know was pregnant is Arnold Schwarzenegger in his movie… Junior.

I could keep you here the entire weekend just stressing how crucial and vital is the role of mothers in our society. Both from a biblical and a scientific standpoint. But we want to have some time to celebrate mothers not just talk about them

So, allow me to bring to your attention the story of a mother that lived her life as servant of God to an extent that is hard to match.

You can follow me in the 1st book of Samuel, chapter 1 [explain how to find Samuel]

[v. 1, 2]

The first two verses introduce us to the fact that Elkanah had two wives. Hannah was not fertile.

Now, keep in mind that these are different times. We around the 11th century BC. Israel was ruled by Judges, it was before monarchy was established.

In this society people did not have all the career options that we are used to – especially for women.

The man was responsible to work outside the home and earn the daily brad. The woman was responsible of providing insurance for their retirement years, that consisted in giving birth and raising as many children as possible.

A big family was a very practical blessing, because assured the survival after the youth years and granted the couple to live in the memory of their children for the generations to come.

In that context, it was very common for a man to get another wife if the first wife was not fertile. A descendants was very important.

[v. 3-8]

– Elkanah was a very devoted person (Hannah as well) – yearly trip to Shiloh to ring sacrifice

– Peninnah insulting and taunting Hannah for not being able to have children (probably because Hannah was the favorite of Elkanah)

– her husband loves her anyhow

[v. 9-18]

– Hannah is very troubled (read v. 10)

(stood up v. 9) Hannah did not harden herself in sorrow and self-pity, nor grow sullen when spoken to by her husband, but manifested a commendable degree of self-control. She found refuge at the sanctuary.

– on one of their trips to the Temple at Shiloh, Hannah’s prayer and vow (read v.11)

– she looked drunk

– after prayer she feels reassured and with a sense of peace à application to our lives when we are troubled and then pray

[v.19-20]

Hanna gives birth to Samuel = heard (or answered) of God

[v. 21-28]

– Hannah dedicates Samuel to the temple – Samuel is a living offering

– Hannah sings of Joy – it was not a bitter offering (2:1ff)

– Samuel will serve God for the rest of his life

Hanna never abandons Samuel – she brings a robe to him every year when the offering time would come (2:19).

Samuel’s birth is highly significant. He becomes one of the most important prophets and leaders in the old testament.

He anoints the first king of Israel, Saul.

Hannah was blessed with three more sons and two daughters.

Reward for her ultimate sacrifice – her son had an impact on many lives – we still remember and learn from his story, because of Hannah’s sacrifice we are blessed today

Hannah was able to entrust in the hand of the lord the most precious thing to her. She knew Samuel’s life was ordained to be a gift to humanity.

What are we giving up for the Lord? whatever we keep to ourselves can last for a few years and die with us in the grave. But we have an alternative, to give to God.

It is hard to let go to what we love the most – but the blessing that come from it is greater that we can imagine. Let us learn from the example of this great mom.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s