No matter how many times I study Hannah’s life over the years (1 Samuel 1 to 2 v 1-11 and 18-26), it always inspires me. Here is what I learned:
1) Take Your Desires and Problems to God
Hannah wanted a child badly. She craved, yearned…deeply wanted a baby. We learn in 1 Samuel 1 that this took a toll on her emotionally and physically to the point “she was in bitterness of soul…and wept sore” (10). She also confessed to being, “a woman of sorrowful spirit” (15) and described herself as being in “grief” (16). Interestingly, it was GOD who, “shut up her womb” (5). What exacerbated the matter, was that her husband’s other wife – who had children – provoked her to the point she did not eat and wept sorely. She considered being barren as “an affliction” (11). Here we read descriptors that give vivid imagery of how deeply she desired a child! In fact, she “poured out (her) soul before the Lord” (15). She took it to the Lord in prayer. You too ought to take everything to God in prayer.
2) Be Specific with Requests
Hannah was quite bold to the point, she struck a bargain with God, in my opinion. She negotiated: You give me a male child and I will give him back to serve you all of his days.
Honestly, I do not bargain with God, but I do admire how specific she was with her request for a son. I do believe because God already knows our hearts anyhow, as Christians, we can boldly approach His throne of grace, letting our requests be known unto Him, as encouraged by Paul. Be specific.
3) Believe the Word God has Given You
The priest, Eli, thought Hannah was drunk while in the temple as her lips were moving, but her words were not audible. However, Hannah shared that she was grieved and presenting her petition to God.
Eli told her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him” (17).
This so pleased Hannah, she ate and her countenance changed.
Clearly, she believed the word of the priest; how much more should we take God at His Word? He will do what He said He will do! Hallelujah!!
4) Worship While You Wait
Hannah and her husband rose early the next day and worshipped the Lord. THEN, when they returned to their house, she and her husband were intimate and “the Lord remembered her” (19).
I love the fact that she had such faith in the word of the priest – whose word was ultimately from God – that she worshipped even before there was physical evidence of conception. She believed and acted upon that belief.
I encourage you to worship God in faith, as you wait for the promise, whether the promise of that baby, the promise of your husband, your wife, that house, job…the promise of God opening that door for you…the promise of healing.
I once read that the posture of holding our hands out to the Lord while we wait for what we desire, is the same posture of worship. Worship while you wait.
5) Pay Your Vows
Solomon tells us, it is better to NOT vow than to vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5 v 5). Whenever we vow, we MUST keep our end of it, whether vows made on our wedding day or a vow to God Almighty.
Hannah kept her vow to God. When her son, Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple to serve the Lord with Eli, seemingly only seeing him once a year when she and her husband visited to offer the yearly sacrifice.
6) God does the Exceeding Abundantly
Hannah requested ONE son, but I believe because of her faith AND her faithfulness, God honoured her. He opened the flood gates of heaven and poured out a blessing upon Hannah, giving her THREE more sons and TWO daughters. LOOKA GOD!!!! (one of my FAVOURITE sayings!) He showed up and showed out! The exceeding abundantly above what we can ever ask or think GOD!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!
Isn’t it beautiful when we can receive so many lessons from one story in God’s Word??!! Remember, the God of Hannah, is the SAME God yesterday…today…forever!!!!
Growing in Christ,