Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hannah's Prayer

Imported from our Harvest Church Blogs
Original Blog Date: 06-23-2005

1st Samuel talks about Hannah and her husband, Elkanah. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah, and Peninnah. Peninnah had many children with Elkinah, but Hannah had none. It says in the Bible that "the Lord had closed her womb". God did this for a reason, as we will soon find out. Peninnah would constantly make fun of Hannah and irritate her by pointing out the fact that she had no children. This was a BIG deal back then. You weren't considered much of a woman if you couldn't bear children, especially sons. Peninnah would not relent; She was constantly making fun of Hannah. What she was doing was pure evil. It wasn't a joke, and it wasn't funny. The enemy wanted to destroy Hannah. This was such an issue for Hannah, that she would quit eating. Elkanah loved Hannah more than his other wife because it states that he would give a portion of the meat sacrifice to Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, but he would give a DOUBLE portion to Hannah.
At the time of the yearly sacrifice, it states in 1st Samuel that Eli, the priest, was sitting in a chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple. Hannah, desiring from the Lord prays and vows:
1 Sam 1:10-11 "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." (NIV)
Hannah was telling the Lord she would separate her son for HIS work and HIS glory, as a Nazarite would. Check back in NUMBERS which says:
Num 6:1-5 The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite, he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins. "'During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to the LORD is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long.(NIV)

Hannah prayed all of this "in her heart" and only her lips moved. (This is proof that prayer comes from the abundance of the heart). Eli thought she was drunk and basically told her to "ditch the alcohol". Hannah said she was not drunk:
1 Samuel 1:15-18 - "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief." Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. (NIV)

Guess what? Hannah had faith that God would give her this son. She believed in God's chosen high priest, ELI, and she knew that God would answer. She was expecting Him to from that point on. It says she went her way, she ATE, and her face was no longer downcast! That is awesome. This woman had faith that God would do exactly as Eli had said when he said "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him".
Hannah did have a son, and named him Samuel. Samuel means "asked from the Lord". As soon as the child was weaned, she took him to Samuel and placed him in Samuel's care. This woman, now vendicated from the hackling of Peninnah then prayed and gave glory to God saying:
1 Samuel 2:1-10 - Then Hannah prayed and said: "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. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. "The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. "The LORD brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails; S0 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."(NIV)

Hannah's prayer sounds a lot like the words David wrote. She was exalting the Lord because He had given her victory over her enemies (Peninnah, her accuser "as Satan is" ). She was saying the strong would be made weak, and the weak made strong. The Lord lifts up and the Lord brings down. He raises the poor from the dust ( I like that ). He lifts the needy from the ash heap. He has them inherit a throne of honor. Hannah was used to being in a place of dishonor, with no son, but was now in a place of honor.
Hannah not only had Samuel, but 1 Samuel 2:21 says: And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. (NIV)
So this woman who's only desire was to have a son, not only had Samuel, but gave birth to 3 sons and 2 daughters. The LORD is gracious isn't He!? God WANTS to bless us. Hannah would each year bring her son Samuel a robe she had made. I bet she had a good time catching up with all that was going on in his life. Because of her faith in God and her obedience to keep her word, the Lord honored her and Samuel. Samuel became a great prophet for the Lord as it says here:
1 Sam 3:19-21 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD. The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. (NIV)

Is there something miraculous you need from the Lord? Something you can't do in your own strength? Do what Hannah did and go to HIM for your salvation. Trust, believe and obey. God will move on your behalf, and WANTS to.
I just had to share some of this. To Him be the glory,

No comments :