Welcome to another week of study through Incense Rising: 60 Days to Powerful Prayer (https://amountainoffaith.com/carolyns-books/ ). We hear sermons about Hannah around Mother’s Day, but today, we dive into 1 Samuel chapter 1 to become better acquainted with her.
Sorrow has filled Hannah’s heart. Despite her husband’s attempts to be extremely good to her (1 Sam. 1:8). The Elkannah family was dysfunctional. God was displeased with Elkannah marrying two wives. We learn early in Scripture that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman at one time.
Hannah shared her husband with a woman who bore babies with ease, but Hannah was barren. She also rubbed Hannah’s nose in her ability to bear children. We all have dealt with that personality type at some time. Many of you ladies understand Hannah’s pain. The longing to be a mother loses hope with each passing month, but there is always hope with God.
What phrases in verse 10 describe Hannah’s emotional state?
Here is something refreshing we may miss as we read. Notice the providence of God in this story. At the moment, Hannah is praying, Eli is present. Not only is he there, but his attention is drawn to Hannah. Providence means God arranges a series of events to bring about His desired outcome. Miracles are usually a single supernatural event, but providence can encompass many steps.
Can you recall a miracle in your lifetime? When have you witnessed God’s providence at work?
Pay attention to Hannah’s boldness as she prays (v. 11). She not only states the fact that God will give her a child, but a male child. She vows to return her son to the Lord.
In verse 16, Hannah told Eli she had complained to God. Is complaining sinful? What about complaining to God? Does Eli’s reply in verse 17 shed any light on your thoughts? When a complaint is given to God, He can do something about it. When we share our grievances with people, they usually have no power to change the situation. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation when we can make a complaint to a store clerk and get action. You return an item to the store. Your reason for the return, your complaint, is the product’s unsatisfactory performance. The clerk gives you a refund. Does that look different than keeping the product and complaining to anyone who will listen about its unsatisfactory performance?
The Israelites were condemned for their murmuring. However, they did not take it to the Lord (Ex. 15:24, Ex. 17:3)
Job said his complaint was just (Job 6:1).
Many verses in the New Testament command us not to complain (1 Cor. 10:10, Phil. 2:14, Col. 3:13, Jude 1:16). Psalm 142:1-2 gives us an example as to how we might pray, complaining to God:
I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
Do you see any differences between making a complaint to God rather than running a complaint campaign?
What complaints have you taken to God recently?
What have you complained about to others?
What changes do you anticipate to make in the future?
Lord, how can we complain to You when our first thoughts bring our minds to all You have blessed us with? Many of us have complaints today. We are in pain. Physical pain. Emotional pain. Many are at the end of their rope. Help us because Only You can. In Jesus’ name, amen.