THE FAVOURING LORD : 1 SAMUEL 1
DISCOVERY: Hannah was to find out in her life and experience what it was to be highly favoured of the Lord in her day and generation. She was to taste in a remarkable and outstanding manner the blessing of God’s goodness in a specific manner. Here testimony is made known in Holy Writ revealing what a character she was and how she obtained in a marked degree the manifestation of the grace and ability of the Lord amidst her need. Her experience only serves to encourage others to know in similar fashion the kindness of God. COMPLEXITY: At the commencement of the account we see her in great dilemma and difficulty. There is a real complexity existent in her situation and home affairs. She finds herself in a barren condition and her opposite number, Penninah, has no problem in producing children. It is certainly a matter of spiritual conflict, controversy and untold concern. The thing is further complicated with the statement that the “Lord had shut up her womb” – v6. Of the two, one would have thought she ought to have been the bearer of children! PEPRPESCUITY: In spite of the serious situation and the developments it would appear that she does know, in some measure, what to do. At least she is found in the divine Tabernacle turning her eyes and heart heavenward for a solution. Deep within her being she senses that Elkanah cannot solve the issue or others, help must come from a higher and greater quarter. She does possess some spiritual insight in the great conflict she finds herself in.
(1) SHE APPLIED TO THE ONE WHO COULD ANSWER HER – v10
At the end of the day she came to this conclusion, loving and good as her husband was, he could not change the condition of her barrenness. It was obvious the problem was not him because fruit was to be seen coming from Peninnah. If there was to be any dynamic and dramatic alteration then it required the God of Israel to step in and work a miracle. In going to the place of worship she was expressing her faith and hope in Him. She would come to the LORD = Jehovah, the God of the NOW.
(2) SHE RECOGNIZED HIS SOVEREIGN ABILITY – v11
She addressed Him as “Lord of hosts” = “O Lord Almighty.” There is a consciousness in her being that He is well able to turn this captivity with regard to her womb. She does not doubt His existence or His omnipotence but quietly believes that He has the power to make her fruitful.
(3) SHE BECAME VERY DESPERATE AND WOULD NOT QUIT – vv7, 10
Although she is driven to the point of desperation she does not have mind or heart to give in. She is now brought to extremity over the matter but does not yield to the negative or to any depressed feelings although she felt sad over her circumstances. What was the worst thing Hannah had to cope with? * her barrenness * an irritating rival * depression * an unsympathetic priest. Her grief was definitely compounded at this yearly do : * festive occasions highlighted her inward despair * focusing on God made her question His goodness * seeing all the children tore her up * Elkanah’s favouring her at the feast made Peninnah rub it in. But her faith and courage outshone the conditions!
(4) SHE WAS NOT PUT OFF BY A MISUNDERSTANDING LEADER – vv12-14
Eli did not prove helpful at the first. He lacked spiritual perception as he beheld her situation and shows that ‘he is out of touch.’ His words at the start could have worsened and hardened her but she is not deterred but genuinely explains her lot.
(5) SHE ACCEPTED THE WORD SPOKEN AND BECAME PREGNANT WITH ITvv17,18
When he is properly attuned with the true circumstances he speaks a word of comfort and assurance and she is quick to grasp and believe what is said. It was like a double-barreled affirmation: “Shalom!” – real prosperity in this matter and a definite spiritual desire – “may the God of Israel grant what . . .”
(6) SHE WAS PREPARED TO CARRY THROUGH HER VOW AFTER BEING FAVOURED – vv19-28
Because she had been favoured she would favour the Lord by consecrating her son to the Lord for His service and kingdom. There would be no holding back because the Lord had not been restrained in giving to her the longing of her being. At least she had been blessed and was not barren!
(7) SHE IS FAVOURED MORE BECAUSE SHE HONOURED THE LORD – 1 SAMUEL 2:20,21
She fulfils a motherly duty as best she can – v19 and then receives an added divine benediction. She not only saw her son blessed to become a major prophet of the Lord, she was to be granted a further 3 sons and two daughters. Family life came to her in a rich and an abundant manner and was so because of the favour of the Lord. The Lord was to compensate her richly because of her commitment to Him and load her with untold benefits.