Hannah: Learning to Be Someone

Hannah: Learning to Be Someone

Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:1-11, 1 Samuel 1:1-16, 1 Samuel 2:21
Date: 10/16/2010  Lesson: 3
Hannah gives us an example of relying on God to find self-worth in times of trouble.

Lessons From Solomon DVD Set by Doug Batchelor

Lessons From Solomon DVD Set by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. Welcome this morning to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church right here in central California to study with us this morning at our study hour. Very special welcome to you that are joining us this morning in our sanctuary. We have guests this morning from Texas and Michigan. And also a very special welcome to you that are joining us however you're joining us this morning, live on the internet, through radio, television, from across the country and around the world, that faithfully join us to study together, welcome.

This morning the first song we're going to sing in our hymnal is hymn number 229, "all hail the power of Jesus' Name." If I were sending in requests, this would be one of mine. It also comes as a request from ronald in Arizona, garth, lynnelle, kenyon and felicia in australia, lorraine in bahamas, andrea in denmark, nortei in ghana, demy and cora in Hawaii, bob, Paula and harold in Idaho, sandesh in india, anokye in italy, shavanie, David and shanneilla in jamaica, kelvyn, myriam, janice and aurelie in mauritius, bobo in Michigan, thomas and Sarah in nigeria, anna maria in norway, sheryl in Ohio, chayen and levi in the Philippines, jojie in south korea, barbara in Texas and nkosilathi in zimbabwe. Hymn number 229. We'll sing the first, the second and the last verse. [Music] You cannot, cannot sing that song without smiling.

If you have a special favorite that you would like to sing with us on a coming Sabbath, I invite you to go to our website at saccentral.org. And there you can click on the "contact us" link. And you can request any hymn in our hymnal, and we would love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath. You are part of our church family. So send in your requests.

Our next request is "this is my father's world," hymn number 92. And this comes as a request from debbie in Alaska, James in australia, jasmine, veronica, angel and norma in the bahamas, abelino in belize, dudz in Canada, sherace, paige and kaylia in england, bob and Paula in Idaho, loice in Indiana, kemote in jamaica, sonia in New Jersey, anteneh in norway, deilani in saint vincent and the grenadines, basie in south africa, giselle and her students in trinidad and tobago, and Daniel in tennesia. Hymn number 92, "this is my father's world." We'll sing all three verses. [Music] Let's pray. Our dear Heavenly Father, this is your world.

You created it. You created us to love you and to serve you. And we thank you so much that you are an ever-present help in our time of need. And Lord, we need you. And so this morning as we come before you to worship on your holy day, we just ask you to open our hearts and our minds, that we can be filled with your spirit, that we can leave this place changed, that we can be shining lights for you to know, to let others know that you are coming soon and that you are going to take this planet at recreate it.

And that we are going to be perfected through your power, and that we will live for eternity with you as we were meant to do from the beginning. Lord, we're so grateful this morning. So be with Pastor Doug as he brings us words of hope and a message of eternity. And please just go with us and help us to be like you. We pray these things in your precious name, Jesus.

Amen. This morning our study will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Morning. I got to sometimes watch my volume when I first say hello. I don't know how high they've got it.

Morning. You can be loud. We're glad to see each of you here. Welcome. I want to thank our musicians and song leaders for an encouraging song service.

And you who are listening and calling in the hymn requests, I like the choices. It's good to be able to get together with you and study the Word of God. And if you're tuning in for the first time, this is Sabbath school at central church. We get together, and we study. We call it Sabbath school because we're Seventh-day Adventists and we can't call it Sunday school.

We meet on Saturday. And but it's something like that time where all the members get together and we study some portion or subject from the Word of God. We are going through a fairly new quarterly dealing with background characters in the old testament, going through some of the famous characters. And if you would like to study along with us, you can just probably call up or visit your neighborhood Seventh-day Adventist Church. And I'll bet--not that I'm a betting a man--that they'll give you one of these.

And if that fails or if you're remote somewhere, you can also find it on the internet if you type in Sabbath school or Sabbathschool.net, you can find the study guides that we're going through on the internet. Print them out or study it right there. And for our friends who are part of the extended central church family, we've got several church members scattered around the world that have no local church they can attend, and they have become members of Sacramento central. And we want to welcome you. If you're in that category and you'd like to know, "how do I become connected to a church even though I'm--i can't have a local church I can visit," go to saccentral.

org. And give us a call or e-mail us and we'll be happy to tell you how that can happen. Anyway, we're going through lesson number 2. Now we have an offer for today. Free offer is offer number 602.

If you'd like to receive that, it's a book called, "do you really believe?" "Do you really believe?" And the phone number is 866-788-3966. Or if you'll remember better with an acronym, that's 866-study-more. Our lesson today is lesson three in the new quarterly dealing with the character of hannah. And it's called, "hannah: learning to be someone," "hannah: learning to be someone." And it's based on, of course, 1 Samuel. And we're going to be looking at Matthew 6:19, Luke 12:16, and the little verse in the book of job.

And our memory verse is from 1 Samuel 2:1-2. By the way, in your quarterly, I'm going to read it right out of the quarterly, it takes it from the niv version. This is a long one, so stay with me. You ready? 1 Samuel 2:1-2, "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.'" By the way, hannah must have read the Bible, 'cause that last part, "there is no rock like our God," she's quoting Moses in Deuteronomy. And so I think she probably knew the Scriptures well and she taught them to Samuel. Now to get the background for hannah, and there's just a whole lot of--we're going to go from Genesis to Revelation in this study today. There's a lot of information here in this story. I'm going to read the first couple of verses in 1 Samuel.

Now the--at least 1 Samuel was probably written by Samuel. Samuel obviously doesn't write his obituary at the end. But it's believed that he wrote this book. And he kind of tells his beginning, which is prophetic in itself. Samuel becomes a judge, a prophet, and a priest in Israel.

And there's very interesting circumstances that lead to that event that are found in this chapter. Chapter 1--I'll just read verse 1 and 2 to start with-- "now there was a certain man of ramathaim zophim, of the mountains of ephraim, and his name was elkanah The Son of jeroham, The Son of elihu, The Son of tohu, The Son of zuph, and ephraimite." Now I know that's a mouthful, but he is a levite living among the people of ephraim. Don't forget that temple was not always at Jerusalem. Back in the days of Samuel, and during the time of Judges, the temple was often at shiloh in the territory of ephraim. And so they would migrate.

The different levites had a shift that they would work under where they would go to the temple and they would do their service to God. And they would rotate through, and so he was in that rotation. But it goes on to say, "and he had two wives." We'll talk about that in just a minute. "The name of one was hannah, and the name of the other peninnah. Peninnah had children, but hannah had no children.

" Now, there's a lot we can say about this. First of all, don't follow that example of elkanah, especially two at one time. Just a little history that the name elkanah, whenever you find "el" in the Bible, that always means God-something, whether it's rachel or Daniel. Daniel means, "my God is judge." Michael means, "who is like God." Eleazer, Elijah, means "my God is jehovah." Elisha, "my God is Savior." So you ever see el in a name, it's going to mean something about God. Elkanah means "God created.

" Now his name should have gone on to say, "one man for one woman." But it just starts, "God created." Hannah means "grace." It's a beautiful name. Hannah means "grace." Peninnah means "fruitful." And she was with children. So here you've got this scenario that's very interesting. Now, there was a law in the Bible. You can look for instance in Deuteronomy, matter of fact, I want to--I'm going to give out another verse in just a minute.

I want to do a little radar here. Where are the microphones? Got one there. Microphone over here. Alright, someone might be lined up already to read 1 Samuel 1:5. We'll get to that in a minute.

Who has that? Mike? Right out here. We'll give the mic to mike. And yeah, you'll bring that one over here. Now let me read this to you from Deuteronomy while we're doing that. Deuteronomy 21:15-16, "if a man has two wives--" ennt, got to stop right there.

Some people have read this and said, "Pastor Doug, how can you say the Bible is true. God endorses polygamy." Does it say God endorses it, or does he say, "if?" That means, "if you're going to do this--" did God make laws about divorce? Yeah. Does that mean he approves divorce? Did God make laws about eating animals? Was that his original plan? No. Does God make laws about slavery and being kind to your slaves? Does that mean God endorsed it? God made a number of laws because of the hardness of people's hearts and what was going on during the day to deal with those things and to mitigate the evil of man's practices, not because he endorsed it. So it goes on to say, "if a man has two wives, one loved, the other unloved--" can you think of someone else in the Bible that had that scenario? How many wives did Jacob have? He ended up with four technically, started with two sisters.

Who did he want to marry? Rachel. But his father pulled a fast one on him just like Jacob pulled a fast one on his father and tricked his brother. And Jacob ended up with an extra wife. Now the Bible says, "leah was tender-eyed." And some people think that means that she had big, beautiful eyes like a deer. It can mean that.

Or it can mean tender as in weak, and she had poor vision. 'Cause it contrasts leah with rachel was beautiful and well-favored. Now it could mean that leah had really pretty eyes, but rachel was pretty everywhere. And so they don't know. We named daughter number two, rachel leah, 'cause I just thought they were very pretty names.

By the way, after we named her, we found out that-- my grandmother said, "oh, that was so nice that you named her after my grandmother." Well, we didn't know that. My grandmother's name, Jewish, was raquel leah, which is Jewish for rachel leah. Anyway, but that was totally an accident, but we didn't tell grandma that. Anyway, so it goes on to say, "Jacob loved rachel," not leah. And leah knew it.

Now how do you think-- how much happiness was there in that household? And so the Lord compensated because leah was not loved, he gave her children. Well that was happening in this other family too. Evidently, elkanah loved hannah, maybe more than peninnah. And so peninnah had children; hannah did not. And peninnah gloated.

She really made the most of it. Now someone read for us 1 Samuel 1-- I think you're reading that, mike, 1 Samuel 1:5. "But to hannah, he would give a double portion, for he loved hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb." Alright, now there was a law in the Bible that the firstborn son would get a double portion of The Father's inheritance. And I want to read the rest of this law in Deuteronomy now. "The man has two wives, one loved the other unloved, and they borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and the firstborn son is of her who is unloved.

" So the firstborn belongs to the wife that isn't loved. He wasn't to violate the law of the firstborn and give a double portion to the loved instead. It says, "it shall be that in the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must bestow the firstborn status on The Son of the loved wife--" no, "he must not bestow the firstborn status on The Son of the loved wife in preference to The Son of the unloved." In other words, he was to be just with both. Well, elkanah was compensating. And when they would go to the feast, and he'd bring his family with him, and a part of the sacrifice that the man brought, went back to the family, and he would divide it up.

It was part of a feast, and that was a lamb. And they would divide it up among the family. He gave a double portion to hannah, because you know there was peninnah, serving all her kids and caring for all her kids, and hannah was just, you know, and she was being tormented. "Well, if God loved you, you'd have kids. You must have done something wrong.

He loves and he's blessing me. He's cursing you. What have you done to be cursed?" Who knows what she said. But stuff like that. And it was awful.

And she wondered, "what have I done wrong?" And, "maybe I'm a nobody," which is what our lesson is dealing with. That would give you an identity crisis, wouldn't it? And it's bad enough if someone finds out that their spouse is philandering, but when it's legitimized by having two at one time, that must be tough living under those roofs. Did Abraham have problems with Sarah and hagar? I'll get to that in just a minute. Now, one thing I don't want to rush past, there is a very important spiritual lesson in the beginning of this story. You've got two women that are fighting over who has the children.

Did two women once come before king Solomon with a dispute about who had the living child? Do you find two women in the book of 2 Kings fighting over which child to eat? I know that sounds awful, but you know, those women are symbolic of Christ. Jesus said, "except you eat my flesh and drink my blood." Is there a miracle baby that the whole Bible seems to point to, a baby boy, a child of promise? When you get to Revelation 12 and 17, do you have two women in Revelation? Is there a contest over these two women? Does the woman in Revelation 17 have offspring? Got many daughters. The women in Revelation 12 is trying to have a son. She's pregnant when she first appears. She doesn't have him yet.

And it seems like one is persecuting the other. This story through the Bible-- when Jacob's two sisters, rachel and leah, when leah had children and rachel didn't, rachel then says, "look, we're going to help you out." I'm going to give you my handmaid." And you find this battle going on between the women about who's going to have the most children. Why was it like that? Now there were some laws in the Bible. If you want to find out why she was so distraught, somebody read psalm 127:3-5. I gave that to somebody, I don't know who has it.

Someone--we hand out Scriptures like stamps at the beginning. Psalms 127, did somebody get that? Oh someone over here has it. I'm sorry. Alright, just hang on, before you read that I'm going to read Psalms 128. So that gives them a chance to aim the camera.

Listen to psalm 128:1, "blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways when you eat the labor of your hands, you will be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord." Having your kids spread out-- you've seen an olive branch before? It's got leaves just kind of going like this off the branch in every direction, something like, almost like a willow. We got 'em all around the church so you can check that out after or between services. It's talking about an abundance of children.

Now we're living in the world today where having a lot of children, people kind of look down the nose about, "haven't you checked the environmental problems? Don't you know there's overpopulation? How irresponsible of you. What are you having all these kids for?" You know what I'm talking about? It's not considered responsible these days if you have kids all around your house like an olive. But what did God tell adam and eve? Go be fruitful and multiply. And then when they left the tower of babel again to "go, be fruitful and multiply." And now read for us Psalms 127:3. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate." Okay, notice that part, "speak with their enemies in the gate." And I'm just going to jump to Genesis 22:17 when God was blessing Abraham. "Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply--" so there's a blessing in multiplying, "your descendants as the stars of the heaven, as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies." So there not only would be a lot of them; they would be the leaders, whoever possessed the gates. That meant you controlled the wealth, 'cause at the gates is where the taxes were taken. At the gates is where the judgment was made. That was their court.

Remember they would go settle things. They'd meet at the gate. They'd sit in the gate and judgment was done in the gate. And so possessing the gates meant that you were in leadership, you were in wealth. And so he says, "your descendants will be multiplying like a quiver.

" And so having children for one thing it meant survival. For another thing it meant status, because your children, as there are various positions, and you pass on your knowledge and your status. And having no children-- and it typically meant you were not blessed. You were blessed if you had a lot. If you had none, well you're somewhat blessed if you had a few.

If you only had one or two, you're just oh, you know, you know, okay. And after all, Sarah only had one, but he was important. But if you had none, you're cursed. And a matter of fact, they even word it, "the Lord had closed her womb." It's almost like God had cursed her. And so can you understand how deep her torment was when peninnah would go, "nannie nannie nannie.

Look at all my kids." And she used to just play with her kids and saying, "God's blessed me with all these kids." And she was just constantly taunting her with, "my abundance, and you're destitute," day after day. Can you understand why hannah was discouraged to say the least? She felt left out, abandoned by God. Isn't it sad that they were in the same family? I wouldn't want to be elkanah. Can you imagine the conversations whenever they cornered them by themselves? Hannah would get a hold of them and say, "I just can't take this anymore." I mean divorce was just not an option for most of those families back then, because what man would want to--it's like, you know, she had been taken for a test drive and something was wrong. So if she was divorced, no man would-- "didn't you and elkanah have problems having kids? No thanks.

" And so she's saying, "please tell her to stop badgering me about her kids and bragging about her kids and showing me all the new clothes for all her kids." And in the same house every day, it must have been misery. So you can understand why she finally kind of broke when she went to pray at the temple. Elkanah is trying to make her feel better. He says, "eat." She wouldn't eat. She'd go to the temple, and she says, "how can I eat? God is mad at me.

I'm not worth anything." By the way, there's a connection between you're not eating and you're being sad. He said, "why won't you eat?" And then he'd say, "I'm better to you than ten sons, because I love you." So hannah was loved, but she didn't have that child yet. Isn't it interesting that God calls a people who are initially barren the Israelites. I mean you would have thought they needed a fertility clinic back then just for the jews because Abraham's wife Sarah is having problem having babies. Isaac's wife Rebekah, 20 years before they had finally twins, having kids, Jacob and rachel can't have kids.

I mean and then all of the sudden they go to Egypt and it's something in the water there. And you read and it says, "and they multiplied. And they multiplied exceedingly. And they multiplied exceedingly mightily." And they just said I mean it just exploded while they were in Egypt. You never would have guessed it of that nation, because it seemed like they had fertility problems.

Do you know that's what happens in this story too. It starts out that, you know, peninnah's having a lot. Hannah's having nothing. Finally when she does have Samuel, and she gives that child to the Lord, then God opens her womb and she has a whole gaggle of kids, a whole herd, school, pod. If it's dolphins, they call 'em a pod.

So take your, pick your favorite word. She just has a whole bundle of kids. Alright, let's move on here and--oh, I covered up my notes. Jealousy in the family. With friends like this--it says here in 1 Samuel 1:6-7, "and her rival provoked her.

" I think--if you have the King James, what is that word there for rival? "Adversary." What's another term for the devil? Matter of fact, the word "satan," means adversary. And is satan called the accuser of the brethren? When is the devil the most successful? When he works from the inside. And you look at the biggest problems that afflict God's people in the Bible, and it's what we call "friendly fire." It's not just the enemy on the outside. It's on the inside where the greatest damage is wrought. And you have Abraham has problems with lot.

And they've got to separate, fighting--infighting. And he's got problems with hagar. Oh by the way, you remember when--oh, I might have even put that in my notes. Yeah, Genesis 21:9, "and Sarah saw The Son of hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing," or mocking Isaac. And she said, "that's not going to work.

" She told Abraham, "put out this handmaid, put out this Egyptian and her son." And what did God say to Abraham? "Listen to your wife Sarah." In other words, "I never told you to take an extra wife." By the way, this is one of the few times in the Bible apparently God is endorsing divorce. This is grounds for divorce, having too many wives at one time. Isn't that right? If your husband takes a second wife, and you're still married, you can ask him to divorce her. Isn't that what God said? "Listen to your wife." And the word used, "put her away." And he gave her a payment and he sent her away. That's not God's plan.

Every now and then I have people that try to make a case for polygamy in the Bible. And as Benjamin franklin said, "'Scriptures are clear. No man can serve two masters.' And that ought to settle it for everybody." I always like saying that. Somebody read for me Genesis 30:1. Do we have a hand right there? Genesis 30, we're talking about similar problems that you have here with hagar and--I'm sorry, with hagar and Sarah or peninnah and hannah.

Go ahead, robert, you ready for that? "Now when rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, 'give me children, or else I die!'" How important was having children to them back then? I mean it's like their whole identity was wrapped up in it. In the book of job 12, matter of fact somebody look up job 16:2. Who has that? Alright, let's get you a microphone. I'm going to read job 2:12-13. And this is in your lesson.

"And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; each one--" speaking of job's friends when they saw him at the height of his sufferings, the boils and having lost everything, they lift their voices and they wept-- "each of them tore his robe and they sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great." Job had lost all of his children. Now after sitting with him, pretty soon they enter into this dialogue with him and you think that they're going to comfort him, but what do they end up doing? They start saying, "okay job, fess up. God's forsaken you. What'd you do wrong? You sinned.

You're under the curse of God, it's obvious. What is the sin?" And he said, "I haven't sinned." He says, "I mean not above any man." He said, "I was walking with the Lord, feared God, hated evil. I don't know why this has happened." At the end, in job 16:2, what does he say? Why don't you read that for us? "I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all!" They come to comfort him, but what does he call them? "Miserable comforters." And these are his friends. So here again you've got an example of friendly fire. So in our study about learning to be someone, do we find our identity from our friends? Yes, our most important friend, which is the Lord.

I mean if Jesus says he's your friend--if you're more important with impressing earthly friends than you're heavenly friend, you'll end up compromising your convictions. He must be your primary friend, right? And so, but are friendships important? Ah, very important. How many want friends like job? Miserable comforters, and you pour out your heart and they say, "well, you're getting what you deserve." I mean nobody needs to hear that. And or you know, you're going through some trial, and maybe you lose a loved one or a child, and then you've got these folks that they say you're friends and they start to recite all these cliches. And sometimes all you need is someone to just be there.

Job's friends were probably more help when they sat there quietly than when they opened their mouths. Did you notice that? 'Cause once they started opening their mouths, they started blaming him for all his sufferings. So you've got this example of friendly fire. Now we're going to spend more time talking about this next section, "pouring your heart out." Somebody please look up for me 1 Samuel 1:7. And I think we gave that to somebody.

We got a hand right here, 1 Samuel 1:7. Tell you what, I'm going to read psalm 142:1-2 while we're finding that. Psalm 142:1-2, "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." Here you can hear David talking about just opening his heart and praying to the Lord. What was hannah's state of mind when year by year, especially at the feast this would get really bad because she'd go to seek God, she felt abandoned by God.

Alright, read for me 1 Samuel 1:7 please. 1 Samuel 1:7, "so it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she was provoked; therefore she wept and did not eat." Thank you. What does a woman represent in Bible symbols. I know that's--I've said that so many times, but we always have new listeners. You know that here.

A woman is a symbol for the church. Here you've got one provoking another. These battles between these women that you find all through the Bible are very interesting there. In many ways, analogists to the church. And so here you got one persecuting another in the house of the Lord.

Mary magdalene, or this woman, who I thought was mary, and I've mentioned this before, caught in adultery, brought to the temple. And at the temple you've got the religious leaders who represent the established church pointing to her as an adversary and accusing. Is the devil called the "accuser of the brethren?" Is there a picture in the book of Zechariah where Joshua, the high priest, in the house of the Lord is being accused by the devil because of the stains on his clothes? And do you have another story, we talked about this last week when we studied Revelation, maybe two weeks ago, about in the house of the Lord the ancients are being Marked with a Mark. And those being Marked with that Mark are saved; and those who don't get it are lost. There's a judgment in the house of God.

And so you often find in the house of God, there's this accusation going on. And so when hannah would go to worship, and she's being accused, her husband's trying to comfort her. But her adversary is accusing her. The devil is the accuser of the brethren. When Jesus--Michael, comes to resurrect Moses, the devil shows up and says, "you can't have Moses.

He sinned back there when he lost his temper." Remember? No, I'm building into the story, but I'm sure something like that happened. And finally Michael says, "the Lord rebuked thee, and Moses was resurrected. We know that 'cause he appears then to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. And so, but there he was, the accuser. I'm glad that Christ is going to be our defense attorney in that day, 'cause if the devil has his way, none of us would be resurrected.

Right? So you've got going to the house of God, you got this accusation taking place. And they were praying. Someone look up for me, please, psalm 62. We're talking about "pouring out our heart," psalm 62:7-8. Got a hand right here.

And have you ever seen a person pour out their heart in prayer? Now I'm not asking for anyone to demonstrate this right now, or today, but I'm not--i certainly understand when it happens. Hannah goes to the temple to pray, and when she prays, she prays with such intensity, with such desperation, pouring out her heart, that she's rocking back and forth on her knees. It looks like she's all-- doesn't even have her balance. She's swaying under this burden of grief. What does eli think is going on when she's praying? He thinks she's drunk.

I still remember these vivid pictures when the 2004 December tsunami hit in indonesia and in india. And the picture in particular that I was looking at was from india, the beaches in madras, thousands were drowned. And families wiped out in some of the islands. And some camera crew got in there shortly after this happened, and it showed this family, these women that were praying. They lost their children.

They lost their spouses and then, agony. And it showed them just rocking back and forth in grief and wailing and pouring out their hearts. And it was--it was just agonizing to watch. That's what hannah's doing. She's just reached the limit of her grief.

And her heart is broken, and she's just wailing before God. Now we got another psalm that talks about that. I'm sorry, I didn't forget about you. Psalm 62:7-8. "In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us." What makes our prayers effective with God? How loud we cry, how much we rock back and forth or clench our fists, grit our teeth? What is it that makes our prayers effective with God? Well, a few things, sincerity, the desperation of our hearts, recognizing our utter helplessness without him. And coming in the name of Christ, pleading his righteousness is what gives our prayers eloquence before God. Alright, so she's praying. And she's pouring out her heart. She's rocking back and forth.

And now she probably prayed many times about this. What made it different? What made this prayer different? You know what I think was different? Before when she came and she prayed, she said, "Lord, give me a child. Peninnah's got a whole litter of kids. And I don't have any. It's not fair.

I want one. I need one. I need a child. What's going to happen to me?" And something happened. And now she said, "maybe I'm praying wrong.

Maybe I'm praying God will give me a child for my self-esteem, for my glory. Lord, I tell you what, if you would give me a child, it isn't about me." Something happened. Hannah had an epiphany. Something changed with hannah. And she, instead of saying, "Lord, give me a child for me," she was saying, "Lord, give me a child, and I will give this child to you.

" Now when you pray for something, what is often the source of your prayer? Saying, "Lord, I need this for me." And I'm that way. My prayers are typically a little bit selfish. But really, at the heart of all our prayers should be, "Lord, if it's you're will, if you can be glorified," shouldn't that really be at the heart of our prayer? "Give me a child for you." Now is that child a type of Christ? Does God give her a miracle boy? Yeah, it becomes an answer to prayer. And that child, in many ways, becomes a type of Christ. He becomes a child of promise, you might say.

So now this is I think really incredible. First he says, "how often will you be drunk?" You know, and eli sees her walking back and forth and praying. And keep in mind, she comes to the house of the Lord and presents her request. And I want you to consider. She's going to the right place.

Does it matter if you pray in church? Is there any value in praying in church? I just want you to think about it. Now instead of just saying yes or no, can you think of Bible examples? How do we get the answer to this. Did God tell Daniel to pray towards this place? Is the church called "a house of prayer?" Should we respect prayer in this place? Then is there any added value to praying here? "Two men went up to the temple to pray." I do think that if you dedicate a place for prayer--listen to Solomon's--his dedication prayer in the temple. I do think there's added value when we come corporately together to pray in a place dedicated to God. I know that's a difficult question, because God can hear your prayer like Jonah down at the bottom of the ocean.

I mean he prayed from a fish's intestines down--the bottom of the mountain, God can hear that prayer too. I'd much rather be here than there, wouldn't you? So is it--don't you want to go to pray in the place where the Word of God is? Was the Word of God at the house of the Lord in the--they had it the book of Moses there, the books of Moses, they had the Ten Commandments there. Right place. They had the right Word of God there. She's praying.

Was there something wrong with the priesthood where she went? It was the right office. She went to the right person, wrong man. Were there problems in the house of eli and with his sons? Did God still answer her prayer in spite of the fact that there are all kinds of bad things happening at the temple back then? Not only was eli very lackadaisical about his family and the offerings, he obviously was eating too much. It says later he was a fat man. And because they were taking the choice offerings for themselves, and his sons were sleeping with the women that came.

That's what it says. So when hannah's rocking back and forth, eli's thinking, "oh, it's another one of our son's girlfriends here, drunk." And so he says all that. Everything was wrong about the circumstances, but she still did the right thing. She came to where the Word of God was. She came to where that office of the priest was.

And she came to the house of God. And God answered her prayer in spite of bad things that might have been happening there, in spite of hypocrites that were there. Now are you getting that? That's important for you. It's important for me. That means people can come to the house of the Lord seeking an answer from God.

And he will answer their prayer in spite of hypocrites that might be in the church at the time. In spite of bad things that could be going on you may not know about. We don't know that hannah was aware of it all, but I suspect she had heard rumors. And then eli, when she says, "oh no, my Lord, do not judge your servant to be a daughter of belial. I am pouring out my heart to God!" And he says, "oh, I'm sorry.

" He says, "go in peace. God will answer the request of your heart." Now he as high priest was speaking prophetically and he didn't even know it. In spite of all the problems with eli, God spoke through him. And what's more important is Jesus healed people. He said, "be it unto you according to your faith.

" Have you ever heard stories of people that went to church and were healed and they later find out that the evangelist was a hypocrite? But the person got better. Why? Because of the evangelist or because of their faith in the Word of God? The evangelist can be up there proclaiming the Word of God, and there's inherent power in the Word of God that may have nothing to do with what's going on in the life of that evangelist. One time, I'm not trying to condemn myself, I'm just saying this is a principle. One time the high priest said, "do you know nothing at all but that it's expedient that one man should perish to save the nation? And John then comments in his Gospel, "being the high priest." This is caiaphas who is a wicked man. The devil used him to condemn Jesus.

But he held the office of the high priest. He didn't even know that his statement was a prophecy, that one man should perish to save the nation, that we might not perish spiritual Israel. And so that tells us that if you come seeking God in the church, you cannot use problems in leadership or hypocrites in the pews as an excuse for not coming and not getting answers to your prayers. Does that make sense? Did God answer the sincere prayer of hannah that day? Because she had faith in the Word of God, and she did the right thing. She went to the right place.

She prayed the right prayer. The Word of God was in the house of the Lord that day. And God answered her prayer. So don't ever forget that. That widow who gave her two cents in the temple gave it during the time when Christ was denouncing them as scribes and pharisees, hypocrites.

The most powerful, scathing rebukes that Jesus ever uttered were to that church during that week. And yet he said, "see that woman? She gave her last two cents into the temple treasury. God's going to bless her for that." So there's some very important lessons. Now I'm like you. Sometimes you hear about things going on in the church and you think, "oh, you know, what in the world are we doing?" But is it still God's church? Have things changed, or are there still problems? There are still problems in the families of those who go to the church like elkanah's family.

There are still problems in the families of those who serve in the church like eli. And yet God is still among his people. I think that's a very important point for us. Sometimes we think--i got an e-mail last night from somebody that says, "no, I stopped going to church." Honest to goodness, they said, "I stopped going to church," and they joined another denomination because there was so many hypocrites in the church. And I thought, I said, "brother, it's the truth.

You got to go back to his people." And they joined a whole different denomination. And that makes me so sad when I hear that because they're looking at the people. The friendly fire stuff hasn't changed. Alright, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'm getting behind actually.

Eli says in 1 Samuel 1:17, he says, "go in peace. And the God of Israel grants your petition, which you have asked to him." And she said, "let your maidservant find favor in your sight." "So the woman went her way--" now before she wouldn't eat 'cause she was sad-- "and ate." And her face was no longer sad because she found out that day she was pregnant. Was she pregnant yet? Nothing had changed in her status, but now she is happy and she's eating--first of all, notice it says she ate and then she was happy. What is the bread for us? So you eat the bread of God, you eat the Word of God, and you'll be happy. Right? But notice she had faith.

So her whole life is changed now. She realizes that she is somebody. She doesn't have any children yet. She hasn't even gotten the pregnancy test back yet. And peninnah's going, "how come you're smiling?" And she's just singing and she's eating and she's happy.

And she's going, "I don't understand. What are you so happy about?" She believes she was accepted by God because of the word of eli. And she said, "God has accepted me, even if you think he's rejected me. And one of these days, he said I'm going to have a child. I'm going to bear fruit.

Don't have it yet, but I believe I am." Now that's very important. Have you sometimes wondered, "has Christ been born in me? I don't feel like I've got the fruits of the Spirit. How can I go on?" Well, if you maintain your relationship with him, you will have fruit. How was hannah going to have a child? She said, "in the natural course of maintaining my relationship with my husband, it's going to happen." As you maintain your relationship--by the way, it says she ate. As we eat His Word, right? You know, we sing those Christmas songs.

And there's one in like, "little town of Bethlehem." And it says, "be born in us today." And the hymn writers were great theologians. Well, at least they used to be. I don't know that they all are now. But some of those old hymns, there's also great theology. And the idea that mary's getting pregnant miraculously and Sarah miraculously getting pregnant and Rebekah and rachel getting pregnant miraculously are all a type of a miracle birth that happens inside this woman.

Now who's the woman? The church, us. What? You're the temple of God. That's us. We need to experience an inexplicable birth. You know what? Birth is a mystery, isn't it? Even Solomon the wisest man said, "who can tell how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child?" It's a miracle to me how little people come out of big people.

You think about it. And a woman, combination of the egg and the seed, new life forms. And everything that woman eats and does goes through. It's kind of screened through the placenta and the umbilical cord. So that baby has a different blood type than the mother but that baby's nourished by the mother's blood and with a different blood type.

That's a miracle. How does that happen? I mean you think about it. All of us, conversion is a miracle birth that happens by faith through hannah. What does the word "hannah" mean? Do you remember? Grace. Isn't that right? And what does elkanah mean? God created.

So the whole story you're reading here in the first chapter of Samuel is much more than just how did Samuel ever get to be a prophet? By the way, Samuel a type of Christ, Jesus is our judge. He is our prophet. He is our priest. He is the product of that miracle birth. And he is a type of Christ.

And Samuel also represents the transition from Israel being ruled by Judges to Kings. That miracle birth transitions us from judgment to Christ being enthroned in our lives. There is so much here in the first chapter of Samuel. It's such a wonderful story. So what is hannah's response now when she finally-- she goes home.

And in the process of time, in her normal relationship with her husband, she finds out she's pregnant. And it says, "for this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me the petition which I asked of him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord. So they worshipped the Lord there.

" And then it tells us about this prayer that hannah prays. "My heart rejoices in the Lord." It's actually ten verses. By the way, mary prays a similar prayer when she finds out that she's going to have a baby. It's also ten verses. And they're both talking about, they're rejoicing and glorifying God and victory over enemies, very similar.

Anyway, and then of course it talks about God's investment plan, giving back that gift to the Lord, which she did. And did God, when she gave her best back to God, did God give her more children? I have to double check, but I think she had five more total. Is that right? Boys and girls. And so things were a little easier for her in the household after that. But her identity did not come from all those kids.

It came from really the promise of God and by faith. Great story. I want to remind our friends, we have a free gift book. And if you'd like to receive that, we've run out of study time. Ask for offer number 602.

And call that number, 1-866-788-3966. Thank you for studying with us. Next week we'll be on lesson number 4. God bless you. Thank you for joining us for this broadcast.

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