A Model of Faith
What is diligently seeking God? Is it coming to God on a daily basis? Is it coming to worship and praise Him? Is it believing that He is there? And believing that He will reward me? Let’s review the concept of diligently seeking God by reviewing the faith and dedication of Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
What did Hannah do?
1stSamuel 1:20 “Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, "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."
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
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. 16 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.”
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."
What Did Hannah Do? How did she do it? How did she pray to receive an answer from God?
1. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. (Verse 10) “And with grief in her soul, weeping bitterly, she made her prayer to the Lord.”
Hannah was grieved and sorrowful because she did not have a child. However, she continued in prayer, though grieved and sorrowful. The weeping was bitter because it was mixed with grief. But she knew that she had to seek God if she was to receive an answer to prayer.
2. And she made a vow, saying, "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 (verse 11)"
Hannah not only petitioned the Lord to give her a child, she may God a vow that she would give the child to the Lord for the “rest of his life” Importantly, and she was specific in what she asked for. She asked for a son.
She gave the child to the Lord for His service. She sacrificed her time of nurturing of the child in order to place him in the hand of the Lord for Him to use Samuel for His service and His will,
3. 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 verses (17 and 18).
She went away in peace, knowing that her prayer was answered. She asked Eli to give her favor (he was the one to keep and mentor the child in the temple). She prayed and went her way, no more weeping and downcast. She knew the requirements for God’s will in her life and vowed to meet those requirements.
When we know what God wants from us and then do it, he hears us. If we are diligent and persistent in our seeking of God, He will direct us to answers to our prayers,
4. Hannah Dedicates Samuel to the Lord
Verses 21 and 22: “When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, "After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always."
Verse 23 "Do what seems best to you," Elkanah her husband told her. "Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word." So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.”
Verse 24:“After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. 25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. 27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.”
Hannah made good her vow to dedicate the child Samuel to the Lord. She did not hesitate, but had faith that God would bless the child. She had knowledge of God as one who answers prayer. She knew that if he answered prayer and gave her a son; He would bless the child all the days of his life if she gave him to Him.
It is also important to see that she offered a sacrifice to the Lord along with the offering of the child. We must answer the Lord’s blessings in our lives with sacrifices as we return and bless the Lord as He has blessed us.
Hannah’s Later Prayer - 1 Samuel 2: 1-10
1. And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
2. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
3Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
5. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
6. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
7. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
8. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.
9. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
10. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed
Conclusion: Hannah saw in the Lord the omnipotence, omnipresence, power, and glory that came from His throne to the sons of men. Those who believe and obey are blessed.
God keeps his saints and give the wicked their due.
Everything that we do and petition God for must be for the ultimate glory of God and must give Him His due sacrifice. Our sacrifices must come from love and obedience to God. The sacrifice must glorify God.