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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Lessons from Hannah

During a Bible study on the Sabbath  we discussed the importance of seeking the Lord first. It was advised that some of us go and look at people from the Bible who did the latter and the outcome of doing so.
I decided to look at Hannah and, in this post, I outline some of the lessons I have learnt from this daughter of God

The story of Hannah can be found in 1 Samuel 1-28 & 2:1-11:18  I encourage you to read the chapter so you better understand the post. 

Hannah was married to a man named Elkanah he was also married to Penniah.  Penniah had children for Elekanah but Hannah was barren and was often mocked by her cowife about this. “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.”

Although, she was ridiculed about her barren state there was no evidence of her retaliating. Like Christ she stood calmly before her adversary*. Rather than respond harshly to her cowife, Hannah sought comfort from the Lord. “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” -Psalms 34:18
Yearly the family would go up to the house of God. On this occasion Hannah’s co wife mocked her and as a result Hannah did not eat.
There may be those within a church setting who look at your situation as hopeless and rather than weep with you laugh at you. What these types of people missed is that  “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”- Psalms 34:17

“Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” SC P.100

Hannah’s situation did not cause her to retract from God but drew her closer. “10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.” When she prayed she was specific, Hannah expressed her want and what she intended to do if the prayer was granted.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”
When we pray what is the purpose of our prayer? Do we just reel things off like we are reading a shopping list? Are we personal with God when we pray? Do we open up to God like we would a friend? 

Hannah continued to passionately pray and was stopped by the high priest who thought she was drunk! When she prayed she did not make a spectacle of shouting, waving, stamping, jumping or rolling around when she prayed but prayed inwardly. 13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.”

There are many Christian groups who practise glossolalia or  what they define as speaking in tongues which in fact gibberish as a means to get your prayers heard. This is not needed when we pray. There may be times when we cannot even speak aloud for we may feel weighed down but do not fret God understands those groanings.

Romans 8:26-27 King James Version (KJV)

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
In verses 27-28 we can see that Hannah’s prayers were answered and she kept her promise. In the proceeding chapter Hannah gives thanks unto the Lord

1 Samuel 1:27-28 King James Version (KJV)

27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
28 Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.

 1 Samuel 2:1-2 King James Version (KJV)

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.
There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
When God answers your prayers in accordance to his will, how many of us take the time to give him thanks and praise?

Luke 17:11-19 King James Version (KJV)

11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he [Jesus] passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

When God answers may we not forget to give him thanks and praise!

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