A MOTHER'S PRAYER
1 Samuel 1:1-28 PRINCETON CHRISTIAN CHURCH 09 MAY 2021
Real Mothers are special people. Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox. Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens, and happy kids. Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn’t come out of shag carpets. Real Mothers do NOT want to know what the vacuum just sucked up. Real Mothers sometimes ask "Why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says, "Because I love you best."
Real Mothers know that a child’s growth is not measured by height or years or grade...It is marked by the progression from Mama to Mom to Mother.
Real mothers are a class unto themselves. Real mothers have an investment in the future – because their children ARE the future.
It has been said of mothers: “Real Mothers are selfless when it comes to their children. They’ll put up with dirty diapers, the throwing up, the spitting up, the crying for hours. They give up their time and their sanity because this child is theirs. They are selfless… because they are REAL mothers."
This morning we’re going to look at the life of a “real mother” found in Scripture - 1 Samuel 1;1-28
Her name is Hannah. Hannah is a very special woman because she’s one of those rare women that God holds up for us to see and admire. Now, as we’re introduced to Hannah, we find that she has a problem.
What’s her problem? (she can’t get pregnant) Why can’t she get pregnant?
The Bible tells us that God closed up Hannah’s womb. Really? Would He do that?"
One preacher, in his teaching of this passage, implied that God really didn’t close up her womb. It was just one of those comments that people make when they don’t know the cause of a tragedy or a natural disaster. In fact, you’ll hear it on the news when a tornado has swept through a town. They call that kind of disaster an… “act of God”.
They don’t really think God caused the tornado. And this preacher really didn’t think God caused Hannah’s womb to be closed. Now, there is a very clear problem with that thinking. The problem is this: The Bible tells us “God closed up her womb.”
It doesn’t say “Hannah THOUGHT God closed her womb.” Or that “Elkanah, her husband,\ thought…” Or that “the people thought…” It says clearly: “God closed up her womb.”(vs 5)
If the Bible tells me God closed her womb my first thought is – that’s exactly what happened. And that was done for on purpose - for God's intended purpose.
Here, in I Samuel it tells us God closed up Hannah’s womb. Was God punishing Hannah? Did God hate her for something she had done or failed to do? No, of course not.
There’s nothing in this story to tell us that she was wicked or evil in any way. In fact, the picture painted here is of a godly woman who is in deep personal trouble. Her heart is breaking and she’s praying with all of her heart that God would help her. That’s not the kind of person God punishes
2 Chronicles 16:9 says “…the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. – God found that king of person in Hannah.
God wasn’t punishing Hannah. God’s eyes had ranged throughout the earth to find a woman just like her. And His eyes focused on her because He knew Hannah will be a woman He could mold into one of the most influential and significant mothers in Scripture.
Now, this is what happened: Back in that day - Israel was a nation in crisis. Judges 17:6 tells us: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” Everybody did what they felt like doing… and it was not a pretty sight. The whole nation was corrupt. Even Eli the priest and his sons had a streak of corruption in their lives.
God needed to bring about a change. He needed to raise up a hero who could lead His people to righteousness. He needed a man who could step and do what needed to be done. He needed someone who could be a judge, a prophet, and a priest.
AND in order to train up that kind of leader for Israel God was going to need the help of a very special kind of mother.
That’s where Hannah comes in. Hannah was going to be – not only a real mother – but a Godly mother. Hannah was the kind of woman that God could count on and work through to train the man he needed to shape His nation Israel.
But first He had to bring her to the point where she was desperate enough to do what God needed to be done. You know, God sometimes uses our pain to guide us to something He wants us to do.
C.S. Lewis once said: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
In her pain, Hannah comes to a decision: If God will give her a son she says: “… I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life…”1Samuel 1:11 Now, every firstborn son belonged to God anyway. In Exodus 13:2 God told His people: "Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal."
So Hannah’s firstborn son would have belonged to God from his birth but like all Israelites, she and her husband would have redeemed that child.
But what Hannah is vowing here is this: God, if you give me a son, I’ll let you keep him. I won’t redeem him back. In her mind, as she had already decided that if God gave her a son she’d give him to the priests at the Tabernacle to raise and would serve God by helping people to worship. Now, why would Hannah come up with the idea to give her son over to the priest to raise? Did that idea just pop into her mind? NO. It is reasonable to believe that God put that idea in her heart. Because she came to that point in her life where she was willing to give her son to God… God rewarded her in some powerful ways:
Not only does she get pregnant right away; but she bears 3 more sons and 2 more daughters
1 Samuel 2:21 tells us that “the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters..." But even more significant than that… she was the mother of Samuel!
Samuel was one of the greatest men in the Old Testament. He was the last of the judges and the first of a long line of prophets. He was such a righteous man that he guided the people out of their immorality back to obedience to God and His law. And he was so highly regarded by God that not only are there 2 books in the Bible that bear his name but a couple of times God compares his righteousness to that of Moses.
In Jeremiah 15:1 God condemns the sins of the nation of Judah, and He declares: "Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people..” Samuel was such a great man that he was equal to Moses in God’s eyes. That’s Hannah’s boy! Can you imagine the joy she felt as she saw her son serving God and His people in ways that made huge impacts on their lives.
Now, she has 3 more boys & 2 daughters. But I bet you don’t know what THEIR names are. Samuel gives Hannah bragging rights. She’s like the mother who pulls out her wallet and says “And this is my son the Prophet and Judge” This is my son who made it big! And this all happened because Hannah was a Godly woman who prayed.
Now… when God tells us stories like this, there is more there than just a heartwarming story. There is something He wants US to learn. And what God wants us to see is summed up in this:
• Hannah is a Godly, praying woman • Hannah is the kind of woman that God listens to • Be like her!
Now, I realize that some of our Mothers here have already raised their children and now have grandchildren who adore them as much as grandmothers adore the children. But this also applies to you as well. If you want your children, or grandchildren, to make you proud - be like Hannah. If you want your children or grandchildren to make a difference in this world - be like Hannah.
If you want your them to grow up to be truly great and to make a difference in this world as well as preparing other for eternity – be like Hannah.
So… how are you going to do that? How can you be like Hannah?
1. A Godly mother believes in the power of prayer…
and she is willing to pray for her family to the point of weeping before God as Hannah did. The heart of this entire story centers on Hannah’s prayer and God is so impressed with how she prayed that He tells us in great detail. We’re told that she prayed with tears. She prayed with intensity. She prayed with purpose. She prayed believing
And God heard her prayed and gave her the desire of her heart.
That’s the way we need to learn to pray. And when we do, God tells us in Psalm 37:4 that if you “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
2. A Godly mother gives her children to God.
Granted Hannah’s gift to God was more dramatic than most of us would think to do, but a Godly mother is convinced that God will help her children if she places them in His hands.
Now, all Christians should do that anyway. When you and I became Christians Jesus became the Lord of our lives. At that point you became HIS… and everything you own should be His. And we give our entire lives to Him completely because we’re convinced He’ll take care of them. That’s what Paul meant when he wrote:
“I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 2Timothy 1:12
That brings us to the third thing a Godly woman does
3. A Godly mother wants GOD’s best for her children.
She learned the wisdom of Christ’s words in the garden: “not my will, but thine be done. She does this because she’s convinced God’s best is the best. There’s nothing better that she can supply to her children.
This is the kind of woman who wonders: will my son be a preacher/ daughter a missionary? For her, there would be no greater opportunity that they could do in their lives, although they can accomplish great things for the Lord in any walk of life aside from being a preacher or missionary.
4. A Godly mother keeps her word to God (and others
God was able to trust Hannah with this wonderful baby boy because He knew He could trust her to do what she’d promised. As soon as her baby boy was weaned…she marched him right up to the tabernacle and she honored her word to God. But she didn’t just “leave” him there, never to see him again.
1 Samuel 2:19 tells us that “Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.” Every year she went to visit her son. And what do you suppose she talked about when she visited him? She told her son about how God had given him to her. How he was a special boy - a child of destiny.
That brings us to the last thing a Godly mother should do
5. A Godly mother tells her children about God's love for them.
She looks for ways to tell her child about how God has him/her. She looks for ways to make them understand that God has a purpose for their lives. She looks for ways to assure that they know that they are precious in HIS sight.
A Godly mother is one of the most powerful forces on earth. They have within their hands the ability to shape the future with their children.
I read the true story of a Christian mother in California. She wrote that her 3-year-old son was making it hard for her to do her housework. He seemed to be right behind her wherever she went and whenever she stopped to do something and turned back around, she would trip over him.
Several times she patiently suggested fun activities to keep him occupied. “Wouldn’t you like to play on the swing set?” she’d ask. But he simply smiled an innocent smile and said, “Oh, that’s all right, Mommy. I’d rather be in here with you.” Then he continued to bounce happily along behind her.
After stepping on his toes for the 5th time, she began to lose her patience with him and insisted that he go outside and play with the other children. Then she asked him why he was acting this way. He looked up at her with sweet green eyes and said, “Well, Mommy, in Sunday School my teacher told me to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. But I can’t see him, so I’m walking in yours.” (Davida Dalton “Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul”)
Are you walking in the footsteps of Jesus?