A Fresh Look at Hannah's Gift

Bible Book: 1 Samuel  1 : 26-28
Subject: Mother's Day; Family; Mother

1 Samuel 1:26-28 is the text: "'O My Lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.' So they worshipped the Lord there."


This morning's message is entitled A Fresh Look Hannah's Gift Gift. On Mothers' Day 2001, I preached this message and this text to this congregation. When we preached that message we could sense in the spiritual arena that God was doing some amazing and marvelous things. In my keeping of not doing anything always we're not going to do the same thing today that we have always done in dedicating our parents and children. We have some parents to dedicate today, and a couple of others to acknowledge their stories today. We're going to do it in the preaching of this message. We're going to tread out there again where angels might fear to tread. We have delayed the dedication of a parent and child, and we hope the children will cooperate and be able to do this as well. We believe we can put it into a context which will show you once again God's amazing activity right here in our midst. As God's word is truth, and God is true to His word.

When we look at 1 Samuel chapter 1 we have to understand that the books of Samuel 1st and 2nd were originally one book. They have been separated for our English Bibles for other reasons. What you would find when you study the book of Samuel is that it is a transition book. It is a transition from the period of the judges where every man was doing what was right in his own eyes to the period of the patriarchs and kings. Samuel which is the object of the story we have today, would have been the last judge and the first prophet. When we have him, he is the one God will use to select and anoint the next king. The first king would have been Saul, and the next king would have been David. Saul would have been man's choice. David was God's choice.


Today you will find the backdrop of how Samuel, the last judge and first prophet, came into existence. It comes from Hannah's gift. Today we're going to revisit Hannah's gift and show you some of the things that went into the kingdom of God, the people of God, receiving this gift of an individual called Samuel. Notice with me first of all as we examine chapter 1 Hannah's problems as they need to be explained.


I. Hannah's Problems Need To Be Explained

When we look at chapter 1 we see Hannah's problem. Hannah's problem needs to be explained. As I said, this was coming out of the period of the judges where every man was doing what was right in his own eyes. For whatever reasons, we are not told why other than perhaps that this statement summarizes it best - her husband had two wives and not just one. One wife had children, but Hannah had no children. First I want to show you about her problem as we seek to explain it.


A. Her Womb Was Barren (v. 1:5-6)

Hannah's Womb was Barren. Look at verse 5: But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.

We're not told all the reasons why the Lord does not allow some people to have children, and why He allows other people to have multiple children. When we look out in our eyes and our wisdom we find some people who would make outstanding parents. They would make tremendous parents for children, but they have not been able to have children. The Lord, it says specifically, is the one who had closed her womb. It is Lord who is the giver of life and the taker of life. He is the alpha and the omega. He is the first and the last. He is the beginning and the end. What we understand here is that part of her problem is her womb was barren.


B. Her Heart Was Broken (v. 1:6-7)

Secondly, as a result of her barren womb, her heart would yearly and continually be broken. Look at verse 6: And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

When we look at Hannah's problem, and we explain her problem we find her womb was barren and her heart was broken.


C. Her Husband Was Bewildered (v. 1:8)

We discover that her Husband was Bewildered. We might have many Hannah types here this morning. We might have many Hannah's husband types here this morning. Look at how bewildered he was - verse 8: Then Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?

I'd like to know the rest of that verse. I would like to know how quickly he had to duck. I would like to know from what he had to duck. And I would like to know how narrowly his life was spared. He's not a mean person. He's not being vindictive. He just doesn't understand it from the perspective of his wife. That's not the first man not to understand things from the perspective of his wife - not to understand much of anything from the perspective of his wife. My wife is over there and she is giving me the cut sign right now!

Do you see how bewildered he was? He loved her and every year he would give her a double portion of everything he had - a double portion of the offerings, a double portion of gifts, a double portion of his love. He made sure there was no doubt in her mind how much he loved her. In his mind he was doing as good as ten sons could do for her, but he had absolutely no clue about the depth of her heartache and heartbreak that she had. That's Hannah's problems as we have explained them.


II. Hannah's Prayers Need To Be Examined

Out of the midst of her problem came prayers. That's a good principle for all of us to incorporate into our lives. No matter how severe or serious your problems are, take it to the One who can do something about it. She had many roads she could have gone down. She could have gone down the road to bitterness. She could have gone down the road to resentment. She could have gone down the road to not acknowledging the Lord. But she didn't do that. Here's what she did with her problem. She took it to the Lord in prayer. Notice three things as we examine her prayer.


A. A Sincere Prayer From The Soul (v. 1:10)

When she prayed this prayer it was a sincere prayer from her soul. Look at verse 10: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.

Words that I have in my vocabulary cannot describe for you the picture that is painted by one phrase, 'the anguish that came from her soul.' It was a sincere prayer that she was offering up to the Lord. She wanted a child.


B. A Specific Prayer To The Lord (v. 1:11)

Not only do we see it was a sincere prayer from her soul, it was a specific prayer to the LORD. Look at verse 11: Then she made a vow and said, "O Lord of hosts..."

There are four things this prayer included. You might want to jot them down or underline them in a separated way in your scripture.


C. A Selfless Prayer For The Kingdom (v. 1:11)

"Lord, look on the affliction of your maidservant."

You know I have found that if we pray in general we get general responses. If we pray in specifics we get specific answers. Here she is - "Lord, look on the affliction of your maidservant."

Look at my circumstances. Look at my daily life. Look at the emptiness I have. Look at my situation. Lord, take acknowledgment of it.


The second thing it included was - "remember me".

Have you ever had a situation or season of your life where you had a burden, or you had a broken heart, you had a need in your life? Whether it has to do with children, whether it has to do with finances, whether it has to do with work, whether it has to do with anything under the sun, have you ever felt that God forgot who you were? Have you ever felt as if you were in a season of life, if there was a God at all He didn't know your name? If He knew your name He didn't care? Sometimes we get like that. Here Hannah is. She is praying - and saying - Lord, please remember the affliction of your servant. Remember me personally.


The third thing she prayed was - "do not forget your maidservant". Lord I know you are the blesser of all creation. Lord, I know you that you have multiple blessings to hand out everywhere. Lord, while you are blessing don't forget to bless me.


Lord, while you're remembering me, and while you are not forgetting me, and while you are looking on the affliction of your maidservant -- Lord, give me a male child. Give me a male child! Why would her heart have been so broken? When the barrenness of her womb was so evident? Among other things, other than the rival that she had and provocation she received of jealousy, she would no doubt still remember the promise made in the Garden of Eden. It was through the seed of the woman that Messiah would come. The Redeemer of the world would come through a woman. Every Jewish woman would pray and believe that the Lord could somehow use her to bring forth the Messiah - the promised one - to the earth. We know it came through Mary. Every single woman would know that she has that possibility, up until that time that Messiah came. She wanted a son for her husband. She wants a son to shut up her rival - yes. I believe we will see evidence that the reason she wanted it primarily is because she wanted it for the Lord and the Lord's work. We see not only Hannah's problems explained, and Hannah's prayers examined, but look at number three.


III. Hannah's Priorities Need To Be Explored



A. Her Spiritual Priority Of Worship (v. 1:13,19)

We see first of all her Spiritual priority of Worship. We see in her life and her family makeup, no matter what her problems were, no matter how barren she was, no matter how heartbroken she was - she still maintained a priority of spiritual worship. Look at verse 3: This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. Look at verse 19: Then they rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord, and returned and came to their house at Ramah.

What we find here is that she had the discipline of spiritual worship as a priority in her life.


B. Her Maternal Priority For The Home (v. 1:20-24)

She had a Maternal priority for the Home. Look at verse 21: Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there forever." Look at verse 23: So Elkanah her husband said to her, (I'd rather be happy than right.) - "Do what seems best to you..."

There's a wise man! Elkanah says that she should do what seems right to her - only let the Lord establish or confirm His word. The woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. During that time she did like Moses mom, she poured every bit of truth and every bit of heritage, and every bit of God's stories into him as she possibly could because she knew there would come a time when she couldn't hold him any more, she couldn't nurse him any more. She couldn't help him any more. She couldn't be with him any more. What she was investing in him in those early years in her home would never depart from him all the days of his life.


C. Her Eternal Priority For The Kingdom (v. 1:25-28)

She had an ETERNAL priority for the KINGDOM. Look at verse 27. She goes up and says, For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." So the worshipped the Lord there.


It's at this point that I want to inject a few personal stories into the congregation's life this morning. When we come to look at this I want to share a few stories with you that you may or may not have been aware of. When I preached the message and I gave the invitation that day there were several families in the early service as well as the later service who came forward and offered their prayer to the Lord. They said just like Hannah did, "Lord, look upon the affliction of your maidservant. Lord, remember me. Lord, give me a child that we might raise for you and for your glory." What has happened since then and until today?


We would like for the Huffmans to come forward right now, and the other families to come and stand in front of the platform for just a moment. We want to introduce these to you and show you some God stories. Miss Linda is coming up here. This is Sam and Terry DeFur and this is my little buddy right here. Give me five right here - okay. In that service she had already found out that she had conceived and was expecting a child. But God did something for you all in that service that helped you in the naming of him. What would that have been?


"Up to that point we did not want to name him after me. My first name is Samuel. We were going to give him his own distinct name. During that service when you talked about how Samuel was the child that Hannah had prayed for, and we had prayed so long for Joshua, that we felt like the Lord was saying, 'Make his middle name Samuel.'"


Praise the Lord. Out of that God did a confirmation for them, and yes his middle name needs to be Samuel. That's what they named him. Ask of the Lord, and the Lord had granted and blessed them.

Thank you so much for letting us get a visual aid of that. Give me five again. Thank you so much.


This is Luke and Paige Cobe and this is Adam. They have already had their day of standing and publicly dedicating him to the Lord. The Lord has also had put a desire in their heart, and heard the prayer in their heart and life and they have gone forward. It wasn't that much longer that the Lord gave you the desires of your heart. We appreciate you bringing little Adam and standing before the Lord and testifying of the Lord's goodness and greatness to you, and the prosperity of that. Thank you so much. Let's give them a hand of affirmation and thanksgiving of that.


Coming this morning for parent/child dedication is Trent and Melissa Huffman with their little 2-month old baby. His name is Samuel Reese. If you are here in honor of his dedication today, please stand. I know it was through much anguish and bitterness of soul in a positive way that God was working to get you the desires of your heart. You came forward and prayed at that time. That wasn't the first time you prayed. That wasn't the last time you prayed for the Lord to give you the desires of your heart. There were many decisions that had to be made in the process and journey. God worked it out for you to be able to adopt this precious child and we praised the Lord for that. Today we have to commemorate your dedication of him with this red rose for you, Trent - this open red rose symbolizes the courage that it will take for you to be a man of God that Reese Samuel will need. Also, we have for you, Melissa, this open white rose - which speaks of the maternal love that God has given to you. It comes out of the labor of your heart. To that end we have a red bud we want to give to Reese. Reese is a beautiful name and a wonderful name, but yet it's a life that has not yet reached its potential. We believe and know that the Lord has a plan and purpose for his life. We want you to receive this for him. I found these words that speaks a little bit to what you had gone through. You didn't have the physical labor pains that go along with this. You had labor pain nonetheless. Steve Chapman has written a song called "The Labor of my Heart." I want to read some of the words to that that express what you have gone through in bringing Reese into your life and into our lives as well.


"I would have given anything to be the one to know the pain

Of bringing you into this world, but it couldn't be.

Though I did not bring you here, still I labored in my tears;

Through the long nights I prayed you would come to me

You are the labor of my heart, child, you are the labor of my heart;

With all my strength I prayed, til they laid you in my arms.

Child, you are the labor of my heart


Blessed be the maker of bone of other bone;


He's made flesh of my desire, and today I'll take you home."


The Lord has blessed you and graced you, and we praise the Lord for your willingness to get involved in adoption. Reese means dedicated and enthusiastic. We know he is dedicated to the Lord, and he is enthusiastic. We pray to that end. Do you think he might let me hold him? Not a care in the world.


I can't imagine what it was like that day in the temple for Hannah when she had to come and present her gift to the Lord. Some of you have had to present gifts to the Lord. There are parents here today that as you presented your gift to the Lord you did not know or understand that it would require giving that child completely to Him.


Today the Huffman's completely give their child to the Lord. There have been through many valleys and many experiences of pain and patience and trials and tribulations. Today the joy of their heart has been fulfilled by the king of their heart. Let's dedicate Reese Samuel Huffman to the Lord.


"Father, we thank you so much for this precious gift. It is with great desire that we hold this child in our hands. Lord, I ask your blessings to be upon him. I thank you Lord for the birth mom who made an unselfish choice in giving life to this child. I thank you so much for the sovereignty which you moved and placed them into Trent and Melissa's home. Lord I thank you for allowing us to have a part in him here in this great church. I dedicate him today to your glory and honor. I ask you, Lord, at the earliest possible age he come to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Lord, I pray just like Trent and Melissa that one day he will stand up and say the godliest man and the godliest woman I ever knew was my mom and dad. Lord, bless him now with health. Bless him now with holiness. In Jesus Christ name we dedicate him to the lord. Amen."


Let's return him back to daddy. We have the Bible, a letter from me to him, and this certificate for you to take with you. Thank you so much, and God bless you. Praise the Lord!


Church, I shared that with you so that if there is any family out there who desires children, as they have and these have, I want to show you that God still answers prayer. Each of these came forward for prayer at different times and different seasons in their life. They were prayed for and God has answered and heard the prayers. I was sharing some of this in the earlier service, and some families came to join. One senior adult family came and she was on a walker. I got tickled at what she said. She said, "We didn't come for children." I said, "I don't know that Isaac is on the horizon." She said, "No, no - we just came for membership."

We praised the Lord for all.


Hannah's problems were explained, her prayers were examined, her priorities were explored, but ultimately let me show you this in closing.


IV. Hannah's Privileges Need To Be Expected

The privileges that Hannah received should be expected by you as well.


A. Her Heart Was Filled With Joy (v. 2:1)

The privilege that God gave to her was that she had a heart that was filled with joy. Look at chapter 2, verse1: And Hannah prayed and said: My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation."

When did she pray that prayer? When did her heart get filled with joy? It was when she had to lay her child at the doorstep of the house of God. It's when she had to lay her child as a gift unto the Lord with him. They had just finished worshipping the Lord together. Now she is about to deposit this child with ungodly leadership. Eli's two sons were as wicked and as vile as anybody had ever been up to that time. They did more evil and wickedness in the sight of God than any before them. They led the people astray. They departed from the word of God. The word of God was not entrusted to any of them during that entire span of time. Yet, she is not depositing him with them. She is depositing him with the Lord.


Some of you have had to pay that ultimate sacrifice with your children. When you gave them to the Lord, that's what it meant for you. You couldn't hold them any more. You couldn't feed them any more. You couldn't keep them any more. Can you say with Hannah that it is my privilege to say that I can smile at my enemy because my heart rejoices in the Lord.


B. Her Home Was Filled With Children (v. 2:21)

Her home was then filled with children. Look at chapter 2, verse 21: as time went on after she had given this unselfishly to the Lord. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters.

How many did the Lord ask of her? One?. How many did he give her back? Five! He gave her five for one. I want to tell you this. You can mark this principle down. You cannot out give God in anything. If God required a child from you before you were ready to let them go, God has a blessing in return for you. You just trust God to make all things right in His time. If you have not been able to bring child to term yet. If God has required that of you and He has asked that child of you, don't grow weary. God sees your affliction, and He is a God who will make things right. We see not only that her heart was filled with joy, and her home was filled with children.


C. Her Heritage Was Filled With Glory (v. 3:21)

Finally, her HERITAGE was filled with GLORY. Chapter 3, verse 21: Then the Lord appeared again iun Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord. The son who was entrusted to Hannah, who was given to the Lord. The Lord raised him up and then the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.


Would to God that God would lay it on peoples' hearts once again to seek children because they know God desires a godly offspring. They will do everything they can to raise that child for the glory of God. When God asks a child from you, and you have had to give it unto the Lord. What the Lord does is reveal himself through that child in some supernatural spiritual way. It may very well be someone here today with a heart that is broken because your womb has been barren. If the Lord has put it within your heart's desire to have a child you might give to him to raise for him, for His glory and His honor, I would encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer. It may very well be that the Lord would have you present yourself today to be prayed for. It may very well be that the Lord would have you present yourself here today to pray and pray for yourself. We would be glad to do either and accommodate you in any way we can.



I remember Jason and Kelly Hill, missionaries serving in Zambia. The first time I saw them, within the first two minutes God spoke to my heart and said there is barrenness. I didn't know anything about them. It was one of those supernatural things. It was one of those strange things. I immediately began to pray for God to remove that from them. Then God put it in my heart to approach them about that. We approached them about that, and they said, "Oh yes, we would love to have children. We have been unable to have children and don't know why." I said, "I want you to pray about it and it may very well be that God wants you to present yourself to your church family." It was the great family gathering of missionaries that day, and Henry Blackaby was leading it. We spoke with Henry Blackaby about it. He shared that many, many times in a community setting like that God had done miraculous things in barren families lives and children were conceived after that and they had children. Kelly and Jason believed that, and bore witness with that. They presented themselves to their church community, their missionary brothers and sisters, and they prayed over them. When we got back to the states and God had revealed the problem, and within three months time she had conceived and now they have brought forth a precious baby for the Lord.


I could go on and on with other families and children with the same situation like that. There may be somebody here today that your heart and spirit bears witness with that. If you will present yourself today to be prayed for, for God's will to be done in your life. It could be that you're going to be like that other family that joined today. You don't need any children, but you are ready to join this church. You come and we won't put in the wrong line. You come, and we will be glad to have you and receive you into the fellowship of this church. It may very well be that your problem is something totally different from that, but it needs prayer. You can present yourself for prayer at this time.