1 Samuel 1

1 & 2 Samuel cover the time period between the Judges and the Kings.
The time of the judges was a period of moral & spiritual decline for Israel.
In 1 Samuel, we see Samuel, a prophet, Saul, the 1st king of Israel, and then King David.

1:1-3

Shiloh was the place where the Tabernacle was prior to being in Jerusalem. 19 miles north of Jerusalem

Polygamy was a way of life in these days.
We never see God approving of it.
Jesus taught on marriage and quoted Genesis 2…
(Gen 2:24 KJV) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
We always see some unhealthy family problem in polygamous families.
Here we see Peninnah provoking Hannah.

1:4, 5

Portions of the offering were given to the priest, and some to the family.

1:6, 7 

Notice that Hannah wept b/c she was barren and b/c she was provoked. We don’t see her blaming God or her husband for her barrenness. We also see her obediently and appropriately going every year to worship God, though she probably knew that Peninnah would provoke her there.

1:8

This is an insensitive remark. Elkanah doesn’t understand is wife very well. He doesn’t understand the depth of her desire to have a child.

Infertility– a cultural shortcoming in many societies.
A physiological problem that many women face.
This can bring great sorrow to many married couples who desire to have children.
This can leave a woman feeling inferior and unfulfilled.

Modern statistics– 1 in 6 couples have infertility issues.
1/3 of the times it is the woman, 1/3 of the time, the man, 1/3 of the time it is a combination of physical problems.
With Hannah, the problem was with her, since Elkanah had children with Penninah.

COMMENTS– Having children is a very normal & good desire.
It is very appropriate for a Christian married couple to pray for the ability to have children.

CAUTION– As with many other good and godly desires, we need to be careful that our lives don’t become centered on the fulfillment of one particular desire.

EXAMPLE– “If only I could become pregnant, then I would be fulfilled.”
“If only I could father a child, then I would be fulfilled.”
As with many other good desires, we can fixate on that one desire, and it becomes the center of our thoughts, our prayers, and our purposes.
It can be a very subtle thing that happens with us.

We can begin to ask wrong questions….
“What did I do wrong…Why won’t God bless me…”
We can begin to resent or be jealous of others who are fertile…”they don’t understand…etc.”

As with many good and godly things, we need to keep Jesus central in our lives.
We need to realize that He is the sovereign Lord and King over our lives.
Our physical conditions do not limit us from being blessed, and being able to be fulfilled.

TWO EXAMPLES OF FULLNESS APART FROM HAVING GODLY DESIRES…

The Apostle Paul served the Lord faithfully, and yet only a relative few supported him financially…
Philippians 4:10-13 10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.

The life of Jesus-Jesus went without much of what He rightfully deserved and desired.
Worship, adoration, love from His creation, understanding, respect.
All of those things and more rightfully belonged to Jesus, but He lived without them.

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR AN INFERTILE COUPLE…
Have the attitude of…”not our will Lord, but your will be done”.
Surrender that infertility to the Lord.
Ask for diving intervention, pray for healing, pray for a child, but bow to the Lord’s will, whatever that may be.

HAVING SAID THAT…

  • I do not see any sin in seeking out medical assistance in achieving pregnancy.
  • My personal opinion is that the egg and the sperm should come from the husband and wife, otherwise, it is not their child together.
  • If both husband and wife are infertile, perhaps adoption is the best option.
  • I do not think that a surrogate mother is good under any circumstances.
    • It creates problems regarding bonding and maternal love that should not have to be dealt with
    • It gives opportunity for unhealthy attention to be given to a woman who is outside of the marriage.
  • When one or the other is infertile, then a degree of medical intervention is probably acceptable.
  • Christians disagree on this; that is my opinion at this time.
  • Other facts and considerations might change my mind in the future.

IF THERE ARE FERTILITY PROBLEMS IN YOUR MARRIAGE…

  • Surrender that to the Lord, and don’t make that issue foremost in life.
  • Receive prayer for fertility and for God’s will.
  • Do what is medically possible, according to the freedom that God gives you s a married couple.
  • There are moral and ethical considerations that need to be considered and prayed through.

1:9-11

Hannah asks God to give her a child. She then says that she will dedicate this child back to God at an appropriate age.

A Nazirite was a person who was dedicated to God for a particular length of time.
During that time, the person was not to drink wine, eat anything made of grapes, not touch a dead body, and they were to let their hair grow.
Samson was a Nazirite, Samuel was one, as was also John the Baptist.

The key to a Nazirite was dedication.
The Hebrew word nazir means “dedicated”.
This was a person dedicated to serve the Lord.

Note: This may have been taking place at the time when Samson was judging Israel, or shortly after.
If this happened during the time of the judges, we know that there was a lack of godly men who would be godly leaders.
Samson judged for 20 years, but the Philistines ruled over the Israelites for 40 years.
We read in 1 Samuel that eventually Samuel would lead Israel in battle and all Israeli cities would be recovered from the Philistines.

This means that Hannah became pregnant during this time of a lack of godly leaders.
God waited until a dark moment to bring forth this leader, Samuel.
God restrained Hannah from being pregnant until she was so desperate that she would dedicate her son to God.
God used the sorrow of barrenness to bring forth a willing mother who would give up her son.
That son would go on to lead the nation out of darkness.
God uses dark times and sorrow to bring forth the best in us re. serving God.

1:12-14

Eli misjudges Hannah. He is quick to condemn her, and he is wrong.
It is easy for us to come to quick conclusions about people by seeing them for only a few moments.
We need to guard ourselves against such attitudes.
May we not be discouraged when spiritual leaders misjudge us. Spiritual leaders are humans who still sin and make mistakes.
May we be encouraged that Jesus, our great High Priest, never misunderstands our spiritual intentions and desires.

Hebrews 4:14-16 14Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1:15, 16

Hannah answers in a godly, peaceful manner.
She could have verbally attacked Eli, and blamed him.
He is a spiritual leader who has made a misjudgment, and wrongfully accused her.

She shows that she has a godly spirit by answering in a non-aggressive manner.

Hannah– “Grace.” She has a barren womb, but is fruitful in her spirit.

She is gracious to this priest who misjudges her.

LESSON– Don’t be quick to judge people by external appearances.

If you are judged wrongly, give a kind and godly explanation.

1:17, 18

Eli sends her away with a blessing and a prayer. Hannah seems to receive this as a prophetic word from God. In the end, Eli did speak a word of prophecy.

1:19, 20

Notice that even though Hannah was barren, she continued to worship the Lord.
Her unhappy condition never kept her from worshipping God.
She seems to believe that a promise has been made.
Even though it is still unfulfilled, she worships.
Her life of worship was not based upon personal fulfillment, but on the person of God.

Finally, Samuel is born.
Hannah recognizes that God heard her prayer, and names the baby Samuel.

1:21-23

Notice the latitude that Elkanah gives to his wife.
He doesn’t pressure her, but trusts that she will do the right thing. How wonderful when husbands and wives give their spouse the freedom to make decisions without undue pressure.
(NLT) “may the LORD help you keep your promise.”

It would be easy to imagine a mother “forgetting” the promise she had made to give her child to the Lord.
Maybe changing her mind and giving the next child to God, etc.
Samuel was probably about 3-5 years old when he is brought to the Tabernacle.

1:24-28

Hannah fulfills her vow.
Three bulls were taken, but it seems as though one was offered as a sacrifice of dedication re. Samuel.
Even on this day of giving up their son, we find Hannah and Elkanah worshipping God

1 Samuel 2

Consider this song of praise to God that Hannah sings.
Consider the sequence of events that brought forth this song of praise.

  1. Years of barrenness
  2. Persecution by the other wife
  3. Continued faithful worship of God
  4. Heartfelt crying out to the Lord for a child, so much so that she was willing to give him up
  5. An answer to prayer, Samuel is born, and faithfully given to the Lord at the right time.
  6. Faithful and obedient worship led to receiving the promise, which led to the child, which led t this song of praise.
  7. If Hannah had allowed her heartache to keep her from worshipping God and praying, she never would have received the blessing from Eli and from God.
  8. She sings this song as she is departing from her child.

2:1

The object of Hannah’s praise was God, not her son
“Horn” – my power is great in the Lord.
18*30Salvation-deliverance welfare, prosperity, victory

2:2-3

This song of praise points out the contrasts that God makes in people’s lives
Peninnah was formerly arrogant and persecuting.
She was proud in her ability to have children, and used it against Hannah.

(1 Pet 5:5-6 KJV) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. {6} Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Hannah is a beautiful example how God gives grace to the humble.

2:4-10

Anointed- mashiyach – anointed, anointed one; of the Messiah, Messianic prince; of the king of Israel; of the high priest of Israel

This is the first time that the word mashiyach occurs in a place where it can refer to the Messiah.

king … anointed – There was not yet a king in Israel. Hannah is speaking prophetically. Not just about the kings like Saul and David, but even in looking to Jesus.

2:11

Even young children can be useful to the Lord