The Hannah Promise

I'm so excited and grateful that The Hannah Promise is an offically published work!  Yay, God!  

Publicity release, listen here…Hannahs Promise 1 – Computer (Apple TV)

You can order it here, including paperbacks and ebooks

 

 

 

 

 

The Hannah Promise:  Mom’s Summer Prayer Blitz    There were some ladies who are part of “A Great Company,"  https://www.facebook.com/ groups/228189507196980/, appraoched me and wanted to start a mom’s prayer group.  After getting an idea of what they wanted and taking it to the Lord in prayer, we came up with a three part plan…

1.  Scripture focus
I Samuel 1. As I was praying about what our scripture focus would be, I kept thinking of the story of Hannah in I Samuel 1 and how she could not have children but asked the Lord to give her a child.  She vowed that if He did, she would give her child back to the Lord “all the days of his life.”  I kept dismissing the thought of using this as our scripture focus because I have always considered it a baby dedication scripture.  So I finally went to this scripture and, in verse 11, read Hannah’s promise, “ …if you… give me a son, then I will give him back to you all the days of his life.”  I so felt the weight of the Holy Spirit on this scripture and realized that every child whether asked for, planned for, or given as a divine surprise is a gift from the Lord.  I also felt this is a fresh challenge from the Lord to fully give our children to Him all the days of their lives.  This is not a one time event.  Father God is asking us to release our children to Him at whole new level.  

Years ago, when my sons were small, as I was praying about their futures, I found myself praying about a particular vocation for each of them.  I heard the Lord, with my spiritual ears, sternly but graciously say to me, “You direct them to me and I’ll lead them where I want them to go.”  Over the years, I’ve had to revisit that altar where I placed them in God’s trusting hands, many times over.  I’ve had to make myself say, “Not my will but Thine be done.”


2.  Corporate meeting time

Over the summer, we met together every first and third Tuesday evening at 6:30 in June, July and August for an hour and a half.  

We met on our church campus but I encourage you to meet together, too where ever you may live.  Meet in a home, meet in a Sunday School class, meet in a community room, or restaurant.  

Our time together on Tuesday nights was divided into two parts; a Bible study and prayer time.  The Bible Study will focus on I Samuel 1.  In the prayer time we used “The Tabernacle Prayer Model.”  (I can email you a copy, if you will let me know.) This prayer model will be especially symbolic because the Tabernacle is where Hannah made her vow.  Wow.


3.  Private devotions

Our private devotions was centered around segments of I Samuel 1.  I encourage you  to continue the early morning fourth watch practice once a week as in the Proverbs 31 study.  We decided to continue the Tuesday mornings fourth watch practice. You can do your devotion any time, but it’s a strength knowing that other women are praying at the same time.  I also encourage you to take just a few minutes each day to go back over the selected scripture. (A great site for commentaries and other great study aids is www.biblos.com)  And by all means, keep a journal!  Can you imagine how our heavenly Father feels when He speaks to us and we don’t care enough to write it down?  


There is few things, if any, more powerful than a woman’s voice.  Psalm 68:11 says that God announced the victory but the woman proclaimed the news of that victory.  The very next verse says that enemy Kings and their armies flee.  It is interesting to note that there was no fleeing until the women proclaimed God’s Word of victory.  And when they did, the enemy fled and left spoils.  “See the women covered all over with jewels of silver and of gold, covered all over as wings cover doves.”  They reaped the fruit of their lips.  

Just like Hannah enjoyed the fruit of her request, we will also.  God has given us, as women, the awesome ability for life to be formed in our wombs.  So are the words that we speak.  



Devotion 1: A Mother's Consecration

 

I Samuel 1:10-11 
“Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.  And she made this vow: ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime…”’

This key verse to our study shouted so loudly to me when I read these words, “I will give him back to you…for his entire lifetime.”   It implies Hannah’s lifelong commitment to release her son to God.  Can you imagine leaving your three-year-old child in the Tabernacle at Shiloh.  Forever.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like while she was packing his little things.  I wonder if it was similar to what Abraham felt when he took his son, Isaac on the mountain with the intention of sacrificing him to the Lord (Genesis 22).  Was she tempted to reconsider?  How easily would it have been to rationalize?  I can come up with some of my own rationales: “Surely God understood my emotional state when I made this promise.  It’s unheard to dedicate a child forever to the Tabernacle work.  Even the priests only serve 25 years.  I’ll just wait until he is a little older, then I’ll take him.  Besides, I don’t know those people who will be training and raising him.  God wouldn’t want me to entrust my child to someone else.  It wouldn’t be responsible of me.”

The dedication of the child depended on the consecration of the mother.  

In his book Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Rick Renner explains the meaning of the most used New Testament word for prayer.  Used 127 times in the New Testament, Paul also uses it in Ephesians 6:18, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,”

Renner explains that the word prayer in the Greek is proseuche and is a compound of the words pros and euche.  Pros carries the meaning of close up and intimate: a face to face relationship.  The word euche is from an old Greek word meaning wish, desire, prayer, or vow and was originally used to depict a person who made some kind of vow to God in exchange for a request.  They would promise to give something of great value to God for the answered prayer.  Also in secular Greek culture, “before prayer was verbalized and offered to a ‘god,’ a commemorative altar was set up and thanksgiving was offered on that altar.  Such offerings of praise and thanksgiving were called votive offerings (from the word “vow”).  These votive offerings were similar to a pledge.  The person would promise that once his prayer had been answered, he would be back to give additional thanksgiving.  These votive offerings of praise and worship were elaborate and well-planned.  Giving thanks to a deity was a significant event, so it was done in a serious and grandiose manner to outwardly demonstrate a thankful heart.”  Renner goes on to say, “The idea of sacrifice is also associated with this word for “prayer.”  It portrayed an individual who desired to see his prayer answered so desperately that he was willing to surrender everything he owned in exchange for answered prayer.  Clearly, this describes an altar of sacrifice and consecration in prayer whereby a believer ‘s life is yielded entirely to God.”  

Please read Romans 12: 1-2

1.  What are some areas in which you are yet to surrender to God? 

2.  Are there more subtle areas that you need to surrender such as unforgivness, hurt or regret?

3.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most intimate, how would you rate your face-to-face prayer experience with God?

4.  Are there any old vows or pledges that you have yet to pay?  What are they?

5.  What areas of your children’s lives are you yet to relinquish to God?   Their vocations?  Their failures?  Their  successes?  Their challenges? Their calling?  

6.  What do you hear the Holy Spirit challenging you to give to Him?

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 2: Ashes

 

1 Samuel 1:1-2

Elkanah and His Family

 1 “There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.”

 

In studying scripture, it is always important to know the context in which the story takes place.  Things like the time period, the spiritual state of the people of God, accepted cultural practices and the social environment are all integral to understanding it’s meaning.  

Samuel was a transitional figure. He was the last of the Israel judges.  The next figure to rule in Israel would be King Saul.  In fact, Samuel would be the one to appoint and anoint Saul as King.  At this time in Israel’s history, Israel went from a theocracy, a form of government in which God is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, to a monarchy ruled by a King.

In 1010 BC, when Samuel came upon the scene, Israel was at an extreme low.  Israel’s neighbors had acquired iron weaponry and were slowly flouting their power against the agrarian Israelite culture. Even Eli, the high priest and judge of Israel had allowed his corrupt sons to defile their priestly duties and privileges by “abusing the sacrificial system and committed immorality with the women at the tabernacle.” Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary.  

Also important to understanding the multidimensional Word of God is to know the meanings of proper names.  In Bible times, names were given to show the characteristics of a person or place.  

In verse one, in the KJV, it states the place of Samuel’s birth, “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:”      According to Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible, “Ramathaim-zophim means literally, the two high places of the watchman; these were, no doubt, two contiguous hills, on which watchtowers were built, and in which watchmen kept continual guard for the safety of the country and which afterwards gave name to the place.”  

It was out of the place of the watchmen that a desperate mother’s heart cried out for her child.  It was perilous times.  I Samuel 3:1 verifies, “Meanwhile, the boy Samuel was serving the Lord by assisting Eli,  Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.”

Is it no wonder, that at this time in our nation and world, that the Holy Spirit is awakening the hearts of mothers to cry out for their children.  Those children will not just be saved from a wicked culture, they will be used of God to deliver others and change the culture.

 

Ephraim means "double ash-heap: I shall be doubly fruitful"  I love the picture this meaning gives.  Isaiah 61:3, “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”  Only God can take our ashes: our disappointments, our failures, our dead dreams, our broken hearts and turn them into beauty.  Ashes are a great and natural fertilizer!  Allow God to take those things in your life and the lives of your children to make new and wonderful blessings.  Release and relinquish your ashes. 

 

It is said that every 500 years there is a great spiritual transition that affects the culture.  Samuel was born around 1010 BC.  God raised him up to take Israel to a greater cultural and spiritual influence.  We are at one of those 500 year marks.

How does God use desperate times to turn our hearts to him?
1.  What comes first, our urge to pray or God’s dealings with us; our move to God or God’s move toward us? 

2.  What has your unique ability to be a “watchmen” over your family shown you?

3.  Are there some ashes you need to release to God?

4.  What about your children?  Are there ashes in their lives?

5.  What are some keys to turning ashes into beauty; on your part?  On God’s part?  

6.  Think back over your life.  Is there beauty where ashes use to lie?   Articulate and journal your praise and thanksgiving to God for His goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 3:  Expectations

 

I Samuel 1:3

“Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the Lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas.”

 

According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Elkanah’s name means "God has possessed" or "God has created."  The etymology of Elkanah’s name finds its roots in two words: one means: 1) god, god-like one, mighty one, strength, power and another means: to get, acquire, create, buy, possess.  Elkanah was a man of great wealth and influence.  His ancestors had established the territory in which he lived.  Elkanah was from the tribe of Levite and a deeply devout and pious man.  He loved Hannah very much.  However, with all his love, influence, power and wealth, he could not give Hannah her deepest desire.  

If you have been married for very long, you have learned this about your husband.  No matter how great your husband, there are some things in life that only God can give.  We women make such a mistake when we put our expectations for complete happiness in our mates.  It sabotages the relationship.  No mortal person can fill that innermost need. In fact, men have a way of doing less and less in subconscious hope that they will be able to finally meet our expectations.  A husband won’t tell you this but at his core is the desire to be “all that” to his wife.  So the logic is: lower expectations will increase the chance to reach the target!

Our complete happiness, peace, joy and fulfillment can come only from Abba Father.  Psalm 62:5 says, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [is] from him.”

1. Are there unrealistic expectations you have placed upon your husband?  

2. What are they?

3. How have they affected your marriage?

 

Part b of this verse stands in stark contrast to the first sentence, “The priests of the Lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas.”  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Hophni’s named means “fist” and carries with it the meaning of  a “pugilist” or someone who fights with their fists.  Phinehas’ name means “mouth of brass.”  Its root is a variation of the word “serpent.”

I Samuel 2:12-17 describes Eli’s sons, “Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli's sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli's sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way.  Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal's fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting. The man offering the sacrifice might reply, ‘Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.’ Then the servant would demand, ‘No, give it to me now, or I'll take it by force.’  So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.”  The KJV states verse twelve as, “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.”  To “know” means to “learn to know, to perceive and see, find out and discern, to know by experience, to be acquainted with.”  (God’s directions were to give the priests the breast and the right shoulder of the animal and the rest of the animal was to be given back to the worshipping family for their feast.)

Hophni and Phinehas had no interest in the ways of God as did their Father.  They did, however, have a sense of entitlement.  When children have a lack of boundaries, they begin to think it is their “right” to have and enjoy the benefits of another’s sacrifice.

In our pursuit to make our children happy we can actually cripple them morally and  emotionally, spiritually and ethically. They begin to focus on their rights instead of their responsibilities.  

4. Can you see areas where this is evidenced in your children?   

Repent and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in correcting this trend.   

5. What do you sense you need to do?

Please read Judges 3:1-2.  

6. What does Judges 3:1-2 communicate to you?

 

On another level, I see the consecration of Hannah demonstrated even further in reference to these verses.  Even though she knew the reputation of Eli’s sons, she didn’t allow their behavior to keep her from honoring her vow to bring Samuel to the Tabernacle and leave him there.  Even though the hypocrisy of some of the religious leaders was abhorrent, her dedication was to God and He could be trusted.

7.  Are there ways in which you’ve allowed the hypocrisy of others deter you from the house of the Lord?

8. How can we instruct our children in such a way that the behavior of others will not keep them from following after God with all their hearts? 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 4: Thankfulness

I Samuel 1:4-5

“On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children.  And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the Lord had given her no children.”

 

First of all, this is what Elkanah gets for taking two wives!  As you know in 1010 B.C., it was an accepted practice to take more than one wife.  However, we find no stamp of approval on the subject from the scriptures, only toleration.  History tells us that mostly the wealthy and the Kings participated in this practice.  Needless to say, family dysfunction was the manifestation.  
1.  Can you think of any accepted practices that we participate in today that have no validation from God’s Word? 

     Resolve to give the Holy Spirit the permission to search out your activities and also the right to disapprove them.

 

These verses remind me of a story in Genesis 29, the story of Leah and Rachel.  Jacob loved Rachel very much.  Jacob had worked for Rachel’s father for seven years for her hand in marriage.  But Laban tricked him.  On the morning after the wedding, Jacob discovered he had actually married Rachel’s older sister, Leah.  Jacob was very upset. He had to work seven more years to get the girl he really wanted.  Can you imagine how Leah must have felt?  Jacob never left any doubt as to whom he loved most.  If you read the account, you will find that Rachel was barren but Leah was not.  Leah started having children right away.   Genesis 29:31-35:  “When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, ‘The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.’  She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon, for she said, ‘The LORD heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.’  Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi, for she said, ‘Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!’  Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, ‘Now I will praise the LORD!’ And then she stopped having children.”  

I love the phrase, “The Lord has noticed my misery.”  The Lord always makes note of our suffering and begins to set out a plan on how to repay us for our misery.  Leah had children but not the love of her husband.  Hannah had not children but was dearly loved by her husband.  It does seem they have something in common.  Their desperation pushed them to Father God; Leah named her fourth son Judah which meant ‘now I will praise the Lord.’  Leah was propelled to praise and Hannah was propelled to prayer.  In the end, Leah received the love of her husband and Hannah received children.

We could look at this two ways: a) Even in our lack, there are things we have that others would love to have.  b) Our lack should propel us to our Father God.  
2.  In the midst of your request, list some things that you should be thankful for.  Write a paragraph of praise to Him.
3.  List the top five things you are asking of God.  How have these desires impacted your prayer life?

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 5: An Upside-Down Kingdom

 

I Samuel 1: 6-7

“So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.”

 

“…because the Lord had kept her from having children.”  The Amplified Bible translates this phrase as, “…because the Lord had left her childless.”  Have you ever felt like you were having to fight God along with everyone else?  Or that He seemed to be blessing everyone else except you?  After all, Peninnah didn’t have to pray to have children!  Never forget that the Kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom.  If you want to get, give.  If you want forgiveness, forgive.  If you have enemies, bless them.  If you want something special from God, don’t work for it, ask for it.  John Wesley once said that God will do nothing but in response to prayer.  Israel needed a prophet. Hannah needed a child.  In order to do something extraordinary and to supply Israel with a deliverer, God had to incite prayer from a woman.
1.  What could God have in mind by inciting you to pray?  Allow your righteous imagination to list all the wonderful
     things He may want to accomplish through your child’s desperate situation.

 

Elkanah had taken his family to celebrate one of three yearly feasts.   Feasts were to be a time of celebration, rejoicing and of course, feasting; a time of thanksgiving for God’s goodness and His abundant blessings.  

Isn’t it ironic that the offering Elkanah and his family had just given was a ‘peace’ offering.  However, instead of peace, there was turmoil, humiliation, bitterness and contempt.  The Pulpit Commentary makes this observation, “Side by side before the holy throne may be found men and women embittered by the very presence of each other.  Divine worship and hallowed festivities should be the occasion when all animosities and vexations of spirit are lost in the calm, holy joy of God’s favor.  But when the wounded heart is pierced afresh in the house of God.. the very joyousness of the occasion makes sorrow more sorrowful.  Many are the tears shed in the sanctuary!”  

If you have ever attended church for very long, you have been hurt.  Christians, after all, are flawed.  They have personalities, preferences, opinions and sadly, they have agendas. Without meaning to, we Christians can lose sight of the objective… to forgive and to be forgiven. Most of the time, people don’t set out to hurt others.  If they did, they need your forgiveness even more.   On behalf of Christian leaders, if you have been hurt or mistreated, in the very place you sought safety, please accept my sincere apology.  I am so sorry.  I pray God gives you double blessing for every hurt.

Isn’t it also uncanny the arguments that surface in families on their way the Lord’s House. The first thing that comes to mind is, “Might as well stay at home.  I don’t want to be a hypocrite!”  

2.  Have you ever experienced that kind of mental condemnation?

3.  How did you respond?  
4.  Looking back, do you think you made the right choice?

 

The KJV doesn’t use Peninnahs’s name in verse six.  Instead it reads, “And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.”  The word ‘fret’ is from a root word meaning ‘the crash of thunder.‘  The adversary’s taunting was so loud that it was all Hannah could hear. 
5.   Have you ever been so mentally assaulted that the deafening roar drowns out all other voices?

6.   In what ways did you overcome the power it held over you?

 

As you know, this family made the journey together to the Tabernacle at Shiloh, which was probably about twelve miles.  The occasion was to attend one of the three yearly feasts.  As stated earlier, the sacrifice was given to the officiating priests,  Hophni and Phinehas to sacrifice.  (Although Elkanah was a Levite, he was not allowed to offer sacrifices.)  After the sacrifice was made, the breast and right shoulder of the animal was given to the priests.  The rest of the animal was given to the worshipping family for their feast.  There would have been a festive atmosphere, almost like our Thanksgiving holiday. Verse  five says that Elkanah gave Peninnah and her children their portion but to Hannah he gave a choice portion.  Some commentaries state that he gave two portions to Hannah.  Can you imagine the resentment that grew in Peninnah’s heart as she watched Elkanah favor Hannah in such a way?  It certainly is not an excuse for Peninnah’s inexcusable behavior toward Hannah, but Elkanah’s continued favoritism toward Hannah became a source of resentment for Peninnah. 

Many times, without meaning to, parents show favoritism to their children.  Some of the reasons may include a child’s sickness, a child’s personality, or maybe a difficult child that gobbles up all the parents’ energy.  And the loss of a child can cause a parent to seem as if they have forgotten the child that is remaining.  

Please take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas in which this has happened.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s never too late when He illuminates our heart.  He can fix anything.

7.   What did He show you?

8.   What does He want you to do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 6: Appreciation

 

I Samuel 1: 8

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

 

Poor Elkanah. I am not sure that statement really helped Hannah’s feelings!  Proverbs 14:10 says, “Each heart knows it own bitterness, and no one else can fully share its joy.”  We must be careful not to trivialize another’s heartache, even our children’s.  It is necessary for them to experience hardships.  What seems like a catastrophe to them may seem insignificant to us.  It is crucial that we as parents realize they are hurting and offer our sincere compassion.  We can’t save them from their struggles but we can supply them with our heartfelt compassion.  

As patronizing as Elkanah’s statement was, it does bring up an issue we discussed earlier; In our lack and in our struggles we need to remember our blessings.  A thankful heart is an open heart that allows entrance to God’s goodness and mercy.  I have been a pastor’s wife for thirty-two years.  I have listened to many who was in genuine anguish due to the absence of something they desperately wanted.  My mind would drift back to an earlier discussion with another parishioner whose story was truly horrific in comparison.  Many times I secretly thought, “If they only realized how blessed they were!”  The absence of something we desperately desire can overshadow what is right and good about our lives.
1.  What is right and good about your life?
2.  What are some things you appreciate about your spouse, your children, your co-workers?  Make a list.

 

Years ago, I can remember Billy Graham’s, Ruth, wife being interviewed.  The interviewer asked her the secret to raising great kids.  Her reply was, “The best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse.”   

I can almost hear the little boy in Elkanah as he tried to console his wife.  He voiced what millions of husbands have thought for centuries, “You loved me first, didn’t you?”  In all the hats a mom must wear, the first one to take off can be the most important.  Sometimes I wonder if that is why some mothers won’t let their kids grow up.  Maybe they have invested all their being into a child who is destined to leave home and start a new family.  Wives, after thirty seven years of marriage, I can confidently say that if you will keep first things first, the benefit will be more than rewarding; both in watching your kids love their spouses and also enjoying the enduring love of your own.
3.  According to Ruth Graham’s advice, how are you doing?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 7: Eat the Book

 

I Samuel 1: 9-10

 “ Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.  Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.” 

The Message says, “So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God's Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried-inconsolably.”

 

The family’s feast was ready and it was time to participate in the festivities.  Penninah had again taunted and teased Hannah, just like she had the years before.  This year was even more intense.  Hannah was a year older with still no children.  It was Hannah’s breaking point.  But out of respect for her husband’s request and despite her own anguish, she ate.  If we look at this symbolically, we will see a crucial and life-giving practice exemplified.  In Scripture typology, the Word of God is referred to as ‘bread.’  In Ezekial chapter three and in Revelation chapter ten, the prophet was commanded to “Eat the Book.”  Jesus, in his wilderness temptation, responded to Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  So we must also learn to ‘eat the book.’  And at those times when we feel least like eating and out of respect for our bridegroom’s request, we must partake of The Word.  Just as in Hannah’s case, the Word will provide us the sustenance we need for faith-empowered prayers; prayers that ask for the unlikely, the improbable, the impossible, the incredible, the preposterous. 

Eat the Book!  We can liken this to eating a rich and expensive gourmet meal.  We would never gobble down a epicurean meal!  No, we would instead take our time, savor and enjoy it.  We would take small bites. (Read small portions of the Word).  We would savor the taste. (Meditate on the Word, being attentive to words that seem highlighted).  We would then swallow. (Pray the Word, audibly).  Lastly, we would digest. (Submit  to the Word by letting it go down deep into the recesses of our innermost  being).
1.  Can you recall questions that arose from reading ‘The Book’ that may have bothered you for years?   List a few
     examples.

 

I have found that when I have had questions arise when reading the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit had something very special He wanted me to discover.  There have been times when I felt downright aggravated because what I had just read either made no sense at all, seemed unfair, unreasonable or illogical.  Without fail, the Holy Spirit wanted me to discover a special treasure and most of the time, the treasure proved to contribute to my life message.  Those questions are many times, hints to our destiny and purpose.  I learned to be honest with God and say, “I don’t understand this! It makes no sense to me!  What are You saying here?”  He always answers, sometimes quickly and sometimes, not quickly.  But He always  answers.

 

The second part of this verse sets a precarious stage, “Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.  Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.”  

Hannah surely knew the reputation of Eli’s contemptuous sons.  She also knew that Eli seemed to overlook their treasonous actions.  However, her desperate situation cut away at all the usual excuses:  “God can’t answer prayers in that place, with the like of those people.”  “I am a better person than the people at that church.”  “God’s spirit cannot possibly be any where near that sanctuary. I can pray better at home.”  “I don’t want to be there when God’s judgement falls.”   

Oh dear ladies, I am in no way condoning evil.  How much more holy we should live than the prophets of Old.  They had only The Law, a mere shadow of the New Testament Covenant of God’s indwelling Spirit.  I am however, addressing the white elephant in the room or… should I say, “the whited sepulcher” of a self-righteous heart (Matthew 23:27)  We are all born with a religious bent.  And from that bent we come to develop our own list of what is right and wrong.  Basically, that is religion: a list of do’s and don’ts’.  If we do more do’s than don’ts’ we feel relatively good about ourselves.  Each person’s lists will look different, according to their nature and the environment in which they are raised.  

Jesus gave this parable in Luke 18: 9-14, “Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: ‘Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’”  But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’  I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”  

The point is, according to Jeremiah 17:9, all our hearts are deceitful. What sets us apart for God’s grace and favor is the extent of the understanding of our own need.  It’s almost impossible to realize our own need while we are looking at someone else’s.

Had Hannah focused on the obvious deficiency in Eli, she would have been just as the Pharisee Jesus referred to in Luke chapter eighteen.  She would have left the Temple empty.  There would have been no Samuel to lead God’s people into revival.
2.  Without mentally editing your answer, make a list of your personal religious list.  First, list the things that you do that
     make you feel good about yourself.  Now make a list of the things that when you do them, make you feel bad.  Be
     honest!
3.  Compare your list with Ephesians chapter four, Galatians 5:13-24.  
4.  Rate your ‘sense of need’ on a scale from one to ten.  
5.  Does your sense of need make you run to God for His help?
6.  Read Hebrews 4:12-16, making special note of verse 16, “Let us therefore come   boldly unto the throne of grace,
     that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in
 time of need.”  If we sense no need, there is no help.   
     Where there is no perceived need, there is no divine endowment.
     

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 8: Jehovah Saboath

 

I Samuel 1:11

 “And she made this vow: ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.’” 

 

In researching for this study, I found that Hannah was the first to give God the title of ‘Lord of Hosts’ (KJV) .  Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible reports, “… this is properly the first time this title was used by any that we know of; for though it is expressed in 

I Samuel 1:3 there it is used as the words of the writer of this history, and so long after this prayer was put up; and it is an observation in the Talmud (s), that from the day God created the world, no man called him the Lord of hosts till Hannah came and called him so…”

The word ‘hosts’ means ‘armies’ and to ‘wage war.‘  The Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word ‘tsaba’ is ‘sabaoth.’  Isaiah uses this name for God when he sees the Lord in the Temple, “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts:  the whole earth is full of his glory.”  Isaiah 6:3

Now, isn’t that the coolest thing… a desperate woman gives God one of his most powerful and renowned names!!!  And that Name has been invoked to bring Kings to their knees and has changed mighty enemy 2212armies into scattering snowflakes.  Jehovah Saboath!  All because a woman had a desperate need and realized her only hope was in Jehovah Saboath!  Now, ladies, don’t ever think you don’t have clout with God!  
1.  If you could come up with a new name for Father God, what would it be?
2.  Hannah knew Him as Jehovah Saboath!  What do you know Him as?
3.  How will generations to come refer to God because of your testimony?

 

As if dedicating her soon-to-be baby boy to God for the usual twenty-five year Levitical service wasn’t enough, she committed to give him to God all the days of his life.  She goes one step further still, in her commitment, by declaring him a Nazarite.” (one chosen or set apart)  Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines the vow of the Nazarite, “The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.”  These restrictions symbolized a person’s separation unto God.  According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary Nazarites did not retreat from society but did agree to follow certain regulations for a specified period of time and according to Jewish tradition was usually thirty days, sixty days, or ninety to one hundred days.  The presence of many Nazarites was considered a sign of God’s blessings on Israel.  The vow of a Nararite was not initiated by God.  It was a self-imposed and spontaneous commitment.  Years later, Moses regulated the practice.  One lesson here could be, “Restrain from transferring your personal commitments, convictions, and regulations, those for which there is no scriptural mandate, onto others.”

The Pulpit Commentary  explains the reasons for the three Nazarite restrictions: uncut hair signifies, “…the free growing hair being at once the distinctive mark by which all men would recognize his sacred calling and also a sign that he was not bound by the usual customs of life; partaking of no produce of the vine, signifying thereby abstinence from self-indulgence and carnal pleasure; no part in mourning for the dead because his holier duties raised him above the ordinary joys and sorrows, the cares and occupations of everyday life… By Hannah’s first vow Samuel was devoted to service in the sanctuary, by the second to a holy consecrated life.”

Oh, how this two-fold consecration is needed today; not only the dedication of our children to the Lord’s service but also to a consecrated life!  A consecrated life will always lead to the Lord’s service.

It is imperative that we note that the only scriptural references to life-long Nazarite vows were found in Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist.  In all these cases, the vow was made by the mother.  Selah!

Note also, that Hannah did not determine how Samuel would be used in service to God, just that he would be used in the sanctuary, leaving the whats and hows to God.

 

The dedication of the child depends on the consecration of the mother.
It is the mother who proclaimed a life set apart to God! 

4. What questions arise when you read the previous statement?

5. Do you agree or disagree?  Why or why not?

6. What are the pitfalls of pronouncing specific positions and callings over our children?

 

The Messages Bible reads this way, “Then she made a vow: Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, If you'll take a good, hard look at my pain, If you'll quit neglecting me and go into action for me by giving me a son, I'll give him completely, unreservedly to you. I'll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.”

7. Would our decisions look differently concerning our kids if we committed to
    ‘completely and unreservedly give them to God, setting them apart for a life of holy
    discipline?‘   Describe how this would impact your everyday decisions. 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 9: Go in Peace!

 

I Samuel 1: 12-18

 12 As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

 

“As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her…”  Have you ever been misunderstood as you were pursuing the Lord?  Many times, a person’s own family will misunderstand actions and behavior of fervency.   Often times, a family will react out of inferiority.  They somehow feel your move toward God is a move away from them. They feel rejected and lash out to buffer the blow.  If a person is not prepared for this kind of rebuff, they will counter with anger and with a comparable spirit, thus stalling their pursuit of God.  

This happens in relationships of all kinds.  Offense becomes doubled.  

Notice Hannah’s response, “Oh no, sir. I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman!  For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

She could have responded with, “Who do you think you are?  How could you question me when your sons are allowed all types of indulgences?”  Instead, Hannah honored Eli, kept focused on her need and responded with an explanation, not justification.  An explanation states the facts in order to clarify, justification states the facts in order to defend.  Hannah left the her justification in God’s hands.

1. Have you ever been misunderstood in your zeal for God?

2. How did you respond?

3. In retrospect, how did your response affect your pursuit of God?
4. How do you wish you would have responded?

 

“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”  Because Hannah responded peacefully to Eli, Eli pronounced peace upon her situation.  Selah!    

5. What would have happened had Hannah replied with a sharp retort?

 

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible seems to imply that Eli’s pronouncement was, in part, to compensate for his earlier rash judgement, “The fact that Eli supposed her to be drunken, and the other of the conduct of Eli's sons already mentioned, prove that religion was at this time at a very low ebb in Shiloh; for it seems drunken women did come to the place, and lewd women were to be found there. 

‘Grant thee thy petition’ – He was satisfied he had formed a wrong judgment, and by it had added to the distress of one already sufficiently distressed.”

Imagine that!  Because Hannah responded peacefully and respectfully, She received compensation!

6. What qualifies us for “compensation gifts?”

7. What might disqualify us for “compensation gifts?”

 

Verse eighteen, “‘Oh, thank you, sir!’ she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.”

What a picture of faith! One who sees what is unseen and is able to rest in the assurance that God has heard the petition.  She knows she has the blessing of the prophet and asks for his continued grace upon her, or in other words, “Please keep interceding on my behalf.”  (See Hebrew 7:25)

Hannah practices Philippians 4: 4-9, “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus .And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

Hannah displayed true faith.  Faith should produce peace.  “Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.”  The word peace in Philippians 4:9 means one, peace, quietness, rest.   If there is worry, strife and anxiousness over an issue, there is a ‘faith’ issue.  Sometimes, I find my striving and worry comes from my focus on events and happenings along the way. If my focus remains on anything other than God and His faithfulness, worry creeps in.  

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance explains that the word peace in Philippians 4:7 comes  from the root word eiro which means "to join, tie together into a whole – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace, God's gift of wholeness.”  When we tie ourselves to God and not to events or happenings, we will  experience God’s peace.  Abraham believed God for a son. Trying to manipulate the how’s and when’s only complicated the journey. 

Hebrews chapters three and four tell us that God has prepared a place of rest for those who believe in Jesus, the Supreme High Priest.  Hebrews 3:19 defines the reason that rest is not entered, “So we see that they were not allowed to enter his rest because of their unbelief.”  God does not look kindly on unbelief in the sufficiency of His Son; His once-for-all-times Supreme Sacrifice, Jesus Christ.  So if you are struggling with unbelief concerning a certain event or happening along the way to your answered prayer, shift your faith to Christ.  He able to accomplish all His intentions for us.

8. What is the difference between tying ourselves to Christ and tying ourselves to events along the way to our
    answered prayers?

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 10:  Worship

 

I Samuel 1: 19-20

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication

 19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

 

The family got up early the next morning and went to worship.  There’s just something about getting up early to worship.  Some things can only be found in early morning worship.  It was during the early morning that Peter in Luke chapter five drew up so many fish that his nets were about to break.  In fact, he had so much surplus, he had to call his buddies for help.  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible the root for the word “deep” in Luke 5:4, when Jesus told Peter to “launch out into the deep,” can be traced to the root meaning of “very early.” 

It was during the early morning that Gideon pulled down the altars of idol worship in Judges 6:27.  According to Job 38:12, it “bring(s) an end to the night’s wickedness.”  

It was just before dawn that Samuel first heard God speak to him (I Samuel 3:3)

I am not implying that one must rise early every morning to worship.  Some people can focus better at night.  I am, however, confident that we should discipline ourselves to rise early on occasion to worship. (See Psalm 57:8; 63:1) That is why I encourage a once-a-week early morning rising, sometime between three and six, which is called “the fourth watch.”

1.  Are you a morning person or a night owl?   
2.  When are you best able to get alone with God?
3.  Why do you think the scripture has so much to say about rising early to worship?
4.  In a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, explore some of the scripture references to the word ‘early.’  What scripture
     seems highlighted to you?

 

There is a powerful guide to interpreting scripture.  It’s called “The Law of First Mention.”

For fully understanding the intent of scripture in any given passage, we refer to how it was first presented.  The first time the word ‘worship’ is mentioned in scripture is in Genesis chapter twenty-two when Abraham went to Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac, “Later on God tested Abraham’s faith and obedience. ‘Abraham!’ God called.  ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘Here I am.’  ‘Take your son, your only son–yes, Isaac, whom you love so much–and go the land of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you. ‘The next morning Abraham got up early.  He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac.  Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go.  On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance. ‘Stay here with the donkey,’ Abraham told the young men.  ‘The boy and I will travel a little farther.  We will worship there, and then we will come right back.’”  This passage conveys that worship and sacrifice are always linked.  There is no worship without sacrifice. The word sacrifice means to slaughter an animal (usually in sacrifice)–to kill, offer, slay.  This word sacrifice is used in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
5.  Please read the rest of Romans chapter twelve.   
6.  List the attributes of a life sacrificed to God according to Apostle Paul.  
7.  How was Hannah’s worship authenticated?

 

“When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea.”  There is something wonderfully simplistic about this statement.  It has no trace of sexual manipulation, by neither Elkanah or Hannah.  It’s as if Hannah and Elkanah’s sex life continued as normal, during which, God visited them in their time of intimacy.  The power of sex can easily become a point of contention between a husband and wife.  To fully enjoy one another in this capacity, we must strive to keep one another’s needs in mind.  As we do, we will discover our own needs satisfied.  The more a couple becomes one spiritually, the more fulfilling this part of our lives will be.
8.  Is it difficult for you to realize that God ordained this pleasure and that His Spirit is present?

 

Verse twenty gives the manifestation of Hannah’s faith, “and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

A better translation for Samuel’s name is ‘God hears.‘  Because of Hannah’s deficiency   and her subsequent outcry to God, this maxim is heralded every time Samuel’s name is spoken.  

Genesis sixteen tells the story of another desperate women whose unborn child seemed destined to die with her, “Then the angel of the Lord said, ‘…You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard about your misery.”  Ladies, the Lord has heard about your misery!  Turn your deficiency into a blessing that will be heralded for generations to come.  Don’t look at your desperate need as an end but as the beginning of a wonderful new divine endowment that will bless not only you but untold others.

9.  By using Hannah’s story as a template, compare and contrast your need and responses with hers.
10.Where do you need to align your edges?

 

 


 

 

Devotion 11: Sleeping Near the Ark

I Samuel 1: 21-23

 21 The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently.”  23 “Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.” So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.

 

“Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him.”

I am washed with emotion when I put myself in Hannah’s place and think how it would be to leave my three year old child in the Tabernacle permanently.  I feel a knot in my gut… until I read the last of the sentence, “…leave him there with the Lord…”   In I Samuel 3:3, we are told where Samuel’s sleeping quarters were located in the Tabernacle, “The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God.” (Italics mine.) 

 Oh compassionate mother, there’s no safer place for us to entrust our children but to “sleep near the Ark of the Covenant.”  When we unreservedly give our children to God, they are never far from His Presence; even when it seems the “lamp of God” is going out with darkness encroaching.  The Psalmist David said in Psalm 139: 7 – 24, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!  If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.  I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.  You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me,  O God. They cannot be numbered!  I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! …  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

When we dedicate our children unreservedly to God, we ‘mark’ them.  It’s like we have embedded a homing device! They can never get away from His Presence.  The Holy Spirit is persistent. 
1.  Can you think of a time that you ever felt hidden from His Presence?  
2.  Have you ever feared your kids had wondered too far from ‘the lamp of God?’
3.  What is the Truth concerning this fear?

 

There’s an interesting side note in reference to the lamp of God in I Samuel 3:3. Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament elaborates, “The ‘lamp of God’ is the light of the candlestick in the tabernacle, the seven lamps of which were put up and lighted every evening, and burned through the night till all the oil was consumed (see Exodus 30:8; Leviticus 24:2; 2 Chronicles 13:11, and the explanation given at Exodus 27:21). The statement that this light was not yet extinguished, is equivalent to ‘before the morning dawn.’”   Evidently, just enough oil was placed in the candlesticks to last through the night.  

4. What do you suppose a dual meaning could be to the reference “before the morning dawn?”

 

Verse twenty-three, “‘Whatever you think is best,’ Elkanah agreed. ‘Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.’ 

Elkanah’s response shows confidence in his wife.  Hannah had made her vow without consulting with her husband.  In Hebrew culture, it would have been most unusual for a wife to do so.  However, Hannah receives the blessing of her husband which reveals the influence she had with him.
5.  If you are married, in what ways do you gain influence with your husband?
6.  What is the difference between influence and control?

 

“So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.”  In Hannah’s culture, it was not unusual for a mother to nurse her child for three years.  This is reminiscent of the story of baby Moses and his mother, Jochebed in Exodus chapter two. 

Exodus 2: 9-10,  "Take this baby and nurse him for me," the princess told the baby's mother. "I will pay you for your help." So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.  Later, when the boy was older, his mother brought him back to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her own son.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible comments on the age of Moses when he was returned to the princess,  “And the child grew,…. In stature and in strength, thriving under the care of its mother and nurse, through the blessing of God: and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter; when grown up and weaned, and needed a nurse no longer: a Jewish chronologer says, this was two years after his birth; and another says, that when he was three years old, Pharaoh sitting at table, and his queen was at his right hand, and his daughter, with Moses, at his left…”

It seems incredible that a mother could instill in a child all he will ever need for spiritual and emotional health in his first three years!  But evidently, it is enough time.

The Pulpit Commentary quotes W. L. Alexander, “A mother’s teachings have a marvelous vitality in them; there is a strange living power in that good seed which is sown by a mother’s hand in her child’s heart in the early dawn of the child’s being, which when they are alone together, and the mother’s soul gushes forth on her child, and the child listens to his mother as a God; and there is a deathless potency in a mother’s prayers and tears for those whom she has borne which only God can estimate.”  

From my own experience as a mother, my most important words were spoken before they reached ten or twelve.  After that, for the most part, words were not as potent.  I had to trust what was put in them before.  
7.  Have your children ever told you to quit preaching to them?  If so, how old were they?

8. What could we learn from Hannah and Jochebed’s example of parenting? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devotion 12 : Outrageous Faith

 

I Samuel 1: 24-27

 24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. 25 After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26 “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. 27 I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.

 

It was now time; time to give Samuel to the Lord.  What a courageous woman.  There seems to be no trace of second thoughts, remorse or regret.  Hannah went to to worship and that she did.  Her consecration determined Samuel’s dedication.

Jesus said in John 12 : 24-25, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.  Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. ”   The word ‘life’ in verse 25 is the transliteration of ‘psychē’ and Strong’s Concordance defines it as, “the soul – the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions”  Hannah demonstrates what it looks like to worship through dying to her own feelings, desires, affections, and aversions.   But because she did so, and ‘planted her kernel,’ she produced five more children, not counting Samuel’s role in Israel, which is incalculable.  

I Samuel 3:18-21 gives the account, “But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest.  Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.  Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, ‘May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD.’  And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.”

Isn’t it interesting that Hannah had five more children?  Many sources say that the number five in biblical numerology stands for ‘grace.’  This word not only means liberal favor, but also carries with it the idea of “divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life.” (Strong’s)  Hannah’s life reflected God’s divine influence on her heart.

Do you remember the ‘law of first mention?’  The first time the number five is cited is in Genesis 5:6, “And Seth lived an hundred and five years and begat Enos…”  You are not going to believe what Seth means!  Compensation!  Seth means compensation!  

Ladies, when we give God our hopes, dreams, and desires, when it seems we have given up what we want most, He gives us compensations gifts.  Compensation is defined as something given or received as an equivalent for services, debt, loss, injury, suffering, lack.  God’s compensation gifts to Hannah were multiplied fives times her loss.  
1.  What is something that you have lost or had to give up?
2.  Examine your blessings? Do you see God’s reflection in your life? Do you see any compensation gifts?
3.  Sometimes compensation must to be claimed.  Journal your declaration of the soon forth-coming blessings of fives
     times your loss.

 

 

 

Notice verse nineteen of I Samuel 2, “Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.”  Even though Hannah had given Samuel to the Lord to be used in the Tabernacle, she still provided a covering for him.  She continued to cover him in prayer.  
4.  If your prayers were to weave a coat, what would the coat look like and who would it cover?

 

Even though Hannah and Elkanah returned home without Samuel, I Samuel 7:15-17 tells us that Samuel eventually had his home in Ramah, “Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life. Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places. Then he would return to his home at Ramah, and he would hear cases there, too. And Samuel built an altar to the LORD at Ramah.”  

Hannah gave her gift and God allowed her to enjoy her gift!  What a God we have!  

5. Think of the thing that you know you must give God, knowing that it means you lose   
    control of it.  You must trust God with it.   What would it be like to give him that thing  
    and then, Him give it back to you with His Breath on it?

 

As part of Hannah’s worship, she sang a song unto the Lord, “Then Hannah prayed: ‘My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong.  Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me…He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD's, and he has set the world in order.’”

Hannah’s praise is so vigorous it is recited by the Psalmist David one hundred years later in Psalm 113:7, “He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!  He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.  Praise the LORD!”  

King David was surely referring to Hannah, the woman who dared to be outrageous in her trust in God. 

Oh God, give us outrageous faith!

 

 

join the facebook prayer/devotion group, "A Great Company"  https://www.facebook.com/groups/228189507196980/

 


 

Our names are precious to us….they reveal who we are.

Names in Biblical times were very important, they revealed a person's character.

As we read through Scripture we can see the importance of names.

God's Names represent His attributes, His nature.

I hope you are encouraged and uplifted as you read these Names of God.

I would urge you to take time to worship Him daily

by calling upon Him using His various Names…

to do so will be an awesome experience in knowing God.


OLD TESTAMENT NAMES FOR GOD


ELOHIM……Genesis 1:1, Psalm 19:1

meaning "God", a reference to God's power and might.

ADONAI……Malachi 1:6

meaning "Lord", a reference to the Lordship of God.

JEHOVAH–YAHWEH…..Genesis 2:4

a reference to God's divine salvation.

JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM…….Exodus 31:13

meaning "The Lord thy sanctifier"

JEHOVAH-ROHI……Psalm 23:1

meaning "The Lord my shepherd"

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH…….Ezekiel 48:35

meaning "The Lord who is present"

JEHOVAH-RAPHA………Exodus 15:26

meaning "The Lord our healer"

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU……Jeremiah 23:6

meaning "The Lord our righteousness"

JEHOVAH-JIREH………Genesis 22:13-14

meaning "The Lord will provide"

JEHOVAH-NISSI………Exodus 17:15

meaning "The Lord our banner"

JEHOVAH-SHALOM……..Judges 6:24

meaning "The Lord is peace"

JEHOVAH-SABBAOTH……Isaiah 6:1-3

meaning "The Lord of Hosts"

JEHOVAH-GMOLAH……..Jeremiah 51:6

meaning "The God of Recompense"

EL-ELYON…………..Genesis 14:17-20,Isaiah 14:13-14

meaning "The most high God

EL-ROI…………….Genesis 16:13

meaning "The strong one who sees"

EL-SHADDAI…………Genesis 17:1,Psalm 91:1

meaning "The God of the mountains or God Almighty"

EL-OLAM……………Isaiah 40:28-31

meaning "The everlasting God"

http://smilegodlovesyou.org

 

 

file://localhost/Users/saylorharry/Desktop/Picture%20clipping.pictClipping

 

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13 Responses to The Hannah Promise

  1. Becky Godsey says:

    Hi Sandra if you can e-mail me a copy, that will be great.
    I'm woking out of town alot now but I can do a study maybe with the other ladies I working with, if they want to but if not I will just study it on my own.
    Thanks alott Becky Godsey

  2. Theresa Gardner says:

    Sandra, 
    Can you send the prayer model to me as well? Thanks!
    Theresa

  3. Quanna says:

    I am so excited about The Hannah Promise. The Lord has been speaking to me for a couple of years now about how mom's really need to step up our prayers for our children. April 16, 2008 Franklin Jentzen preached on "where are your Kids?" He used the passage about the two mothers where the one rolled over and smothered her baby So she got up and while the other mother was "sleeping". She took her child away. The King decided to split the baby in half to see who would get the baby. The real mother spoke up and said don't kill the baby. The king knew then that she was the true mother. The lesson in this is that as mothers we have fallen "asleep" and the enemy has come in the night and stolen our children. It's the Midnight hour and moms need to wake up and plead the blood over our kids.
    I was going thru a time with one of my kids during the time he spoke this message and my cousin called me to tell me to turn the tv to the channel he was preaching. God truely spoke to me with this and I have had the opportunity to share it with a friend going thru some things with her child.
     
    We truely need to wake up and realease our kids to the Lord and allow Him to do a work in them.

  4. Lurie Dantin says:

    Please send me a copy of the prayer model, also more info on your teaching.. I enjoy reading your articles..   Thank you, Lurie

  5. Crystal Saylor says:

    This story is very personal to me.  I want to join you in prayer for our children. I believe the prayers of the mothers are a great force to be considered. Sandra please send me a copy of the Tabernacle prayer model.
    Blessings!
    Crystal

  6. Jo Wilson says:

    I have been reading your devotions about praying for our children. I know prayer for them works as I have a son Jason that came back to the Lord three years ago after being away 8 years. I know prayer works and right now I am very burdened for my grand daughter. She is only 12 years old but is so angry and has tried to run a way from home twice. Twelve years old…..and raised in Christian home, taken to church several times a week. Her mom and dad heavly involved in church, knows right from wrong but Satan is trying to snatch her and I am praying that God will keep her and also to give wisdom to her mom and dad as to what to say and what to do. Thanks so much for this Bible study, keep up the good work. Love and many blessings to you, Jo

  7. Michelle Foster says:

    Hi Sandra,
    Would you please send me a copy of the prayer model? Thank you

  8. Florella Smallwood Hartzler says:

    Hi Sandra, I have been reading, Your Hannah promise and it is so good, so many thoughts cross my mind and how it refreshes, that praying for our children will never cease. It reminds me of my Mom, praying for her children, was constant. And now when she is with the Lord I am seeing her prays answered. . The Prays of a mother.   Would you send me a copy of the prayer model. Love you and Thank you for these bible studies. Flo

  9. Theresa Edgil says:

    I'm praying and releasing everything God shows me to Him.  The list is pretty long already.  It's amazing how fast things that have already been released can sneak back in if we allow it.
    I believe my grieving is ending with each thing I release.
    Thanks again for allowing me to go with you all to Florence last Friday.

  10. Theresa Edgil says:

    Please email me a copy of the Tabernacle prayer model.
    Thank you!