Hannah is a famous mother the Bible talks about. From her life we can learn lessons not just for moms and kids but everyone else.
I took a long look at her life in the first Mother’s Day of my life post my graduation from Bible College. That was when I was a Youth Pastor in Delhi. That was in May 2001. Recently I bumped into the notes I had made then to share a message from her life in the Mother’s Day Sunday service – a service where only a small bunch of people heard me. Thanks to WhatsApp, I thought that I can make that sermon available to a world-wide audience. Here are excepts from that.
1. TEASED HANNAH:
1 Samuel 1:2,6-7 talks about the teased Hannah. She was not the only wife of her husband, Elkanah. The other wife in her husband’s life was Peninnah. The Lord’s command was clear: one man for one woman (Gen. 2:24). Elkanah was copying the example of a murderous sinner in the Bible called Lamech who first married more than one woman (Gen. 4:19). What did this other wife do? Since she had kids, she made fun of Hannah. May be she used these phrases: “I got pregnant. You only get fat!”/“Hey, Hannah, look at my tummy! I am carrying! Nothing for you! Not even an insect inside your stomach! So sad! Tough luck!”/ “I did the job for Elkanah to raise a heir. You failed!”/ “You have no chance of being the promised Messiah’s mom!” This taunt was tossed each time Hannah had her periods. There was no period to these taunts. They were relentless.
Do you taunt others? About their looks? About their inability? Then you have the sinful spirit of Peninnah. If we posses anything good, it is because of the sheer grace of God and sovereignty of God! So do not taunt others for lacking the skill/the blessing God gracious gave you. It is a sin! Paul wrote, “In humility, consider others better than yourselves” (Phil. 2:3).
2. TOUCHED HANNAH:
I Samuel 1:4,5,8 talks about Hannah who was touched by her husband Elkanah’s warm words of romance. He told her as she reeled with heart-sinking feelings of barrenness: “You may not have kids. But you have me. Isn’t that better than having ten sons!” (I Sam. 1:8). When was the last time husband that you talked romantically with your wife? Do you only use your wife for your stomach needs and sex needs while royally ignoring her need for loving chats? That’s being super mean. Repent.
3. TRAVAILING HANNAH:
I Samuel 1:9-11 talks about the travailing Hannah. This is how she prayed: “Give me a son, Lord. I will give him back to you!” This was a noble prayer. Some childless moms pray this way: “Give me a child Lord. I will write about that in a Christian magazine or post a testimony on Facebook!” I believe you can do better. I believe you must pray like Hannah. Oh for moms who will pray like Hannah with a missionary spirit: “Give me a child Lord. And I will feed him with missionary milk and shape him/her into a servant of the Gospel!”
Leonard Ravenhill wrote, “We have preachers who would rather travel, than travail (in prayer)!” Hannah travailed for a physical son. We must travail for spiritual children. We must be ready to go into birth pains, like Paul, till Christ is formed in those we disciple (Gal. 4:19).
4. TAINTED HANNAH:
I Samuel 1:12-15 talks about the tainting of Hannah’s character by Priest Eli, the officiating minister in the Temple Hannah went to pray for a child. She was thought to be drunk. She was taunted by the other wife and now this “pastor” is tainting her. Trouble after trouble. Problem after problem. As long as you are on this side of eternity, you will have trouble and you will be misunderstood. Don’t dream about a life that would be free of all of this. Don’t believe the lies of that popular preacher who tells you that if you come to Christ, your life will be trouble free! Only God who knows everything can understand you perfectly. So, instead of impressing people, become intimate with God!
5. TRUSTING HANNAH:
Hannah believed that God would grant her request. She smiled. She no longer cried (I Sam. 1:17-18). What Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6-7 was true in Hannah’s life. She submitted her petitions to God. She found peace which God alone gave, post that. “Oh what peace we often forfeit/Oh what needless pain we bear/All because we do not carry / Everything to God in prayer” – so wrote the wise hymn-writer. If it was God’s plan for you to have that blessing, no force on earth can stop that blessing in your life. No plan of God can be thwarted, Job learnt (Job 42:2).
6. TACTFUL HANNAH:
I Samuel 1:19-20 teaches that Hannah not only made intercessions to the Heavenly one so that she would have a son – she also had intercourse with her husband. She not made supplication for a son; she also had sex! Prayer must be coupled with action. You pray, “Lord, save my neighbor!” That’s good. But have you smiled at your neighbor? Have you invited him/her home? Have you started evangelistic conversations with her that started with the latest movie or that hit secular song? Have you given him a copy of the Bible? Or a tract?
7. TRUST-WORTHY HANNAH:
I Samuel 1:24-28 talks about the trust-worthy Hannah who not promised but made good her promise. She became pregnant. She had a baby boy. She weaned that boy. She travelled with to the very place where she travailed that God would make her pregnant with him. She kept her word that she would give him back to God. Have you made a promise to God that you have not kept. I committed for fulltime ministry as a 13-year old in the year 1988 in a camp. On November 7, 2008, as a 34-year-old tent-making missionary with the HSBC Group, I quit my job to join the organization I founded in 2006 called Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission). I still work fulltime for God. What satisfaction and joy I have! What about you? What about the promises you made to God after that moving message?
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more atwww.dukev.org. Like www.facebook.com/dukebook. Watch www.youtube.com/visitduke).