As we close out our study of Hannah today I want us to ponder the effect one woman’s obedience and belief thousands of years ago still has on us today. We are going to be bouncing around in Scripture so I will ask you to keep you Bible handy as we continue.
The Personal Blessings of Hannah continued long after Samuel was released to the Temple. In I Samuel 2:18-21 we find that Hannah visits with Samuel every year as the family goes to the Temple for the feast and each year she brings him a little robe she made for him. She never abandoned her child. She knew he was the Lord’s and she honored her agreement while still caring for her son. Furthermore, Eli blessed Elkanah and Hannah for their obedience and the Lord opened Hannah’s womb 5 more times. She pleaded to the Lord for a son and He not only gave her that son but also three more sons and two daughters. God just gives and gives abundantly more than we ever think or ask! (Ephesians 3:20) I am so thankful that God answers still this way today-so much more than we can think or ask.
We see another blessing here in I Samuel. There is a National Blessing. God had some serious plans for His people through Samuel. See during this time as Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were “serving” the Lord as priests but they were doing it all wrong. They were selfish and self serving. God had ordered the sacrifices to be done a certain way and these two men were perverting this sacrifice and evening threatening the people if they did not do as they were told in giving the choicest things to Hophni and Phinehas instead of to God. The whole nation was suffering because of their wickedness. When Samuel was still a young boy God called Him to Himself personally. At this time He gave Samuel a prophecy against Eli’s sons and a deliverer to lead His people. I Samuel 2: 35 says, “And I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. And I will build Him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.” Let’s see how this plays out.
The Philistines were enemies of the people of God and they came and defeated the people of God and captured the Ark of the Covenant. God allowed the Israelites defeat because of their wickedness. Now because the Ark did not belong anywhere near the Philistines camp God punished them severely for having it in their midst and after about seven months of moving the Ark from place to place and horrible things befalling them they decided to put the Ark on a cart lead by cows who had never been hitched to a cart before and see where they took the Ark. If they cows took the Ark toward Beth-Shemesh that meant that all the evil coming upon the Philistines was from the Lord but if the cows headed elsewhere they would believe it just coincidence. Guess where the “unguided” cows headed. You got it! Bee line to Beth-Shemesh. About 20 years passes and finally it looks like Samuel got a bit fed up. He is the last righteous judge in Israel so he puts on his judge cap and gets to work. I Samuel 7:3 reads, “And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, ‘If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the Lord and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.’” The people did as Samuel said and the Philistines were afraid-with good reason. The Lord heard the cry of His repentant people and fought for them and they were delivered from the hand of the Philistines!
Later we find Samuel is the man who anoints the first two Kings of Israel. Without going into too much detail here because this is a lesson in and of itself, the first is Saul whom the Lord later rejected and the second is David. Through David’s lineage we have the birth of our Savior, Jesus. This is where Hannah’s story comes full circle. Hannah prayed for a son. She got him and dedicated him to the Lord. This son was a righteous man that God set apart to bring His nation and people back to Him and this son was the man God gave the duty of anointing a king who’s family line would include our King of Kings.
How precious is your prayer, Daughter? How important is your need? Look at Hannah. All she wanted was a son. She got 4 sons and 2 daughters. Her firstborn son, Samuel not only answered her prayer but the prayers of many others. If want you are praying for is important to you it is important to God. Never underestimate what He can do with a mustard seed of faith. Never think you are insignificant. I love this little saying, “If you think you are insignificant and small things don’t matter, try sleeping with a mosquito in the room!” Through Hannah God changed a nation and taught us, once again, that we matter and God is listening to the prayers of His daughters and sons. Bring your petitions to Him today. You matter-especially to Him!!