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1. Samuel, a Gift from God

December 17, 2009

Text:    I Samuel 1:1-2:11

Outline:            I. Devoted but Barren      I Samuel 1:1-18

II. Blessed by God      I Samuel 1:19-23

III. Thankful Worship      I Samuel 1:24-2:11

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Elkanah, a man who worshipped God and who lived in Ephraim, had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah bore him children but Hannah did not even though Elkanah loved her more [reminds us of Jacob]. This caused much strife in the family. While worshipping at the tabernacle in Shiloh, Hannah wept and prayed to the Lord asking for a child and promising to give him back to the Lord as a Nazrite in service to God. Hannah prayed to the Lord with her heart, not with her voice. Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk and when he challenged Hannah, she set him straight and revealed her prayer to God to him. Eli blesses her and she returns the favor, blessing Eli before leaving the tabernacle refreshed. [Note my comments on Philemon regarding “refreshed hearts”.]

The family returns home and is soon blessed with a child who is named Samuel because the Lord gave him to her. Hannah does not go to Shiloh to worship the next time/year after Samuel was born. She says she will wait until the child is weaned. Hannah does bring Samuel together with their burnt offerings and grain offerings to Shiloh after the boy is weaned and presents him to Eli for instruction and service to the Lord. Upon worshipping and presenting Samuel to the Lord, Hannah prays. She begins by praising and thanking God for Samuel and acknowledging that God is holy, almighty, and faithful. Next she prays that her adversaries [Peninnah and other women who will probably question her for giving up the child into the care of another] will be quiet and that she will be given strength because she is satisfied and content. She knows what she has promised and what she has done is right and according to God’s will. She continues by acknowledging the sovereignty of God over life and death, over the wealthy and the needy, over the world, over the saints and the wicked, over the judgment of evil, and over the arrival of the Messiah. Hannah leaves and Samuel stays to minister before the Lord under Eli’s instruction.

Lessons/Applications:

1. A troubled life is not an excuse to forget about God but a reason to seek Him all the more.

2. Quality worship and prayer to God provides assurance and peace in the most difficult circumstances.

3. Pray before God with transparency and confidence in anticipation of the Lord’s blessing.

4. Children are God’s greatest blessing. A person who ministers unto the Lord is also God’s greatest blessing.

5. God blesses those who willingly bless others.

6. Devotion to and faith in God is best demonstrated by keeping one’s word [promises, commitments].

7. When praying; thank God, praise God and acknowledge God’s power and sovereignty over all things. Acknowledge God’s justice and anticipate His coming.

8. Keeping your word and doing what’s right leads to satisfaction and contentment. Satisfaction and contentment are available to all who devote themselves to the worship of God.

9. Understand that God is sovereign over all things and desires to bless all who are devoted to Him.

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