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Distressed... Interrupted. Our Large God Who Cares

March 30, 2014 Series: A Prophet By God's Grace

Passage: 1 Samuel 1:1–2:10

Introduction and Context 

  • This story appears at the end of the period of Judges, a difficult period for the people of Israel. 
  • If we recall, when Exodus begins with the introduction of Moses, the people of Israel have been in Egypt for 400 hundred years. God used Moses to deliver them from slavery in Egypt and after years in the wilderness because of their disobedience, they finally arrived in the Promised Land under Joshua's charge. 
  • However, the Israelites that came after Joshua did "what was right in their own eyes", as it was described for us in the book of Judges. 
  • This is where we find the story of Hannah.

Distressed (1 Sam 1:1-8)

  • Hannah suffers from barrenness, like Sarah, Abraham's wife.
  • Hannah was distressed as a result of her barrenness because being without a child was a social stigma.
  • Peninnah would taunt and provoke Hannah and even the love and care of her husband brought Hannah little comfort

Interrupted (1 Sam 1:9-28)

  • This set of verses show how her distress was interrupted by God, as she would eventually give birth to Samuel
  • Hannah continues to pray earnestly (v.12-13) to the point that Eli thinks that she is drunk. Her petition in these verses is remarkable, as she assumes that God who sees the trouble of his people would also see her distress. God did interrupt her distress and granted her a son
  • Hannah fulfils her vows (v.21-28) by dedicating Samuel to God. Who was Samuel? He eventually becomes God's prophet, who guides God's people from the period of Judges to the period of Kings

Our Large God who Cares (1 Sam 2:1-10)

  • Hannah's prayer presupposes a certain knowledge of God. 
  • Her prayer can also be divided into three parts (v.1-3, v.4-8, v.9-10). She confesses her faith in a God that saves and delivers from intolerable situations (v.1-3), she recognises that God acts on behalf of the poor and weak (v.4-8) and this great God will eventually judge the ends of the earth through the king He ordains (v.9-10). 
  • Eventually, we read of how it is Hannah's son, Samuel that anoints King David. The deliverance that God brings to Hannah points to the ultimate deliverance that God brings in Christ

What does this mean for us today? 

  • There is nothing too small or too big to take to God. The God who heard Hannah's prayers, hears us too. 
  • God brings deliverance in small ways which reflect his deliverance in large ways.