1 Samuel part 2

 

Last week we did an overview of the book of 1 Samuel and tonight we are going to dive in and take closer look at this book starting in chapter 1.

 

1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, Ray-math-a-em zoe- phem of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, Juh- roe- ham the son of Elihu, eh-lie-hew the son of Tohu, toe-hoo the son of Zuph, zuff an Ephraimite.2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah pen-nin-uh. Peninnah pen-nin-uh had children, but Hannah had no children.3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni hoff-nigh and Phinehas, fin-e-hus the priests of the LORD, were there.4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah pen-nin-uh his wife and to all her sons and daughters.5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb.6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb.7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"

 

We have just had glimpse in to the family life of Elkanah and what it can be like when living in polygamous relationship. They lived in high country of Ephraim and we can see that Elkanah had two wives. Now it has never been Gods intention for a man to have multiply wives instead Gods law originally designed for there to be only onewife for a man. We can see this in fact that God only made Adam one wife. When Noah and his sons got onto the ark in Gen. 7:13 we see that each of them only had one wife. Also notice what Jesus taught about marriage.

 

Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'5 "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?6 "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

 

Jesus is reminding his audience about how things were setup since the beginning of time in regards to marriage and he makes it clear that one man is to marry one women and how the become one flesh and that marriage is to last a life time. You cannot find any room for a man to have multiple wives. Paul also confirms this in:

 

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

 

Besides this good ole common sense will tell you that having more than one wife is just asking for trouble and we can see that Elkanah was experiencing some of the problems. We learn that Hannah was barren at this time but his other wife Peninah pen-nin-uh had given birth to sons and daughters. Now every year they would go up as a family to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to God. But as we see in our story Elkanah does something that make tension between his wives even greater. We he made his offering he would give a portion of it to his children and to his wife Peninah pen-nin-uh but then he would give Hannah a double portion. Now in my in own mind I see Peninah pen-nin-uh thinking to herself saying her I am providing my husband with all of these children and yet he is giving her a double portion of his offering that is not fair. The text makes it very clear to us that Peninah pen-nin-uh doesnít care for Hannah and she considerers her as an adversary. Now verse 6 and 7 let us know that Peninah pen-nin-uh didnít play around when it came to putting Hannah down. Notice how she perfectly timed her verbal attach on her so that it would have the deepest impact. She would wait until they were at the holy place to worship God and she would rake over the coals about how God has closed her womb. I can just see her towering over Hannah and bragging how God had blessed her with children and telling her how much better she was than Hannah. This of course caused Hannah to break out in tears because she would love to be able to give her husband children. This hurt her so bad that she did not feel like eating. Now along comes the Elkanah and he want to know why Hannah is in such distress. This implies to me that Hannah has not told her husbandofthe cruelty that Peninah pen-nin-uh has put her through. All he knows is that he treated her very well and cannot understand why she is so upset.

 

1 Samuel 1:9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD.10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.11 Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

 

Here we see that Hannah was really suffering and she knew that all she could do was to pour her soul out to God and to hope that it would be his will to fulfill her prayer. Not only does she just pray for a son she also makes a vow that she will dedicate her son to the Lord for the rest of his life. Now it also interesting that she said that no razor shall come upon his head because this implies that she intends for her son to be a Nazirite for life. Now I will say this that Bible doesnít ever specifically call Samuel a Nazirite but most agree that he was since a razor was not suppose to touch his head. The only other 2 men that we see in the Bible named that were Nasserites for life was Sampson in Judges 13 and John the Baptist in Luke 1. In the case of John the Baptist he is not ever specifically called a Nazirite either but he was not to drink wine or strong drink which are things that Nazirites were to avoid. Now in the case of Sampson the angel of the lord tells his parents that he will be a Nazirite for life but in all 3 instance it was the parents that made sure their young men held these vows throughout their childhood. Now making such a vow would take great discipline for the parents and for the child.

 

Now the more common Nazirete vow was a temporary one and it is described in great detail in Numbers 6:2 Ė 21.

 

A man would decided that he would separate himself to the Lord and then he must one must abstain from wine, grapes, or intoxicating liquors, he could not cut his hair, or come near any dead body. Now if they messed up there were certain things they had to do to resolve the issues again please read Numbers 6 to see the details.

 

When the vow terminated he had to offer up 2 lambs and a ram for sin offering, burnt offering and peace offering. A meal and drink offering was made. He then cut off his hair that had grown all this time and burned it on the fire under the peace offering sacrifice. Then the priest would make a wave offering.

 

However we see that men like Samuel would have to keep their vows their whole lives.

 

1 Samuel 1: 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth.13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.14 So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!"

 

We see 2 things happening here first we see Hannah praying but she wasnít doing so from her mouth she was doing so from her heart. You see we donít have a God that we have to yell out to get his attention nor do we have speak aloud some beautiful words to turn his head our way like the Pharisees were trying to do in the 1st century. No our God can understand our very thoughts as if we had spoken them from our own mouth.

 

Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man Ö

 

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

 

So you see God can hear us loud and clear even if our lips are not moving and certainly heard Hannahís prayer.

 

The second think we see from our text is that this Eli jumps to conclusion as he accuses Hannah of being drunk simply because she wasnít praying out loud. Again I cant help but point out how easy it is to jump to conclusion by simply looking at appearances. This seems to be a natural thing for people to do but as Christians we need to learn not to be like Eli and jump to conclusions based on appearances. Notice Hannahís response to Eli.

 

1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.16 "Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now."17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him."18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

 

Hannah wants Eli to know that she is some wicked women who is drunk she was just a women with a sorrowful spirit. When Eli realize that he made a bad judgment call he basically tells her the he hopes what she was praying for will come to pass. So now we see that Hannah came poured her soul out to God and she found peace in life after doing this and now she was no longer sad and she was able to eat.

 

There is a great lesson for us to learn here. Whenever we have problems come up in our life and they make us extremely sad let us never forget to pray. As Christians we should know that we have access to thrown of God by means of prayer. No matter how big our problem may be we to can pour out our soul to God and realize that we have put our problems into his hands. It should give peace from our sadness knowing that God will take care of our problems in his way. If we can learn to be more like Hannah and to leave our problems with God we can all experience peace in our lives even if the wall are falling down around us because we know that God is on our side.

 

1 Samuel 1:19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the LORD."21 Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and his vow.22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever."23 And Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word." So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

 

Here we see the Hannahís prayer was answered and she bore a son and she called him Samuel. Now before she gave her son over to the Eli she was going to take care of until he was weaned. Now this could have been any were from 3 to 5 years of age. Her husband agreed that she could keep him until that time. At least she was able to have a close relationship with her son during the first years. Today they say that the first 5 years of a childís life will greatly influence the kind of person they will turn into and he certainly would have good influence with a mom like Hannah.

 

1 Samuel 1:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah e-fa of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young.25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli.26 And she said, "O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD.27 "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.28 "Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD." So they worshiped the LORD there.

 

We can only imagine how hard this was for Hannah after all she was barren for a long time and all she could think about was to give her husband a son and now she finally had one and had spent the last few years taking care of the Samuel and now she would be giving him up and would only get to see him occasionally but she was a women who kept her promise. At least she could be happy that he would be raised up to serve God.

 

Now we can learn from this that if we make a promise to God we should keep it. To many people today will pray to God and say if you will make this happen I will do this or that and then when that happens that person doesnít do what they said they would do. Now I am no way suggesting that we should go around making vows to God but I am saying if we tell him that we will do something then we should do our best to keep our word. Not only should we keep our promises to God we should also keep our promises that we make to other people as long as those promises donít violate the word of God.

 

Now after Hannah gives her son to Eli she rejoices in God through prayer. I want you to listen carefully as read her prayer.

 

1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.2 "No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.3 "Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.4 "The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.6 "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. "For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, And He has set the world upon them.9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail.10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed."11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.

 

You see even though this was a difficult time of giving up her son she did not have a self pity party or complain about the promise she made instead she rejoiced in what God had done for her. She was satisfied with fact that she was able to have a son and that she was able to spend at least some time with him. Sometime Christians get caught up in the self-pity game but we need to be more like Hannah and be thankful for the time we had our blessing or to learn to be satisfied with we have. Paul understood this concept.

 

Philippians 4:11I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

All Christians should learn to be content. Now I want finish up tonight lesson with:

 

1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD." Then they would go to their own home.21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

 

Every year Hannah would go see her son and she would make him a new robe every year. However God was not finished blessing this godly women as he opened her womb again and she bore 3 more sons and 2 daughters. This is another great example of how God sheds his wonderful blessings on those who faithfully seek after him. I hope this lesson tonight has encouraged you to be more prayerful and to put your problems into Godís hands and allow him to deal with them so that you can pe††††††† ace in your life.