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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
Hannah Mirrors The Church
The events of the book of First Samuel relate to the same time frame as the last chapters of the book of Judges. Notice Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes”. There was decay, defeat, and disorganization all around. There was no authority, no spirituality and nothing in which God could delight Himself. His own people did whatever pleased them. Instead of them leading the world, the world was pouring Israel into it’s own mold. Is that not what we are seeing in many of our churches today? We have become so used to defeat and so accustomed to disorganization we accept it as normal. It is far more surprising to see someone saved in our services than when we don’t. Yet, people getting saved should be more common than not. We are getting used to the fact that our children are bored with our services and do not share our convictions. It doesn’t surprise us that we have to fuss and fight with them to get them to come to church and when they do come they do everything they can to busy themselves to keep from listening in case they do hear something spiritual and it convict them of their sin. Then we let them go out defiantly into the world and accept it and say “we did our best; it’s not our fault. It is just the way things are today. All of them are doing it”. Well, they all may be doing it but that still doesn’t make it right! First Samuel begins in a day as dark as this one we live in. The priesthood was corrupt; the high priest was a feeble old man who probably should have retired years ago. He had placed his sons in the office of priest in spite of their sinful lifestyle. It was into this that God brought a young woman, Hannah. Thank God for women like her that He has raised up over the years. There were women like Susanna Wesley, mother of nineteen, including John and Charles who brought revival to Britain in times of darkness. She was their first teacher and laid within them their solid foundation. Her husband, Samuel, was a fiery preacher and when he admonished his flock of their sins, they set fire to their house and his family barely escaped with their lives. Now, getting back to Hannah, I want to notice some things about her which mirrors our churches today and some lessons we can learn from her.
The first thing we notice of Hannah is her barrenness. In verses 1-2 Elkanah had two wives, Peninnah who was fruitful or who had children and Hannah who was barren. As we look at this you have to wonder why Hannah, the more spiritual of the two, was barren. There’s no explanation for this. Why are some churches which seem to be more spiritual are seemingly less fruitful than less spiritual churches. But when Hannah did have a child he was of much more use than those of Peninnah, for you never read of her children again in the scriptures. Hannah was dissatisfied in her barrenness as some are seemingly satisfied in there’s. She sought to be fruitful. She went to the temple and wept before the Lord over her barrenness.
Are we satisfied or has our barrenness led us to bitterness of soul? Hannah was driven to bitterness of soul by her adversary as she provoked her sorely and made her to fret. Her bitterness of soul led her to tears. When was the last time our barrenness and attacks by the adversary led us to tears? When was the last time our barrenness drove us to tears? Or are we just satisfied going on in our barrenness? The Psalmist writes in Ps. 126:6 “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his sheaves with him”. When was the last time we looked at our lost loved ones and wept over them? They are going to Hell and we sit like nothing is wrong and all the time they are perishing! Isaiah said in Is 66:7-8 “Before she travailed she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children”. Wasn’t it John Know who cried out at midnight while listening to the Scots party and carouse just underneath his second floor window, “Lord, give me Scotland or I die!”? When was the last time we cried out Lord, give me (insert any town) or I die? William Booth said he was never the same after he got the poor of London on his heart. Listen to what he said, “We are not sent to minister to a congregation and be content with keeping things going. Rather, we are sent to make war and to stop at nothing to see souls saved”.
Then bitterness of soul leads us to brokenness. Hannah wept and prayed before the Lord. There was no one else who could help her during this time. Oh, there was Eli the priest sitting there observing, only to accuse her later of being drunk with wine. What a fine pastor he was; he didn’t have enough spirituality about him to discern her brokenness and sorrow! I want you to notice Hannah prayed a particular prayer. She didn’t just pray for a child but she prayed for a man child. We are sometimes to general in our praying and that is why we get no answers from the Lord. We need to be more specific in our prayers and we will get more answers. Not only did she pray a particular prayer she prayed with a promise. She said if God would give her a man child then she would give him back to God all the days of his life. For what purpose is ours prayers today? Are they simply prayers to help us? Are they prayers to gather to ourselves the pleasures and riches of the world? Or are they prayers to benefit the Lord of Glory? You tell me for what purpose you are praying and I’ll tell you if your prayers are being answered.
Hannah’s bitterness of soul and brokenness led her to blessedness. Hannah knew God had answered her prayer. She knew that she had moved Heaven as she prayed and was going to receive an answer. When is the last time we got through to Heaven and knew God heard us? When was the last time you took your burden, care or concern to Him and knew beyond any doubt God heard you? She was blessed because she got hold of God and it showed in her countenance as she left there. The result of that prayer that day was far more reaching than God blessing her home, it reached to the saving of Israel. Samuel was born at the time appointed and his name means asked of the Lord and every time Hannah said that name it reminded her of her prayer and promise to God. Every time she spoke of him to someone else it reminded her of the time she prayed through to God He heard her. Oh what a time of blessedness she enjoyed all the days of her life as she remembered what she asked of the Lord. When we get tired enough of our own barrenness we will become bitter of soul. That will lead us to a brokenness in our spirit and then and only then that will lead us to blessedness or revival. Where are we today? Barrenness? Bitterness of soul? Brokenness? I don’t know where we are but it sure isn’t blessedness is it? Yet by God’s grace, we will get there if that is the desire of our heart.