Hannah, determined devotion! – 1 Samuel 1:1-20
By Pastor Lee Hemen
May 13, 2012 AM
My Mother taught me several different important lessons as I was growing up. Like LOGIC: “What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you! Don’t talk back to me!” HUMOR: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me!” She taught me about my ROOTS: “Where do you think you were born — in a barn?” About ANTICIPATION: “Young man, just you wait until I get you home!” And, my all time favorite thing – FAIRNESS: “One day you will have kids and I hope they turn out just like YOU.” Yep, that’s my Mom.
In the Bible we see examples of mothers as well. One in particular can teach us a lot of important things too. One who stands out among women of the Bible is a lady named Hannah. Her name literally meant “grace” or “mercy.” Its root meaning comes from the idea of someone humbly bending their knees in petition and asking for mercy. That is a good picture of Hannah. Hannah was one of those Moms who displayed determined devotion. Let’s discover how this morning…
READ: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
There is a story of a little four-year-old boy whose Mom was getting him ready for his first sleep-over at a friend’s house. She began to list off several things that he needed to do. “Be polite.” “Don’t chew with your mouth open.” “Say, ‘Please” and ‘Thank you.’” “And, be a good boy and make your mother proud of you.” The boy looked up at his mother and very seriously replied, “Aw Mom, don’t worry I don’t sin anywhere else but at home!” Hannah teaches us that determined devotion was found in…
I. Her focus on her children!
1. “No man is poor who has had a Godly mother.” – Abraham Lincoln
1) Hannah’s hope and desire was to have a child of her own: “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son!” Some would say that this was expected of women in Hannah’s day and that we now live in a more “enlightened age.” However, look at what our world has gained because of this “liberated” view: abortion for convenience and relationships built on lust rather than love! The Bible describes later how “each year” Hannah “made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.” (2:19) Hannah’s focus was her child. Every mother’s focus should be her children. God created women to be the nurturers in the home. Proverbs 29:15 reminds us, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” It is our mothers that are to be the first line of discipline in the home. When a mother doesn’t discipline consistently, the home is disorganized and dysfunctional. This is why the writer goes on to say, “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…” (Proverbs 31:27-28) Every mother’s determined devotion should be like Hannah’s and focus on her children!
EXAMPLE: Recent studies have shown that when there is not a consistent nurturer in the home, children grow up more violent, have lower grades in school, and are involved more in drugs. Nurturing, however, does not mean overindulgence. Too much pampering in the home causes selfishness and ingratitude. A mother’s focus should be her children, but not to the detriment of her household. This is why Proverbs reminds us: “Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” (Proverbs 29:17-18) The idea for the writer was one of consistent discipline. Hannah’s focus was her children.
It’s ungodly how in some States they are actually trying to force mothers to give up their nurturing duties and place their young children in preschools! It has been proven that children between the ages of birth through about 10 years absolutely need their mothers at home. Seeing a mother who loves her children is a great thing. Hannah did not just want a baby she also displayed other qualities of determined devotion that made her a great mother! We discover that Hannah…
II. Loved and respected her husband!
1. A man is not a man until he has a woman who will truly love and respect him!
1) Hannah’s respect for her husband was seen in the way she treated Elkanah. Even when she was wronged she kept it to herself. Some may think she was brow-beaten, but this was not the case. Hannah knew one of the main ingredients to a successful marriage is admiration of her spouse. Some will say, “Well, admiration has to be earned.” Yet, we are told, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22) The word “submit” literally means “to be subject to under respect or obedience.” Nowhere does it say it is earned. Hannah, in determined devotion, respected her husband because that is who Hannah was and that is what she believed. We discover that Hannah’s respect was a reflection of her inner character and her love for her man. In Genesis we see God telling Eve, after she had sinned, that from that point on her “desire will be for” her “husband.” From then on, she was only to have eyes for her man. In fact the female poet in The Song of Solomon confidently sings, “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.” (Song 7:10) A mother is to be a one man woman. Her love and respect is to be given only to the one she marries and that is what Hannah was all about in her marriage. Hannah loved and respected her husband!
EXAMPLE: I really do not like TV shows that have the wife continually putting down her husband, especially in front of their children. Why? Our society has emasculated men. It reflects an ungodly cynicism directed at God’s true desire for us. “A man has two significant mirrors in his life.” So states Lewis and Hendricks, in their book “Rocking the Rolls,” “One is his work” and the “other is his wife.” This is where he finds self-worth, meaning, and identity. Over time work fades, but what he receives from his wife is that deep satisfaction that speaks to his real manhood. Where a woman needs to hear the words, “I love you,” a man needs to hear the words, “I am proud of you.” Hannah understood this. The best moms determine in devotion to love and respect their husbands just like Hannah!
A teacher gave her class of second graders a lesson on magnets. The next day, on a test, she asked, “My name has six letters. The first one is “m.” I pick up things. What am I?” Over 50% of the class had answered the question with the word “mother!” Yes, moms do pick up things but they are more than “magnets” gathering up dirty clothes and picking up toys. Mothers have a much higher calling than that! A good mother is like Hannah who in determined devotion understood that…
III. Her Spiritual relationship was with her God!
1. Godly mothers not only bring you up, they bring you to God!
1) Hannah was more concerned for her son’s devotion to the Lord, than her own motherly needs. She willingly made a vow to God for a child, because she knew God would take care of her child. In everything Hannah did she pointed her child towards God. There is no greater testimony than that of a godly mother. Remember what Paul told his young friend Timothy? “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5) We see that Hannah was willing to sacrifice her most cherished thing in the world, her son, in order to follow God. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) Whoa! You might ask, “Pastor Lee, didn’t you just tell us that a mother’s children are to be the most important thing in her life?” Her focus yes, her devotion however is to be directed first to God. We are not to “worship” our children. Remember, Jesus said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) Why do you think so many families have spiritual problems? And notice that Hannah was not afraid to talk to God about her greatest needs. She had a consistent prayer life. It is evident in her willingness to go directly to God with her most personal problem. Hannah was not afraid to let others see her worship and pray! Hannah’s life displayed determined devotion through her spiritual relationship to her God!
EXAMPLE: There were once four scholars who were arguing over Bible translations. One said he preferred the King James Version because of its beautiful, eloquent old English. Another said he preferred the American Standard Bible for its literal treatment of the text. A third man preferred a translation called the Moffatt translation because of its quaint, penetrating use of words. After giving the issue further thought, the fourth scholar said, “I have personally always preferred my mother’s translation.” When the other scholars chuckled, he responded, “Yes she translated it. She translated each page of the Bible into life. It is the most convincing translation I ever saw.” The best moms have a determined devotion to God like Hannah!
The best moms know what Hannah did. They will focus on their children, love and respect their husbands, and have a personal relationship with God. The best mom has a determined devotion like Hannah!
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2012 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.