While studying the Word of God I learned five significant lessons from the life of Hannah. These were lessons that I had never seen before. I love how God opens my eyes to different truths and significant lessons from His word even when we have heard the same story over and over. His Word is always fresh.
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As I was dwelling on 1 Samuel, chapter 1, I read in verse 10: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. I was wondering if this were the first time that she brought this bitterness and agony of her soul to the Lord. Perhaps not, for she was made fun of for not having children and it bothered her year after year, made her cry and probably made her angry. I know it would make me angry. But this is the first mention of her pouring her soul out to the Lord. I had to stop and think whether or not I carried my burdens to the Lord FIRST or if I cried and became angry, distressed, and just ran to other people asking for their advice instead of going to the source that had the answer in the first place. And that source is Jesus!
In verse 11 Hannah vowed a vow. She did not take this lightly. God’s Word tells us in the New Testament to let our yeas be yeas Jas_5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. How many promises have I made to God and not kept? As the children’s song goes, Oh be careful little mouth what you say for the Father up above is looking down in love … Hannah made a vow and intended to keep it!
Eli thought Hannah to be drunk. 1Sa 1:14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. But Hannah said she had never drank any wine or strong drink, but rather she just had a sorrowful spirit. Interesting that Hannah compared drinking to being a daughter of Belial (Belial describes people characterized by worthlessness or corruption – Just something to think about when it comes to drinking.) The New Testament tells us to NOT be drunk with wine, but to be filled with the spirit. Eli noticed Hannah – do others notice that we are filled with the Spirit. This ought to be evident in the believer’s life. If we know the Lord and are filled with the Spirit, He can take away the pain and hurt and heaviness of soul and “make things better”.
And what do I mean by make things better? He does not necessarily take away the trial, but He can give peace through the trial. Have you experienced that? Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I can remember a particular hard trial we were going through with one of our children. This child was rebellious and it was causing us great anguish and worry. I began taking it to the Lord. I brought my request to Him with thanksgiving. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord heard my prayer because He gave peace. Yes, the peace that passeth understanding! I did not understand it. I did not know what the outcome at that time was going to be, but the peace was there. The Lord had “made it better” He took away the pain and anguish. That did not mean that I stopped praying for this child. I prayed continually, yet that peace was always there. It didn’t happen right away, but God did a mighty work and turned this child around. This child repented, made things right with us and is now serving the Lord whole heartedly. Wow! God is merciful!
Not only did He give peace, but His grace was evident. In Hannah’s case, when Elkanah told her that her petition was granted, her sorrow was turned to joy. Her countenance changed! 1Sa 1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. When we leave our burdens at the throne of grace we find help in the time of our need. When the grace of God is evident in our lives, it will show in our countenance. I love verses such as this one where is talks about the Lord’s face shining upon us. Num_6:25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
Significant Lessons Learned from the life of Hannah:
- Take your burdens to the Lord First and foremost.
- God gives peace – When we leave our trials in God’s hand, He will give us peace – perhaps peace that our request is answered or just peace that everything will “be OK” Whichever the case, it will be a peace that is beyond our understanding. He will assure us that He is in control.
- God gives grace – As we leave our burdens with the Lord, His grace becomes evident. His grace can take us through the darkest circumstances.
- God gives joy – He can put a smile on our face and joy in our hearts even in the darkest night. In Psa 77:6, Asaph says: I call to remembrance my song in the night: …
- It is important to keep your vows. If you make a vow in the midst of your requests – keep it! The Lord does not take it lightly and neither should we. Psa_50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: Let the Lord direct you in your prayer life. He will make it clear as to whether or not you should make a vow to Him for it is only through His strength that we can keep any vow. How often have many people, made a vow to the Lord if He would “get them through something” and then as soon as everything is OK they have gone on their way and have totally forgotten what they promised.
Precious Picture of Salvation
This story also depicts a precious picture of salvation:
- GRACE– Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Oh what grace, amazing grace, that saved a wretch like me! Yes, we must admit we are nothing but a wretch, but God’s grace can save the chiefest of sinners.
- PEACE – When we find new life through Christ, we have a peace in our hearts that the world never knows. For now we know God. You may have heard the saying: KNOW GOD – KNOW PEACE, NO GOD – NO PEACE. And that is so true. Once saved, you have made peace with God. Rom_5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
- JOY – Oh the joy that floods our soul when we come to know Jesus. 1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
Have you learned any significant lessons from Bible Characters? Write them down and meditate on them. Share them with others. In fact, why not share them in the comments below.
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