Tag: Hannah

False accusations!

Scripture reading for March 16th: 1st Samuel 1-3

Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something wicked?  How about a false accusation coming from a man or woman of God?   How would you feel about that person who represented God? The temptation would be strong to get angry at the person or worse yet, to get angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen!

Hannah was barren and sought God for a child .  Her husband, Elkanah, had two wives.  His other wife had children but Hannah cried out to God for a child.    The Scripture specifically states that “the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1st Samuel 1:6)  There are several issues here that can cause us to question.  First, why did this Israelite have two wives?  We do notice that there was rivalry and strife between the wives. Think about Abraham and Sarah and her concubine Hagar!  God allows certain behavior, but does not say it is right.  Jesus pointed his followers to Genesis and the pattern of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:5-9)

Another issue is the Lord closing Hannah’s womb.  Why would God do that?  I thought that God was a life-giver and wanted to bless His people?  It seems that in several instances, the people God used faced difficulties that forced them to deal with the only one who had an answer–God!  Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebbecca faced a similar difficulty.    They had to go to God for an answer and God opened their wombs and brought forth a special child!

Another accusation in this passage comes from Eli the priest.   As Hannah was praying desperately for a child, weeping and crying out to the Lord, Eli told her not to come drunk and to give up wine! (1st Samuel 1:12-16) To her credit, she did not become angry or disrespect him.  She patiently explained her dilemma and Eli blessed her.   God answered her prayer and she got her child!  Not only that, she had three additional sons and two daughters!

Our reading today should help us deal with false accusations.  We must not make snap judgments or respond in anger to those who may accuse us falsely.  We must also rightly divide the Word of God.    May the Lord grant us all grace today to operate on the facts, not on speculation or false assumptions!

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Fervent Prayer

Scripture reading for March 17th: 1st Samuel 1-3

Prayer is an interesting subject.  God encourages us to pray about everything.  We know that God knows everything already and sometimes wonder why He wants us to ask of Him.  Prayer is simply communication with God in the form of talking and listening.  It often requires patience to receive the answer.  Our timing isn’t always God’s timing and our hearts sometimes need preparation to handle the answer.  The Book of First Samuel begins with a story about a barren woman who is bitter in her heart because God had closed her womb.  She finally decided to pray!  Has it come to this?

Hannah is one of two wives of Elkanah,  an Israelite from the tribe of Ephraim.  Don’t get thrown by the fact that this man had two wives.  It was part of the custom of that day but not according to the plan of God!  (Mark 10:6-9)  Notice that these wives had conflict between them and were considered rivals! (1st Samuel 1:2-7)  One wife had sons and daughters and Hannah had none.  Hannah would weep bitterly when the other wife pointed out that she had no children.  Elkanah was frustrated, too, because he loved Hannah and wanted to encourage her.

Hannah stood up and went to the temple herself!  There she wept bitterly before the Lord and poured out her soul to God.  She made a vow that if God would give her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord and give him to Him.  As she continued to commune with God in her heart and silently moved her lips, Eli the priest noticed her.  Thinking her drunk, he rebuked her sharply!  (1st Samuel 1:9-13)  Hannah explained her desperate prayer and Eli told her to go in peace, that the Lord would grant her request!

How hard would it be for you if your preacher accused you of being drunk in God’s house when you were merely desperate for God’s help?  Would you get angry and give up?  Would you take offense and hold a grudge?  This woman patiently and respectfully explained her situation, and Eli confirmed that her prayer had been heard!  It is easy to jump to wrong conclusions!

Hannah had a baby the next year and followed through on her vow!  God does answer fervent prayer!  Take time today and pour your heart out to God!

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False accusations!

Scripture reading for March 17: 1st Samuel 1-3

Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something wicked?  How about a false accusation coming from a man or woman of God?   How would you feel about that person who represented God? The temptation would be strong to get angry at the person or worse yet, to get angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen!  Our story today has just such an opportunity!

Hannah was barren and sought God for a child .  Her husband, Elkanah, had two wives.  His other wife had children but Hannah cried out to God for a child.    The Scripture specifically states that “the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1st Samuel 1:6)  There are several issues here that can cause us to question.  First, why did this Israelite have two wives?  It seems that in the Old Testament, this issue was not dealt with often.  We do notice that there was rivalry and strife between the wives.  This happens in other instances too.  Think about Abraham and Sarah and her concubine Hagar!  God allows certain behavior, but does not say it is right.  Jesus pointed his followers to Genesis and the pattern of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:5-9)

Another issue is the Lord closing Hannah’s womb.  Why would God do that?  I thought that God was a life-giver and wanted to bless His people?  It seems that in several instances, people God used faced difficulties that forced them to deal with the only one who had an answer–God!  We can think of Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebbecca as starters.  They had to go to God for an answer and God opened their wombs and brought forth a special child!   Both of these difficulties could bring accusations on the Lord.

Another accusation in this passage comes from Eli, the priest.   As Hannah is praying desperately for a child, weeping and crying out to the Lord, Eli thinks that she has had too much wine and is drunk!  He even tells her not to come drunk and to give up the wine! (1st Samuel 1:12-16) What a message for a pastor to give to a humble seeker of the Lord!  To her credit, she did not become angry or disrespect him.  She patiently explained her dilemma and Eli blessed her.   God answered her prayer and she got her child!  Not only that, she had three additional sons and two daughters!  God is truly good!

Our reading today should help us deal with false accusations.  It is easy to jump to conclusions when we read a passage of Scripture.  All Scripture is inspired by God and must be weighed by other passages and God’s heart and Spirit.  We must not make snap judgments!  May the Lord grant us all grace today to operate on the facts, not on speculation or false assumptions!

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