The Life-Changing Mark of Mothers
Our text today is 1 Samuel 1:1-28. In this text we have the story of a woman who God used in a strategic way in His redemptive plan. Her name is Hannah.
Not everyone here is a mother…
Not everyone has good memories of their mother…
Not every woman will be a biological mother…
However today we celebrate a beautiful ideal that originated in the mind of God – Motherhood.
“Why bother with Mothers’ Day at all? I’ll tell you why —— because for all its stumbling blocks, pitfalls and broken dreams, for all the soiled diapers, soiled wallpaper and spoiled plans, we’re talking about a beautiful ideal, a natural part of God’s creative plan to bring love and caring to light. Motherhood is a constant demand for the gift of love and caring.” (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/m/mothers_day.htm)
Every mother lives her life for another – she exists for the benefit of another – from the pain of childbirth through the years of caring and providing for her children, motherhood is a symbol of universal selflessness and love.
Throughout Scripture women are elevated to a position of honor and influence.
THE IMPACT OF GODLY MOTHERS:
Mothers: You play an important role in God’s unfolding purpose:
Have you seen the vision of what God is doing? He is working throughout history to call a people from every nation, tribe and tongue who will one day assemble before the throne to worship the lamb (Rev 7)
The flow of God’s redemptive plan all points to Christ, however that plan involves men! All of history is His-Story unfolding the details of God’s redemptive plan to bring about the incarnation of Jesus Christ, God’s son – “to save His people from their sin.”
The means by which this will happen is the proclamation of the gospel among the people of the earth.
The method that God uses to proclaim that gospel is people – you and me!
To understand the narrative in today’s text we need to set the context: This is a major transition point in the OT narrative. God chose a people through which He would the Messiah would come. These Hebrew people had gotten off course. They had embraced religious syncretism – they were worshipping YWHW (Jehovah) and other gods. The priests, those given task was to teach the people to know and serve God had become immoral, and were perverting the sacrifices (1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-24). This period of time is summed up in the words of Judges 22:25, “everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.”
At this critical point in History we are introduced to an amazing woman of faith, her name is Hannah. Hannah’s son Samuel would be the one God would use to point the nation of Israel back to God.
How did Hannah’s life provide a life-changing example for her children, and for us to follow? How will you leave a life-changing mark on your children?
WORSHIP THE ONE TRUE GOD (3)
Over 20 times in this chapter the name “LORD” is mentioned. LORD is the proper name for God – YHWH. It is the name God uses when he created the world (Gen 2:4). Isaiah 43:10 tells us that YHWH is ‘the only one true God.’
Hannah saw God as sovereign in the affairs of men, and sovereign over the situations that were causing her so much anguish. (5-6)
Yearly Elkanah took his family to Shiloh to worship God at the annual Jewish feasts. The worship of YHWH was a priority, a priority that involved obedience and sacrifice.
REST SECURELY IN THE FACT THAT YOU ARE LOVED (4-5)
Husbands if you want your wife to be a good mother – love her! (Eph 5:25-26).
Elkanah loved his wife Hannah (4,8). The love referred to in Ephesians is no common ordinary thing. It is not romantic love or even the love of a good friend, it is a self-sacrificing love that asks nothing in return.
The love demanded by God is the desire and delight in the well being of the object of our love that leads us to self-sacrificing efforts on their behalf. The writer of Ephesians puts it this way, ‘husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church.’
This love will cause you to give up your life for your wife. It must make her holy and clean with the word. We minister the gospel to her. When you love your wife as Christ commanded, she will radiate with the confidence, purity and holiness of a godly woman.
Be secure in God’s love for you! (Is54:5).
God does not call every women to marriage. Some are called to be single, some may be widowed or divorced. Some women may be in a marriage that lacks the biblical kind of love mentioned above. Here is God’s word of comfort to you from Isaiah 54:5:
For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
ALLOW SORROW & SUFFERING TO DRIVE YOU TO GOD NOT AWAY FROM HIM (6-7)
Hannah faced painful circumstances that she could not control. The torture of her adversary (6). Relational problems in her home caused her inner pain and grief. These were issues that she did not have the ability to control or change. Multiple-wives was not God’s original plan – we all live with results choices we have made, often we cannot change those things.
Hannah also had a deep desire of her heart for a child but she was barren (6b-7). She grieved for a longed for destiny that had not realized – being a mother.
Hannah was an example of how to respond to suffering and pain! She ran to God, she threw herself upon His mercies in prayer.
What sorrow or pain are you facing?
- Miscarriage: Deep pain of empty arms, a way that only a mother can feel
- Death of a child: To have a child snatched away in death, leaves a wound in the heart that no amount of reason or human help can heal.
- Wayward child: The shame or sorrow of a child who has chosen to rebel against parents.
- Broken marriage relationship: sorrow and pain of infidelity or abandonment – find love and security in God who is the husband that will never abandon or fail you.
Your trial, your suffering, your sorrow will either drive you to Christ or become a wedge that drives you away from Him!
BE A WOMAN OF PRAYER (10-16)
Hannah poured her heart out to God in agonizing prayer (10). She reached up to God who had the power to close and open her womb. She recognized that God was the only one who could meet her need – for He had “shut up her womb.” (6b)
She was persistent in her prayer. It seems that she had prayed for many years over this matter. She prayed for a son, she prayed for her son! (7, 15-16). Hannah did not gain merit from God because of her persistence, but God did hear and in His time answered her prayer. God hears and answers prayer because He is a loving Father (Mt. 7:7-11)
Her prayer was one of consecration. She made a vow to give this son back to God as long as he lived to serve in the temple. As a symbol of his consecration he would be a Nazarite (Num. 6:2-21); one who was completely separated unto the Lord.
GIVE YOUR CHILDREN BACK TO GOD (17-28)
Hannah received assurance through Eli the priest that her prayer had been heard and she believed. Her faith was evidenced by her crying to turning into joy, her troubled countenance to peace. (18, Heb 11:3)
Hannah followed through on her vow to give her son Samuel to God (1:27-28)!
Her obedient faith in God prepared the man that God would use to redirect the nation back to God.
Mothers have faith in God and God will use you to instill that faith in your children! (2 Ti. 1:6)
On this Mother’s Day 2014:
Women: we thank you for showing us what care and love looks like!
Mothers: thank you for your selfless love.
Mothers you leave a life-changing mark on the life of your children by your courageous faith in Christ!
If you have not put your complete faith in Jesus Christ, cry out to God today for faith and forgiveness. He is a loving father, ready to forgive you your sins and give you a new life!