Hannah and Yahweh
I. A TEXT that UNSETTLES. (1:21-2:1)
A. A MOTHER gives away her SON. (1:22-28)
B. Is this (SPIRITUAL) child LABOR? (1:28, 2:11; Heb 10:11)
C. And YET she REJOICES. (2:1)
Today’s text is one very familiar to long time church attenders. But when you read it as if for the first time it becomes a bit of a challenging section of Scripture. A mom gives her only son to the temple…so that the boy/toddler can work there…and leaves rejoicing? That sounds weird when we read it from the perspective of the culture around us today.
1. Kid’s question – If you could do a “job” for God, what would you want that to be?
2. If you read the story of Hannah giving Samuel to God at the temple to your friends who aren’t Christians or familiar with the Bible, what would be their response to the story?
II. Who YAHWEH is to HANNAH. (1:22-2:11)
A. A DELIVERER unlike any OTHER. (2:1-2)
B. One who HEARS and KNOWS. (1:20, 2:3)
C. One who REVERSES painful REALITY. (2:4-8)
D. The PROTECTOR of His PEOPLE. (2:9-10)
How does this actually happen? What is it that allows Hannah to do this with an open heart to God? It flows out of who she is learning Yahweh to be. She sings a song/ prayer that expresses who God is to her, one that would ripple throughout all of Jewish history.
3. If you had to list the characteristics of God that are the most important to you personally (top 3), what would they be and why?
4. Are there any phrases in Hannah’s prayer that resonate with you in a deep way? If so what are they and why?
5. If our calling is to be like God in the world today, what direction does Hannah’s prayer give us in regards to the priorities God might have here now?
III. Her EXPERIENCE led her to this POINT. (James 1:2-4)
A. Honest BROKENNESS and VULNERABILITY. (1:9-11, 15-16)
B. A WILLINGNESS to TRUST. (1:18-19, 27-28)
C. A LONG term PERSPECTIVE. (2:10, 18-21; Gen. 50:20; Jn 3:30)
D. An open HEART and HANDS. (1:22-2:11; Job 1:21; Lk. 1:38)
We all would like to be this devoted to God. We’d love to know that when the time came we could surrender and trust. How did Hannah get here? What was it that helped her? What can we see in this story that can flow into our own life as we walk with God?
6. How often are you open and vulnerable with people, even if it’s just a few? Is that hard for you? Why or why not?
7. What situation are you currently facing that would benefit from a long term perspective?
8. How can you practice living before God with open heart and hands this week?