Good evening everyone, and welcome to eBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of 1st Samuel. Tonight we are continuing with our study number 11 in 1st Samuel, chapter 1. I am going to begin reading 1 Samuel 1:17-23:
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 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. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before JEHOVAH, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and JEHOVAH remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of JEHOVAH. And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto JEHOVAH the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before JEHOVAH, and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only JEHOVAH establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
Well, last time we were noticing how Eli had given assurance to the woman and he, of course, was the chief authority in Israel at that time—he was a judge, he also was a priest, and he had charge over the house of God where the Ark of the Covenant was kept; and yet, when we read that Eli said to Hannah, “…, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition …”, and then in response Hannah, who again, very humbly says, “…, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. …”. She uses very lowly language and once again, refers to herself as the “handmaid” and that is just a “servant”.
Earlier, she had said that she was the “handmaid” of “the LORD”, but now she is speaking to Eli and indicating she is his “handmaid” because believers are servants to our fellow man on behalf of Christ. We serve mankind (the world), as servants of God.
And yet, after hearing this from Eli that she should “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition”. So Hannah, upon hearing this ate, where before she refused to eat or had no appetite; and now “her countenance was no more sad.”. She was cheered. Her heart was encouraged.
Was she encouraged by the words of Eli? Well, only in so far as Eli was speaking the Word of God. God had moved Eli to say these words; and so, the statements that Eli made were coming from God. They were inspired; that is why they are part of the Bible and Hannah somehow recognized this. God gave her the ability to hear His voice and this brought her comfort of heart and encouraged her.
It is the same way when believers listen to the teaching of men. Men are fallible. They are prone to error; they can say wrong things, even, perhaps, an individual who commonly teaches wrong things, yet, maybe on an occasion a believer happens to hear something that person is saying and he is making a true statement that can actually be helpful to the believer. And so, here, Hannah just takes away the truth that she has heard coming from Eli because it is actually coming from God.
Then in 1 Samuel 1:19, it says:
And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before JEHOVAH, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: …
The word “Ramah” (if you look in Strong’s Concordance) is #H7414, but it is identical with the consonants and the vowel points to #H7413, which is a word translated “high place.” So, they came to their house, to the “high place.”
Notice how “they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before JEHOVAH,” and it is a good example. It is good instruction for each one of us, that when we rise up in the daytime, the first thing we should do is to worship God. We may forget this at times and we will suffer because of it. It is a good habit to get into. If as soon as we get up, we think, “Oh, I need to read the Bible.” Then after reading the Bible, we think, “now I want to take some time to pray and to spend time praying to God about this coming day.”.
It is really an excellent habit to get into because “the day is” full of “evil”. Remember the Bible says in Matthew 6:34:
… Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
It is just foolish and dangerous for a child of God (with all of the possible temptations, trials and afflictions that may come our way from just about any source) to quickly rush out the door or to go about our business, no matter what it is (whether it is going to work or taking care of the home, or going to school or whatever we are doing), without first going to God and praying.
We can pray about the day that is dawning, about the period that is ahead of us and we can ask God to help us in every situation. Many of us know the situations that we are going to find ourselves in. We may know the people even, that will probably give us trouble during the day, so we can pray for the situation, we can pray for that people and we can ask God to help us, to give us wisdom toward every soul in every situation.
All of this is part of worship and we can cast our cares early upon God and ask Him to strengthen us “by his Spirit” in our inner being, in our “inner man”, in order to live that particular day to the glory of God, to honour and obey Him and may He keep us, watch out for us, protect us and protect our family.
We can just go on and on, about all the things that nag at us in our minds—all the little things that come to our minds and we think, “oh, I am worried about this,” and “I am concerned about this other thing.” Before these things begin to bother us and our thoughts, we can go to God and pray, beforehand, and He will help us and we will actually, just feel comforted. We will know (no matter what happens), “Well, I prayed, and I do not know what is going on right now, but I know that at least I did go to God and ask Him for help today, so I am going to trust that everything is just going to work out for the good and that everything will turn to a blessing.”
We can have a much more positive mindset when we start the day as we should, early in the morning or the time we get up and we worship God, just like Elkanah and Hannah. Elkanah, I am sure, had his whole family—Peninnah and her children and he gathered them and before embarking on their journey to take their trip home, they worshipped the LORD and then they “came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and JEHOVAH remembered her.”
Now this is some of the beautiful language of the King James Bible. This is some of the beautiful language of God, really. Today we are so accustomed to courseness, vulgarity and to cursing. The English language is deteriorating and getting worse and worse as we go on.
People think that they have to be as descriptive as possible in every area, in order to reveal what is going on with them and their lives. Here, God just uses a beautiful expression to describe marital relations between Elkanah and his wife Hannah in the marriage bed and he “knew” her.
The Bible uses this sort of language in a few instances and it also tells us in regards to Mary, in the New Testament, that Joseph “knew her not” until after Christ had been born. She was “a virgin” who gave birth to the Lord Jesus; and so, her husband “knew her not”.
But here, “Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and JEHOVAH remembered her.”. Now, let us keep in mind Hannah’s name once again. Her name means “favor” or “grace” or “merciful.” You could sum it up as “mercy”, and here (in 1 Samuel 1:19), it says:
… JEHOVAH remembered her.
In other words, He remembered “mercy,” (He remembered “Hannah”). It says in Psalm 98:3:
He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Actually, this phrase that “… JEHOVAH remembered her.” and then Hannah conceives and bears a son and she calls him “Samuel”, the spiritual teaching here, does involve the mercy of God concerning His salvation plan. We can see this a little bit better when we go the New Testament in the Gospel of Luke, in chapter 1, and here after Mary conceives and is visiting Elisabeth, she begins to sing this song in Luke 1:46-48:
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
And then it goes on in Luke 1:53-55:
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
Mary is proclaiming this song in order to show her thankfulness and to praise God that she is going to give birth to “the Messiah”, to “the Christ”, to the promised “Saviour”, to the One that God has spoken about to all the prophets—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob—regarding the One that the people of God have longed for and looked for, expectantly. They have looked to God, cried out to God, and waited upon God, “How long before the Messiah comes?”
And now, finally, after 11,000 years of history, “the Messiah” has come and Mary is with child by the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ is conceived. And so this child prompts Mary to proclaim, “He hath holpen (help) his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; …”.
That idea of the birth of the barren woman that is referring to the barrenness of the people of God for centuries and for millennium, that no “Saviour” had come down through them and entered into the human race for such a long period of time. But now, Mary with child by the Holy Ghost would give birth to the “Salvation” Himself, to “Christ”, “the Lord”, “the Saviour” of “his people” and it was always out of God remembering “his mercy”—the promises that He had given.
God does not forget. He has not forgotten. He has not definitely been mistaken. He gave the promises concerning the coming of Christ and He gave it at the very beginning. We read about it even in Genesis 3 and He gave the promises all through time, down through the centuries, again and again that “Christ” would come, “the Messiah” would come. He would take upon Himself a human nature and He would walk amongst men and God remembered His promises. He remembered His mercy to mankind, to the Elect people that Christ had already atoned for their sins. And so, Mary is moved to proclaim this and praise God for it.
It also says over in Luke chapter 1, verse 69, and this is Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who has had his mouth opened, finally after a long period of time, when he was asked what John’s name would be, “he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John.” and then “his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.” and here is some of what he said. In Luke 1:69-75, we read:
And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
And, again, there is an emphasis on God remembering the promise of mercy. He took an oath and God “cannot lie”. It is “… impossible for God to lie, …”, as Hebrews 6:18 tells us. “by two immutable things,” we have confidence, that God who has spoken and has declared that He will do certain things. We can have every confidence and every expectation that He will fulfill it utterly and completely, without fail, because God does not lie, nor does He forget His promises.
It is significant that Zacharias’ name means “Jah has remembered”. Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father’s name itself means “Jah (or the LORD) has remembered” and Elisabeth, his wife’s name, means “God of (the) oath”. What a marriage! What a joining together of two individuals! Just their names make a perfect match and I am sure that they too, as children of God, were a lovely couple as they lived their married life.
Elisabeth’s name was stating “God of (the) oath” and then her husband (Zacharias) comes along and his name meant “Jah has remembered” and just as Zacharias, finally, in his old age, praises God and makes that very statement: that God had now performed “the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”.
So the whole Bible really, records the promise of God concerning His mercy in reference to His salvation plan for His people and here, as Hannah is going to conceive and “bare a son,” “JEHOVAH remembered her.” He remembered His mercy.
It goes on to say in 1 Samuel 1:20:
Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of JEHOVAH.
We know how desperately and earnestly Hannah pleaded with God that He might hear her request. She presented her supplications before Him and God did hear and gave her this son. So, Hannah decides to name the boy “Samuel”.
“Samuel” is a compound word. It is made up of two Hebrew words and it means “heard of God” because Hannah’s prayer was heard by God. And so here, she names her son a name that will remind her, every time she calls him and every time she thinks of him, she will think, “Samuel” and his name itself will be a testimony back to her that her prayer was heard, that there is a God and that He does concern Himself with the events of men and with the goings on in the world. He even concerns Himself with the desires of a woman in a tiny little country.
Of course, God had His reasons and His purposes for blessing Hannah with a son. He was moving these events in order to record scripture, but how many women and how many people have gone to God who are not on the pages of the Bible?
How many have gone to Him in prayer and besought Him for the desires of their hearts? For the salvation of their children? Or, even for things like this, out of loneliness, “oh, Lord, lead me to someone that I could be equally yoked with!”. Or, maybe a couple that has gone a few years without a child, “Oh, Lord, is it possible that you might bless us with children?”
Sometimes God does not answer those prayers, but oftentimes He does. And so, God is a God who hears prayer, according to His will.
He is a God we can always turn to and always go to and always beseech Him and cry out to Him and talk to Him because we may get an answer that we desire or, maybe He will say, “No”, and that is possible.
But yet, even in that, we will know that we have gone to the only One, who could help us in this matter and since it is not His will that we have a child or that I find a wife or husband or whatever, then this helps us in our minds and in our souls to become at peace because it is then not the will of God and we want the will of God.
Let us stop here.