Daughters of Grace Series: Hannah
Last week we continued a study from the Daily Grace Co. called Daughters of Grace. We talked about Ruth, her story, characteristics, and what we can learn from her life. This week we are talking about Hannah. Hannah's story can be found in 1 Samuel chapters 1-2.
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1. What do we learn about God and His character in the life of Hannah?
God is faithful to those who have faith in Him! This is a theme we see time and time again in the stories in the old testament, but I love that in Hannah's story we see that her faithfulness leads to God fulfilling her prayers. She honors God in her request for a child and God sees that and answers her prayers. 1 Samuel 2:2, Hannah thanks God for His faithfulness and how He will always be our rock! This story also shows what a great listener God is! He really does answer our prayers. It doesn't matter who you are, what your background looks like, how you speak... if you just talk to God He listens! Hannah wasn't even actually speaking aloud to God but He still heard!
2. What character qualities, positive or negative, do we see demonstrated in Hannah's life?
- a barren wife- this isn't so much a character quality about Hannah as it is just something important about her that we should note. During this time, wives were had mainly to have children. To be barren would have almost felt like you were failing as a woman! This is something I think many women who struggle with infertility today still feel, though it is so far from true! The fact that Hannah was barren and was taunted by her husband's other wive made her feel shame and anger.
- angry- As I said above, the taunting Hannah endured taunting from her husband's other wife for not being able to have children. I cannot imagine my husband having another wife, let alone that wife taunting me over something I was already so sensitive about! It makes sense why Hannah got angry. But, she decided to turn to God during this difficult time and turn her anger into prayer and devotion to Him.
- focused- Hannah became so intent on what she wanted, and knew that God was able to answer prayer! She focused all of her feelings and energy into praying AND praising God! 1 Samuel 1:5 says that Hannah "poured her soul before the Lord". That is some serious focus and intention!
- obediently faithful- Not only does Hannah's story display great faith, it shows this humble obedience in Hannah's faith towards God. Hannah knew what her heart most desired, but she also desired to show God her trust and obedience through her season of waiting. Not only was Hannah faithful in her trust for God to answer her prayer, she was faithful when Samuel got older and she kept her word to God.
- kind/respectful- This whole story just shows the excellence in the way Hannah spoke and carried herself, even in trying circumstances! For example, when Eli thinks that Hannah is drunk, Hannah is able to still handle the situation in such a graceful manner.
- grateful/a worshipper- Hannah immediately praises God for answering her prayer and we have a lament from Hannah to the Lord in 1 Samuel chapter 2. Not only was Hannah grateful for her answered prayers, she turned her waiting into thankfulness and desire for the Lord to consume her every day life and thoughts. She praised God continuously, even in her waiting!
- trusting- Hannah spoke victory over her situation before she ever knew that God would bless her with a child. She never doubted that God could or would answer her prayer, and she put all of her trust in Him!
3. What can I learn from Hannah's story that I can apply to my own life?
- There is purpose for the season you are in. You can pray and praise even in your waiting.
- God answers prayer. There is so much power in our prayers! Not only is it important that we pray, but that we are persistent in prayer. 1 Samuel 1:15 says that Hannahs "poured her soul before the Lord". She left it all on the table in her prayers, she continuously and fervently sought out God to remedy her pain.
- Even if the answer is wait or no, God is still good and is still faithful. We can praise God in all circumstances!
- Keep your word. Hannah made a big promise to God that she would give her son as the Lord's servant if she were able to have one. When she finally had that baby boy and he was older, she had to keep that promise. It would not have been an easy promise to keep but she knew that she had to keep her word and God honored her for doing so and blessed her with several more children. Ecc. 5:5-6 talks about the importance of keeping a vow before God!