- Sermon Notes
When Delivery is Delayed
1 Samuel 1:1-20
Happy Mother’s Day!
Intro – A little late.
This morning we will open to 1 Samuel chapter 1, where we are introduced to a woman named Hannah whose deepest desire had yet to transpire. Her life was going in a different direction that she had hoped. The way she though things would look were looking quite differently. She had hoped and prayed that God would give her a child, but the delivery of that which she desired, was delayed. Year after year she would pray, but year after year there was no change. In Hannah, the Lord was doing a deeper work, and while she had to wait, what we see is that the Lord wasn’t just working out her situation for good, but for great.
Her story gives us insight and a great example of the way to proceed when the delivery of our desires is delayed.
Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
As we begin this chapter, we see that Hannah is hurting while Penninah is blessed, which only brings great turmoil to Hannah as she was taunted and provoked by the one who had been given an abundance of the very thing she desired. Her husband would try to fill the void by giving more of what he could to Hannah, but whatever he gave simply would not do.
Hannah’s inability to let go of her deep desire for a child was all part of the Lord’s purpose and plan, and no matter how hard her husband tried, it could not be fulfilled or forged by anything other than God’s hand.
Hannah was being given a double portion, but it wouldn’t do, it wasn’t what her heart desires and so she turned to her proper portion, the Lord and it was in Him she would confide. This is a powerful picture for you and I when delivery is delayed. So often we can turn to the hands of man to make a way. Allow a double portion of something temporary to fill us up, but what we need to see and seek, is what is supplied only through God’s hand.
For Hannah, no other plan or hand would due…for me and for you this is an important place to come to at all times, but particularly when there is a delay in delivery of our deepest desires. Those seasons and situations can be obstacles, but those obstacles are also opportunities to draw us to the place we may otherwise have never come.
Problem on Pain… C.S. Lewis, God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
I. Persist Toward the Proper Portion
1 Samuel 1:4-7
- Year after year, as they headed to the place of worship, Hannah was provoked and reminded of what was lacking in her life.
- The deep desire she had was all a part of the Lord’s plan for her, the child she would have would be a part of the purpose for which she had been created.
- Each time Elkanah would sacrifice to the Lord, he would give portions of the sacrifice to Penninah and her children, but to Hannah, he would give a double portion.
- It seems that the offering being given was a peace offering, since they were eating a portion of the offering (Lev. 7:11-18). The scene was anything but peaceful, however.
- Elkanah was giving a double portion to Hannah in front of Penninah. This seems to have bothered Penninah as she would then provoke Hannah, but Hannah would be so upset, she would not eat…
- Regarding Hannah, Elkanah thought that he could potentially be the solution to what was causing her pain.
- In verse 8, he even asks her a question, “Why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than 10 sons? vs. 8″ …Hannah did not respond.
- While marriage is an incredible union, established by God, there was a destiny in store for Hannah, her coming son was a part of purpose for which she had been created, she could not let it go.
- Had Hannah looked for the affirmation of people in her affliction, she would have missed out on making the Lord her only portion. Her husband tried, gave her a double portion of food, but it wasn’t enough.
- In short, her husband was not better to her than 10 sons…Why? Because the son she was seeking was part of God’s plan.
- So easy it is to assume when others are struggling that we can make it all better for them…Or when our heart is hurting, or our life is lacking that the weight of the burden can be lifted by a person, the plan of man, by busying ourselves with a position, or pursuing a double portion of what will satisfy temporarily.
- There are places where the Scriptures use metaphors to describe God and our relationship to Him. God is described as our rock (Psalm 18:2), refuge (Ps. 46:1), stronghold (Ps. 18:2), shield (Ps. 18:2), shepherd (Ps. 23), light (1 John 1:5), fortress (ps. 18:2) to name few…But one powerful metaphor for God is as our portion.
- The Hebrew word for portion is “Cheleq” which is inclusive of portion, share, award, territory, inheritance. This term is found 68 times in the Old Testament.
Psalm 73:26, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 142:3-5, When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; for there is no one who regards me; there is no escape for me; no one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion…”
Lamentations 3:24, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks Him
Illus. I can’t eat that stuff, because I have had the real thing.
- If you let portions, or double portions of the things of this world to satisfy you, it will keep you from getting to place whereby the Lord can bring about His will and plan, whereby He becomes your portion and you trust him to be more than enough.
- Seek before you speak
- There is much Hannah could have said.
- Well, since you asked…No, you aren’t more to me than 10 sons. Hannah could easily have spoken out against Penninah and torn her down because Elkanah seems to have loved her more.
- He gave her a double portion from the sacrifice, this was obvious and for all to see…
- Instead of retaliating or finding ways to get back at Penninah, Hannah went to the place of prayer. She decided to seek the Lord before speaking to another.
- There is a great lesson here. Many people find themselves in a difficult dispute or in an unjust situation. Some respond by trying to hurt others with their bitter words, but Hannah did not allow herself to go there.
- Where you go when you’ve been brought low is critical in your pursuit of God’s best in your life.
Jeremiah 17:7-8, But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
- If you put your hope in the Lord, drawing near, and drawing from Him and His word, you’ll be like a tree who sends it roots out to the water…always bearing fruit!
- Where you draw from will direction what you lean into.
Luke 6:27, But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Hebrews 12:14-15, Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
- In the Bible we are told to draw near to the Lord, and when we draw near, He responds to us by drawing near to us (James 4:8). He is the well we draw from. A wellspring of forgiveness.
1 Samuel 1:11
- “Lord, if you give me a son, he will be yours.”
- Year after year that Hannah was provoked, to the point of weeping and a loss of appetite.
- Though her appetite was gone for the things of this world, her hunger for the child God would increased all the more. No doubt she had prayed many times, but it was at this time, that her prayer would be answered.
- The Lord heard her prayers each time she called upon Him (Psalm 34:17, 69:33; Proverbs 15:29), yet this time her heart was in line with His divine plan that her son would be given to the Lord all the days of his life.
- As she prayed year after year, it seems that the Lord was waiting for her alignment with His assignment.
- What this means is that the circumstances she was in, were driving her to a place she otherwise would have never been.
Illus. All ears.
- He could change the circumstance, and He did for Hannah, but prior to His doing so, there was a place she would need to get to.
- B.Let your situation bring about greater dedication
1 Peter 5:6, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.
- There are times where the Lord wants to do something larger than your prayer.
- Sometimes the Lord allows extended seasons of waiting so that we might be drawn to a place we otherwise would not have come.
Illus. Crying out.
- Often times, my prayers grow and change. And as I get before the Lord I am reminded that my prayers are not about getting the Lord to do my will, but about getting me in line with His will.
1 Samuel 1:11
- The delivery of her desire was delayed, but it was a divine delay. She was waiting on the Lord, but so too, the Lord was waiting on Hannah.
Isaiah 30:18, Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.
Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
James 1:17, Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
- Hannah kept her vow to the Lord, and what was delivered remained dedicated to Him. Hannah took that which already belonged to God and gave it an even greater dedication.
- Hannah remembered that the delivery of her son was in response to her prayer nine months prior. She dedicated what He delivered trusting that is was a part of the purpose in His plan.
- God was wanting a man that would change the nation and allowed Hannah’s prayers to be delayed until she was ready to trust God completely by dedicating her son to the Lord fully.
Would you allow your current situation to bring about greater dedication?
1 Samuel 1:1-20
Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there. When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. She made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” Now it came about, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.” But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.”