Presentation on theme: "Intro: Coping with unfulfilled desires Why would God give us desires and then leave us to live with these desires unfulfilled? Why would God make us live."— Presentation transcript:
Intro: Coping with unfulfilled desires Why would God give us desires and then leave us to live with these desires unfulfilled? Why would God make us live so often with hope deferred?
Hannah’s Pain : Hannah’s Story reflects the anguish of her unfulfilled desires: Hannah was miserable, she deep soul pain, She would cry out aloud, Very Very Deep Pain, enormous pain, roaring with anger and grief, bitterness of Soul, Constantly wept Aloud: why:??? Because she was childless Need to understand the context: Economic Status, Emotional ( 4 out of 10 survived)..starved to death, future security, labor force, bigger tribe would colonize the smaller, it was a matter of life and death, it was a matter for survival. So women with lots of children are considered heroes and with no children are considered worthless. They were worthless in their own eyes, in everybody’s eyes,,,in short they were a DISGRACE. Women’s significance came from having many children If you build your life having children then you will crush your children, under the weight of your expectation, if … romance, then you will do everything to please your wife or husband, if you build your life around your career, home, possession. Then….destroy you.
Hannah’s Pain : Hannah’s Story reflects the anguish of her unfulfilled desires: The only way to escape the idolatry system of any particular culture is to make God more important than anything else, is to make your relationship with God more important than anything else. Penniah’s taunt, Elkanah’s lack of understanding. Perhaps the most difficult thing that Hannah faced was to come to grips was that “the Lord had closed her womb.” Twice we’re told that her problem came from the Lord.
Hannah’s Response : God uses unfulfilled desire to drive us to Pray Peninah represents the hope of a collectivistic society, I have children and you don’t have, build your identity around children, Sociological hope, Elkanah offers her the Psychological hope to build your hope around romance. I love you my love is more important than having many children , “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. Hannah was greatly distressed. But she does this with humility. She recognized God’s greatness, calling him “the Lord of Hosts.” Twice she refers to herself as “your maidservant. "At the heart of this prayer is a vow.
Hannah’s Response : God uses unfulfilled desire to drive us to Pray Hannah vowed to set apart her son to the Lord all the days of his life. It sounds a bit like Hannah was bargaining with God: “If you do this, I’ll do that.” Have you ever bargained with God? “God, if you do this for me, I’ll give away half my salary.” The misconception behind that posture is our thinking that we really have something to bargain with, something God wants but can’t have. That’s foolishness.
Hannah’s Response : God uses unfulfilled desire to drive us to Pray 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 (verses 12–13).How is that for Spiritual leader’s compassion! Poor Hannah! First, she has to deal with Peninnah’s jibes. But she defended herself, not in an angry or proud way, but in a very respectful, humble way: 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” (verses 15–16).
Hannah’s Learning But Hannah’s story isn’t quite as simple as a prayer being answered. God used Hannah’s unfulfilled desire to deepen her walk of faith. The answer to Hannah’s prayer (the birth of her son Samuel) was not what brought her out of depression. Why did she need a son: Theological, take part in the salvation of the world Did you notice that? It’s not like she was desperate and depressed and then she prayed, and then God answered her prayer and she became happy. Look again at verse 18. After Eli prayed for God to grant her petition, the narrator says, “And she went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” Before this encounter she wouldn’t eat, but now she eats; she joins the celebration. Before this encounter she wept bitterly and her heart was sad, but not anymore. It’s like the whole matter was settled in that moment for her inwardly. And all of this happened before her prayer was answered. Why? Son was the end and God her means and role reversal
Hannah’s Learning Hannah also learned something about the way God works. In that same song she said, “The bows of the mighty are shattered, but the feeble gird on strength” (2:4). She learned the life-changing secret that God’s power is demonstrated in our weakness. Human strength is shattered. In verse 5 she adds, “Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes.” She learned that God had a purpose for her unfulfilled desire: to bring her to a place of utter helplessness. That’s a hard place to be, but it’s only when we come to that place we can begin to rely on and experience the strength of God What brings you to that place of reliance? God says to us as he said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). This can be our experience as well. Our unfulfilled desires can deepen our own walk of faith. We look up and see God and how he works in a new light, and that brings peace even before our desire is fulfilled.
Hannah’s Learning There’s one more thing I want you to see here about Hannah’s unfulfilled desire. God used Hannah’s unfulfilled desire to accomplish purposes beyond her wildest dreams. Hannah’s vow represents a turning point in Israel’s history. The birth of her son was a crucial hinge on which Israel’s future swung. In his lifetime, Hannah’s son Samuel would cleanse Israel of idolatry and establish David as king. But in order for that to happen, Samuel would need to grow up in the unique environment of the house of God at Shiloh, mentored by Eli the priest. Here’s the deal: if Hannah hadn’t been brought to that place of desperation through her unfulfilled desire, she never would have made the vow to give her son to the Lord. In the midst of unfulfilled desire, we don’t always see the bigger picture of what God is doing. But make no mistake, God is always doing something. God is fulfilling his purposes, and his purposes are good.