HANNAH: shame to honor

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 



Main idea: God took Hannah’s shame and gave her honor

Magic: shame to honor magic



ME granddaughter Hannah Love

  Dedication, spoke on Hannah in Bible


TRANSITION  Turn to 1 Samuel 1


Bible people went through same problems we go through

1 Samuel 1:1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphitea from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

Lineage: Levite by geneology

Location: Ephramite (25 mi no of Jerusalem, Dead Sea)

        Also called Arimathea – where Joseph from

        Priests lived & ministered among the people

                 Kohathites given towns in Ephraim


2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

Culture: #1 wife barren, marry another woman

        JUDGES: people away from God

                 Had to have sons to assure posterity, name

        PENINNAH, #1 wife cursed, looked down on

  HANNAH: middle age, old enough to prove to be barren, then new wife 2 has many children

        Seen as rejected by God GREAT SHAME on her

3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord  Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord .

  MEN required to go to Jerusalem 3x year for main feasts

  Elkanah faithful, consistent, obedient through whole life

  ELI godly priest but poor father, didn’t discipline sons

        Greed, immorality, hypocrisy rampant everywhere

        God replacing them


4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.

  FELLOWSHIP OFFERINGS – thank God for His mercies

  Gave some to all

  – like we give money to children to put in offering plate


5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her,

    Loved wife # 1 best (not fair to wife 2)

She was empty  5b

and the Lord  had closed her womb.

  LORD had closed her womb GREAT SHAME on them

        SARAH barren until God gave Isaac

        RACHEL barren until God gave Joseph

        MANOAH’S WIFE barren until God gave Samson

        ELIZABETH barren until God gave John


HANNAH: chosen by God for sorrow

        – to show His greatness later

  “Hannah” = ‘grace’  ‘favor’

  – mockery for clearly rejected by God!

        Still offered Thank offerings to God!

      Hannah’s love for God clearly seen!


She was Exasperated – v.6

6 And because the Lord  had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

  Jealous of husband’s favorite first wife – shows favoritism, she rejected

        Like Leah felt to Rachael

  Not right to provoke her, take her hurt our on Hannah!

HANNAH didn’t respond in like manner

  Higher position but doesn’t use it to get back, hurt back

        If gave her son Elkanah never marry Peninnah,

                 so no problem there, either

        Gentle when provoked – godly characterisitc

        SENSITIVE to rival despite own hurt

        HANNAH’S LOVE for others




She was Exhausted – v. 7

7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord , her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.

NOT EAT: fasting?  Misery?  Both?


8 Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

Husbands insensitive to wives’ pain – should have listened,  hurt with her     

    Instead said what too many husbands say, “what’s the problem – you still have me, babe!”

         “You’ve got me – what more could you want?”


        HANNAH no children

        ELKANAH seeing Hannah hurt, other wife mistreat

        OTHER WIFE hurt by rejection despite many child


Application  Just because you’re living a godly lifestyle does not mean that you will escape pain

This was not one of those shallow; I better make it look good, prayers. These prayers came from deep within her soul

9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up.

  SHILOH = 15 miles north, where Joshua erected Tabernacle

        All males went 3x year: Tabernacles, Passover, Firstfruits

  TABERNACLES current feast – celebrate God’s provision & blessing of His people

        Mockery to Hannah – God not prosper her

                 Elkanah pray for fruitful crops

                 Hannah pray for fruitful womb




Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord ‘s temple.  10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord . 11 And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord  Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord  for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”

HANNAH prayed this every time there but never an answer – this time overheard by Eli

        Faithful despite prayers unanswered – gets more fervent, not less

        HANNAH’S LOVE for God stronger than heartache, questions

        Prayer must be decisive, specific, to the point

  LORD ALMIGHTY = “YHWH of hosts” – over all powers

  REMEMBER ME = and act!


  SERVANT HANNAH still trusts God,

        serves God no matter what

GIVE HIM … NO RAZOR = Nazarite Num 30 (Samson)

        – perhaps thinking of his mother

ALL the days – whole life, usually Nazarite vow temporary


        HANNAH dedicates child to God

12 As she kept on praying to the Lord , Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”


KEPT ON PRAYING = long, intense, sincere, not quick short general prayer

             Didn’t quit, discouraged, angry at God or Peninnah, pity self, etc

                   Hannah & Elkanah faithful, consistent, obedient throughout whole life

Allowed own sons to be drunk in Tabernacle – should have corrected them

   My 8-year-old son came home from school with a stuffed animal he had won at the class Valentine’s party.     “How did that happen?” I asked.      “Well,” he explained, “the teacher put all our names together, and then picked one out. I cheated, though,” he said, looking guilty. “I prayed!”

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord . 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Polite, respectful response



17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

HANNAH hopeful, trusting of God

    Not complaining, negative – kept eyes on God, faith stayed strong

Application  Hannah modeled something we should do on a consistent basis
She prayed until she got an answer
A women of faith will pray through a situation

Hannah’s prayers were answered that does not mean that you will given a child like Hannah was just because you prayed for one You will receive God’s provision, one way or another. But it might not be what you thought you asked for I read that one of 6 women who want to have a baby cannot conceive.  The question then become why did God let her wait this long

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord  and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the Lord  remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord  for him.”

EARLY IN THE MORNING best time to worship, start day with worship                                    

         (NOT telling God what to do)

“SAMUEL” = lit “His name is God”,

        adjusted to “asked of God”  HONOR on her

NOT ALWAYS will God give a child (or whatever)

         just because pray – ‘wait’ (Hannah)

‘no’ = then gives strength, grace, provision to go ahead


Application – God will answer us
     God has not abandoned you
     God has not ignored you
     God has not been mean to you
God has reason behind what He does
     You might not know the reason
     You might not understand why
But God does,    e can experience God’s Provision


21 When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord  and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord , and he will live there always.”

HANNAH practical, plans ahead – every time went took clothes, etc.

        No want to burden Eli so wait until nursed, potty trained, old enough to learn

Kept her promise to God

23 “Do what seems best to you,” Elkanah her husband told her.

Husband supported, trusted her – shows love & respect for her

HANNAH earned Husband’s love, respect


“Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.”

Concerned God might take boys life because they didn’t give him to God right away


So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

3 or 4 years old – great time with him but always knew would give him up

    US as parents remember our children belong to God, not us!

24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord  at Shiloh. 25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord . 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord  has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord . For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord  there.

HANNAH kept her promise to God – sacrificial love, service to God   HONOR on her

  Hannah’s love = ‘Hannah Love’ – for God and for son

I recently came across a true story that happened during the Holocaust. Solomon Rosenberg, his wife and their two sons were arrested and placed in a concentration camp. The rules were simple. As long as they did their work, they were permitted to live. When they became too weak to work, they would be exterminated.
Rosenberg watched as his own father and mother were marched off to their deaths and he knew that his youngest son David would be next because he had always been a frail child. Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of hard labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.
One day he came back and didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner sobbing and praying. “Josh, tell me it’s not true.” Joshua turned to his dad and said, “It’s true. Today David was not strong enough to do his work and so they took him away.” Mr. Rosenberg then asked, “But where is your mother?” Joshua could barely speak and finally uttered, “When they came for David, he was afraid and cried and so mom took his hand and went with him.”
That’s the kind of love that Hannah had for Samuel. She was willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of her son. She loved him so much that she was willing to forgo a mother’s greatest joy ­that of bring up her son and having him around her. She was committed to do whatever it took for him to reach his godly potential.

HANNAH  praises God –One of the earliest and most stirring OT poems

        Hannah leaving her 4 year old to be raised by someone else – but still praises God!

MARY had it memorized, identified with it,

        quoted parts of it Lk 1:46-55

                 DAVID also used parts of it  2 Samuel 22

Application:  when you make a promise to God, Keep it


Notice what she does not say, she never brags about how handsome Samuel is, she never talks about how smart he is, or how neat it is that he can say prayers at such a young age. She overlooks the gift and gives all the praises to the Giver of the gift. Her focus is on the Giver not the gift
If you want your kids to learn about God, and to love Him with all they’ve got, it first got to be real in your life

2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord ;

in the Lord  my horn is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

for I delight in your deliverance.

2 “There is no one holy like the Lord ;

there is no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God. …

  5b She who was barren has borne seven children,

but she who has had many sons pines away.

    HANNAH – had many other children/sons (v 5)

  PENINNAH never was happy (v 5)


9 He will guard the feet of his saints, …

10b “He will give strength to his king

and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

‘ANOINTED’ – first OT reference to ‘anointed one’ = Messiah = Christ


Hannah’s love for God clearly seen!




SHAME to HONOR on her

Godly believers exhibit real problems

Godly believers express vibrant prayers

Godly believers experience God’s provision

Godly believers excel at keeping promises


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