Crossroads: When It Seems As If There’s No Hope – Hannah

1 Samuel 1:1-20

Stats about Hannah

• Wife of Elkanah the Ephraimite
• Mother of Samuel, who was raised in the Temple by Eli the priest- Samuel was a great prophet who anointed Saul and David as kings of Israel

My Story

When I was 11, my world came crashing down. My mother and stepfather were divorcing, my church was breaking, and I didn’t have any friends at school. I felt as if things would always be this way—that there was no hope of anything being different. It was a very hard year for me. But then, suddenly, things began to change. A new girl moved to our school and we became best friends. The last several months of my 6th grade year were much better since I had this new friend. I saw that things would not always be hard, that good things would come too. Soon after the school year ended, my new friend moved. I never saw her again. But she had reminded me that hope is not lost when things seem bad, that we can trust that things will get better. I moved on to middle school and made new friends, but I’ve never forgotten the friend that reminded me to hope.

Your Story

Tell your family about a time when you felt you had no hope. How was your hope renewed? Be mindful about the details you share with preschool-age children.

The Bible Story

Hannah’s story is one of hope. As a childless woman, she felt that she wasn’t as valuable to her husband. She was heartbroken that she didn’t have a child, but she never gave up hope.

Ready 1 Samuel 1:1-20 in The Message.

“There once was a man who lived in Ramathaim. He was descended from the old Zuph family in the Ephraim hills. His name was Elkanah. (He was connected with the Zuphs from Ephraim through his father Jeroham, his grandfather Elihu, and his great-grandfather Tohu.) He had two wives. The first was Hannah; the second was Peninnah. Peninnah had children; Hannah did not. Every year this man went from his hometown up to Shiloh to worship and offer a sacrifice to GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies. Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, served as the priests of GOD there. When Elkanah sacrificed, he passed helpings from the sacrificial meal around to his wife Peninnah and all her children, but he always gave an especially generous helping to Hannah because he loved her so much, and because GOD had not given her children. But her rival wife taunted her cruelly, rubbing it in and never letting her forget that GOD had not given her children. This went on year after year. Every time she went to the sanctuary of GOD she could expect to be taunted. Hannah was reduced to tears and had no appetite. Her husband Elkanah said, ‘Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren’t you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?’ So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to GOD’s Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to GOD and cried and cried—inconsolably. Then she made a vow:

Oh, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies,
If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,
If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me
By giving me a son,
I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.
I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.

It so happened that as she continued in prayer before GOD, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, ‘You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!’ Hannah said, ‘Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to GOD. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.’ Eli answered her, ‘Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.’ ‘Think well of me—and pray for me!’ she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant. Up before dawn, they worshiped GOD and returned home to Ramah… Before the year was out, Hannah had conceived and given birth to a son. She named him Samuel, explaining, ‘I asked GOD for him.’”

Discussion

Ask your children if they have ever been in a situation where they felt like they couldn’t win—like they had no hope. Talk about that situation and what it means to hope in God even when things are bad. Remind them that God is always there for them and that they can have hope no matter what, because they know that God’s love will win in the end.

Prayer and Action

• Thank God that He is always there for us. Ask God to shine His love in the places where you or your family struggle with hopelessness. If you feel hopeful, then pray for those who feel like they have no hope.
• Think of other people in the Bible who felt like they had no hope. Find ways to give hope to your family this week or bring hope to others, such as helping someone when they need it, bringing dinner to a sick or elderly neighbor, listening to others when they are having a hard time, etc.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email