Sweet Surrender

Introduction: Today we go to 1 Samuel and we read the recording of the life of a woman named Hannah.  Hannah was the wife of a man named Elkanah.  Elkanah loved Hannah his wife very much but Hannah was unhappy because she had no children.  In those days it was unthinkable to a woman if she could not bear children.  We will see how Hannah prayed, trusted, and fully surrendered to God just as we should.  In doing so God led her and those around her into a destiny that she could never have even dreamed of.  By studying the life of Hannah, we learn the importance of living in full surrender to God, ever faithing, trusting and believing in Him.  Our decisions do not only have an effect us alone, but the lives of those around us and more so than we can see.  In reading about the life of Hannah, we will learn how the decisions of one woman come to have a great impact in a specific way on the lives of all of Israel.  Not only the citizens, but that of their kings as well. 

Handout: Sweet Surrender

Let us go now to 1 Samuel Chapter 1 beginning with verse 1.

1 Samuel Chapter 1

1. Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:
 2And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
 3And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.
 4And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
 5But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
 6And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
 7And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
 8Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
We know from reading the story of Adam and Eve, that God placed them in the earth and told them to be fruitful and multiply or to have children and populate the earth.  (Genesis 1:28)

 As stated above, in Hannah’s day even more than now, it was unthinkable and considered a curse if a woman could not have children.  We see here that Hannah is so troubled and provoked by Peninnah Elkanah’s other wife.  Perhaps Peninnah was jealous because Elkanah loved Hannah so much we do not know but we see that Hannah is distraught over this whole situation.  Elkanah does not understand and asks Hannah why are you so upset, why do you weep, am I not good to you, better to you than ten sons?  
 I’m sure Hannah loved her husband as well and was thankful of his affection toward her, but she wanted a child so much, it was always on her mind and in her heart.  Have you ever had a desire or dream that seemed as if it would never come to pass?  It hurts deep in ones soul to long for something that seems impossible.  However, we know that with God, ALL things are possible.  Hannah knew this and she knew that God was the only one that could help her and fulfill the dreams that he had placed in her heart.  Hannah has some different choices.  She can just become bitter in her heart and blame God that she cannot have children and go on in her life in misery.   She can listen to her husband and just try to forget her dream of having a child and just try to go on and be happy anyway.  Or she can submit herself in surrender to God and his will and she can ask of the LORD to grant her a child and trust him to answer her prayers.  Let’s read on and find out what Hannah chooses, beginning in verse 9.
9. So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
 10. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
 11. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
 12. And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.
 13. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
 14. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
Hannah chooses to go to God and ask him for a child.  She knows that He is her only hope of having a child.  She tells God that if he will give her a son, that she will give him back for service to the LORD all the days of his life, once he is weaned.  Hannah makes this vow to the LORD perhaps because God touched her heart to do so.  God had a plan. 
We see that Hannah humbled herself before the Lord.  She did not demand of the Lord, instead she was open and poured out her heart to God humbly asking for a child.  She knew that a child was a gift from God and she acknowledges that by telling God that she would give him back for special service to Him all the days this gift would be alive.  She was so engaged in prayer in her heart that only her lips moved but no sound was made.  Eli the priest sees this and assumed she was drunk and tells her to stop drinking wine and sober up.  Reading on we will see how Hannah responds to Eli’s accusations.
15. “And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
 16. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
 17. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
 18. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
 19. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.
Hannah tells Eli that she is not drunk, that her spirit is sorrowful and calling out earnestly to God.  Eli tells her to go in peace and God grant her what she has asked.  Hannah goes on her way, she then eats and she is happy.  Why is this?  She is no more sad because she put her faith in the LORD.  She trusts that God has heard her prayer and that he will grant her request for a son.  When you pray earnestly for something asking God, do you humble yourself before him as Hannah did in surrender to his will?  Do you trust and faith in Him that he has heard and will answer? 
Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive.”
John 16:24 “Hither have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please HIM:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hannah trusts the Lord with her heart and we know that God’s promises are true. 
20. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.”
Time passes and God remembers Hannah and he gives her the son that she has asked for.  How happy and what rejoicing must have taken place in her heart and in the heart of her husband.  She remembers her prayers and names the baby Samuel because she has asked God to give him to her.  God is so faithful to us, if we only would always trust him and place all of our faith in him.   God wants us to be joyful and happy.  How it must have been joy to his heart as well to see Hannah with her son, and in knowing the plans he had for them.
21And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.
 22But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.”
It comes time again to go offer the yearly sacrifice to the LORD but Hannah stays behind with her son, because she knows that soon she will be taking him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh to remain there forever in service to God.  How time must have flown by as she had so much joy with her son.  She must have treasured each and every second with the little one.  However, the time did come for her to honor her vow to God and give her little son back to God.  She would take him to Shiloh and leave him there. 
Vows to God are a serious thing.  What is a vow?  A vow is a promise, a binding obligation toward God.  She had made this transaction between herself and God which dedicated her son to be of service to God for the rest of his life.  We see in other scriptures in the word where people made vows to God.  (Genesis 28:20; Judges 11:30) It was to be honored.  It was not taken lightly. 
Deuteronomy 23:21 “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy god will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.
Ecclesiastes 5:4 “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”
Have you ever made a promise to someone in a moment when you really thought you would do it but then when the time came, your feeling were very different about it?  It is better to think and not make hasty promises in which you cannot honor.   We must think, behave, and speak wisely first asking God what to do and say. 
We should never make a vow or promise unless we can keep it.  Let’s read on to find out what Hannah does when it is time to repay her vow to God and giver her son back to him. 
23And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
 24And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
 25And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
 26And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
 27For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
 28Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
Hannah honored her vow to God and took the child and gave him for God’s service.  Her husband Elkanah, like Hannah loved God and wanted to honor him.  Elkanah being Hannah’s husband, according to the law, had the power to disallow her to give their son back to God.  He could have said no, and Hannah would have been forgiven of her vow. 
Numbers 30:8  “But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard [it]; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her.”

Elkanah as well as Hannah wanted to honor the vow that Hannah made to God.  God had graciously granted them a son and he had a plan for Samuel as well as the two of them.  Can you imagine how you would feel if you had to take your only and very young child somewhere and just leave him there?  Hannah could have been saddened by this, she could have gotten bitter thinking that she only had him for a little while, but Hannah delighted herself in the Lord. 
 1. And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
 2. There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
 3. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
 4.The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
 5. They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
 6. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
 7. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
 8.He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.
 9. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
 10. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
Instead of being sad or bitter about being away from her son, Hannah rejoices in the LORD with her faith and trust still strong in HIM.  She knew that God had a plan and could take much better care of her son than even she could.  She understood that God is our creator and that we belong to him.  She understood that we all have a free will of choice but it is wise to choose the ways of the LORD because He is love and that is where peace lies.  Blessed be the name of the LORD. 
Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the  desires of thine heart.”
18. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
 19. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.
 21. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
We see that God blessed Hannah and Elkanah getting to see Samuel ministering before the LORD knowing that God would be with him always and bring him into great service for HIM.  Hannah also made a little coat every year to take to him.  God also blessed Hannah and Elkanah later with three more sons, and two daughters.
God is not slack concerning his promises and when we honor him with our lives in surrender to Him, He will do more than we could ever have imagined.  You can never out give God.  He truly is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.  True surrender comes from love, trust and faith in HIM, not trying or expecting things in return.  True surrender is out of praise and worship and thanksgiving and faith in the one that is the giver of life. 
God was always with Samuel and in reading and following the recording of his life, we see that he did great service for God and God used him to do great work in Israel.  I’m sure he was thankful that his mother prayed for him and then honored her vow before the Lord. 
1 Samuel 2:26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

1 Samuel 3:19  And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

1 Samuel 7:15  And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.

Just like with Hannah, God will honor you and I when we surrender our will to Him and follow his paths.  Through Hannah’s prayer, faith, obedience, and through her surrender to God many people’s lives were touched and blessed as well as hers.  We see that Samuel is not only a prophet of God but that he is a judge many years and his decisions affect the people of all of Israel.  We also learn in later reading that God uses Samuel to anoint David as his chosen King of Israel.  Samuel also was a counsel to Saul, the King of Israel before David. 

This is a valuable lesson.  Hannah’s life and decisions had an impact on many lives, not just hers alone.  The same is with you and I.  What you and I do,  how we serve God can affect the lives of those around us more than we even realize.  What if Hannah had chosen to be bitter about not being able to have children and what if she had not went to God and trusted and surrendered to Him.  What would have happened if she had just decided to keep Samuel with her and not honor her vow to God.  What if Elkanah her husband decided to disallow her to honor her vow to God?  There would be no Samuel.  His brothers and sisters would not have been born.  Every life that Samuel impacted, every person that God used Him to minister to would have been changed.   Hannah and her husband would have probably lived unhappy lives and then just have died away. 
This  is extremely profound when you just start thinking about how important it is to obey God and surrender to him.  Of course God don’t need us to fulfill his plans, he could have worked it out some other way, but what a blessing in the lives of Hannah and all those that were touched just by her surrendering her will to God and trusting Him.  Others suffer when we disobey God and when we sin, just as others are blessed when we are obedient in surrender to our Heavenly Father.

It is so important to surrender to God and his will for our lives.  God has a plan for us just as he did for Hannah, and for Samuel.  Only when we surrender to God and let him lead and guide our lives, are we happy and fulfilled in a way that we could have never even dreamed of. 

We have a wonderful Father that is pure love and we can trust that.  It is not a hardship to serve God, it is not binding to surrender fully to God, it is blessing, it is an honor, it is true freedom.  What a privilege to follow in the paths of our righteous, Holy Father which is Love.  We learn true peace, joy, wisdom and so much more that enriches our lives and the lives of those around us when we fully give all of ourselves to God in Sweet Surrender.
Reminder:  Remember to love and serve one another in the attitude of Christ.
Dear Righteous, Heavenly Father,
Thank you for yet another week to worship and praise You most Holy.  We thank you for who you are and for what you have done and continue to do.  We thank you that you are Most High and that You can do all, that you know all and that you are all.  We thank you that you have protected us and our families yet another week.  We thank you for your many blessings.  We thank you that your Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts and that you lead us in to the paths that are best for our lives and for the lives of those around us.  We thank you for your word and that we can read, study and learn from the lives of those therein. 
We thank you that Your Holy Spirit speaks to us and shows us what to do and that you always make a way for us to obey.  We ask you Father to help us to fully surrender to you in all things.  If there are any areas in our lives that our flesh has trouble with surrendering, we ask that you teach us and take hold on those parts and help us to submit to your will joyfully and to surrender all that we are and all that we have to you because we understand that all is truly yours.  We thank you for the things you have given to us to bless our lives and the people that you placed in our lives to love and to love us and we ask that you help us be a blessing to others.  Help us to wake everyday with the desire to go out and to help others in ways that you would have us to.  Thank you again for loving us and for always being with us and never leaving us.  Help us to always remember that obeying you is best and that our decisions not only affect us but those around us.  Thank you for your grace, mercy and understanding.  We ask that you protect us and those we love yet another week and that you help us to be a light so that others will come to you.  We will ever praise, worship and give all honor, which is due to you…In Jesus Sweet, Holy name we ask and pray…AMEN.  GOD Bless You…


December 14, 2008