Preaching Notes
By Pastor Chris Matthis for
The Purification of Mary and Presentation of Our Lord
February 3rd & 4th, 2019

Text: 1 Samuel 1:21-28

“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD” (1 Sam. 1:28).

Q1. What in the world would convince a mother to give up her only child to the foster care of a priest instead of raising him at home?


Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, had two wives // Sister Wives on TLC?

(While the Bible only explicitly prohibits polygamy for pastors (and where it’s in violation of the law of the land [Rom 13:1-10]), polygamy never goes well: jealous rivalry, resentment, headaches).

Hannah – barren

Peninnah – had children & would abuse (“provoke”) Hannah

Hannah prayed in the “house of Yahweh” (Tabernacle):

“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head” (1 Sam. 1:10-11).

Eli the priest wrongfully accused of her being drunk because she prayed to the point of exhaustion so that “only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard” (v. 13). But she was “pouring out [her] soul before the LORD” (v. 15). Cf. Psalm 62:8.

God answered her prayer!

“And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the LORD’” (v. 20). FYI: the name Samuel means “God hears.”

In Hannah’s Prayer (1 Sam. 2:1-10), she praises God for answering her prayer, giving her salvation, reversing her fortune, and showing up her enemy (rival wife). FYI: This song has strong parallels with Mary’s Magnificat and may even be the partial inspiration for it.

Which brings us back to question…

Q1. What in the world would convince a mother to give up her only child to the foster care of a priest instead of raising him at home?

A1. Hannah kept her promise to God.

A2. All firstborn sons were dedicated to Yahweh (Exodus 13). They could be redeemed, but in her thanksgiving, she “lent” him to the LORD instead.

A3. Hannah knew that “our” children aren’t really ours. They belong to the Lord. And we will have to give an account for how we raise them.

Hannah kept her vow to the Lord, but she didn’t give up on Samuel. In fact, she visited him every year and gave him new clothes (2:19). And God blessed her with six more children (v. 21).

Q2. What do we learn from Hannah?

A1. If you make a vow to the Lord, you must keep it (unless it’s sinful: e.g., Jephthah’s tragic vow). Cf. Psalm 116:14.

A2. We can’t necessarily bribe or bargain with God in prayer, but he DOES want to hear us!

“You do not have because you do not ask” (Jas. 4:2b).

Jesus: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8).

Jesus: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”
What does this mean?
“With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that we are his true children and that He is our true Father, so that we will ask with all boldness and confidence as dear children ask their dear father” (SC).

A3. We will have to give an account to God for how we raise “our” children. Do not neglect teaching them God’s Word and Christ’s forgiveness (word and deed). Cf. Eph. 6:4; 2 Cor. 12:14; Deut. 6:6-9; Prov. 22:6.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him” (Ps. 103:13).

God showed his compassion by giving us HIS firstborn Son, his “only-begotten Son” (John 3:16) to die on the cross and be our Savior. And because of Christ’s sacrifice, God listens to our prayers and answers us. Like Hannah, we can pour out our hearts to the LORD, because we’re not just spitting in the wind. We’re praying to the God of heaven and earth, the one who gets things done and makes things happen. He does it all for you!