Friday, August 7, 2015

A Changed Countenance

O. T. #573  "A Changed Countenance"
August 7, 2015
1 Samuel 1


My heart goes out to Hannah, for our family experienced a barrenness of ten years. There were many painful times during the wait for the baby who came. but our countenance changed when she arrived and we held her joyfully. This blessed baby had some excited grandparents on both sides of the family, plus parents! Hannah's countenance changed during this first chapter. Find out what happened to cause it.

Elkanah was a Levite who had two wives, barren Hannah, and Peninnah, who gave him sons and daughters. This devout Hebrew went up yearly to worship at Shiloh at the tabernacle. Israelite men sojourned three times a year there for the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 34:23). Elkanah was keeping the requirements of the sacrificial laws of God.
Elkanah persistently and faithfully lived righteously and worshiped God from the heart. (Falwell)
He gave portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah he gave a double portion for offerings. He loved Hannah and the Lord chose to keep her barren. Obviously it was not the right time for Samuel to be born. Can you imagine the strife, resentment, pride, and jealously between the two women?

Children were very important in that society. It would have been a social embarrassment for her husband while Hannah remained childless. She was often obligated by ancient Middle Eastern custom to give one of her servant girls to her husband to bear children for her. Although he was permitted to divorce her, Elkanah remained lovingly devoted to her despite social criticism and his rights under civil law. (Life Application Study Bible)

We have the advantage to be able to can see that God was moving along with His plan. However, Hannah could not.

Are you struggling with God's timing in answering your prayers? Are you helping others struggling? Will you encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith and confident in His timing to bring fulfillment to their lives?


Verse 6-7 says, Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the LORD had kept Hannah from conceiving. Hannah wept and would not eat. (Life Application Study Bible)

Have you ever been so burdened about a particular situation that you cried and dis not eat? That is a heart that is deeply cracked open and hurting. Her husband noticed and asked her why, but he could not understand.
Have you been so discouraged to the point that you were physically sick and could not eat?

What does Hannah do?
  • She brought her problem honestly before the Lord by praying. (verse 10)
  • She was broken-hearted, weeping with many tears. (verse 10)
  • She made a vow, pleading to the Lord, praying sacrificially. (verse 11)
  • She acknowledged God as being the LORD of Hosts, the Sovereign and Superior God.
  • With humility, she acknowledges that God can choose to hear her prayer.
  • Hannah pleaded that the Lord would take notice of her, being His servant, and her affliction.
  • She asked Him to remember and not forget her.
  • She asked that God would give her a son. 
  • If He did, then Hannah would give him to the Lord all the days of his life and his hair would never be cut. (Nazarite vow)(verse 11) 
Now, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's tabernacle. (verse 9)
He watched her lips as Hannah prayed silently. He thought she was drunk and scolded her.
What was Hannah's response?
  • She denied having any wine.
  • She admitted that she was a woman with a broken heart.
  • She asked the priest to not think of her as a wicked woman.
  • She shared that she was praying from the depth of her anguish and resentment.
Realizing his mistake Eli blessed Hannah with peace and God granting her request. She left and ate, no longer looking despondent. The priest's words were encouraging. Her hopelessness turned into hopefulness. Hannah's countenance changed, for she was no more sad. Her faith would soon come to sight, holding a baby boy in her arms.


Lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus, trusting Him to take care of them in His time.

Encourage others while they wait for answered prayers.

Pray sincerely, broken-hearted.

Be assured, the Lord Jesus hears and understands and intercedes to the Father for us.

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