“Ordinary Offerings” [Risky Faith]
Texts: 1 Samuel 1:1-28
May 5/6, 2012
Pastor Matt Erickson
And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if You will only look on 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.’ (1 Samuel 1:11)
In the Midst of the Ordinary:
- Ordinary Times – the time of the Judges; “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25)
- Ordinary Politics – “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12)
- Ordinary Circumstances – “There was a certain man…whose name was Elkanah…He had two wives…Year after year this man went up from his town to worship” (1 Samuel 1:1-3)
- Ordinary Challenges – “One wife was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Penninah had children, but Hannah had none” (1 Samuel 1:2)
- Ordinary Heartaches – “Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her” (1 Samuel 1:6)
God Does Extraordinary Things:
- Extraordinary Prayer – “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly” (1 Samuel 1:10)
- An Extraordinary Vow – “And she made a vow…” (1 Samuel 1:11)
- An Extraordinary Response – “Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him’” (1 Samuel 1:17)
- An Extraordinary Gift – “So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel” (1 Samuel 1:20)
- An Extraordinary Faith – “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27)
- What is the most important gift that you’ve ever given to someone else in your life? Why was it so important?
- We continue our series, “Risky Faith,” this week with a focus on Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel. We will look at 1 Samuel 1:1-28. Read that portion of Scripture out loud.
- Who are the main characters in this Bible story, and what is the main source of tension between the characters?
- What is the source of Hannah’s great heartache? What is her first action from that place of heartache? How does she relate to God in her heartache?
- How would you describe Hannah’s time in prayer as described in verses 9-16?
- Have you ever had a time when you have approached God in prayer like Hannah? What was the situation? What happened?
- Why do you think Hannah responds so positively to Eli’s simple words in verses 17-18?
- What happens between the time Hannah returns home to Ramah and the conclusion of this story?
- If you were Hannah, how would you feel about responding to God in fulfillment of your vow with your child? (It was most common at this time that children were weaned at ages 3-4.)
- Identify one specific way that you might make an ordinary offering back to God in your life. Write it down, reflect on it, and put it into practice this week. If you are in a small group, discuss this with one another.
Next week we will look at the story of Jesus and Peter from Matthew 14:22-36. Let God prepare you for next week by reading it ahead of time.