The Seed That Changed Things

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Hannah is one of my favorite Bible characters. 

She was suffering under the burden of childlessness in a culture that equated such as a sign of being accursed.

So you can understand why Hannah desperately wanted a child. . .she prayed. . .she wept. . .she pleaded but no baby until she made a memorial offering.

We will also discover how Hannah’s faithfulness brought revival to her nation.

Hannah’s memorial offering was a precious seed.  Her seed was most valuable to her in all the world.

And, yes, her precious seed changed things for her and the church.

1)   Hannah Sowed Grace To A Provocative Person.

1 Samuel 1:2,6-7 in the New King James Version says:

And he [Elkanah] had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children.  But Hannah had none. 6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.”

Oh that the church was filled with perfect people.

However, the church is populated by imperfect people.

I am bone weary of unnecessary provocation.

Peninnah was having validation issues.  She probably felt insecure because Elkanah clearly loved Hannah more.

What provocation are you willing to ignore as a seed for the sake of the move of the Spirit of God?

2)    Hannah Continued To Love An Insensitive Person.

1 Samuel 1:8 in the New King James Version says:

Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

I am not fond of this man.

Insensitive people seldom if ever know they are.

Elkanah was content in his love for Hannah.  Why couldn’t he just be enough for her?

After all, being married to a cool dude such as Elkanah must have been more exciting and better than having 10 sons.

I have learned something critically important:  How you say something is often more important than what you say.

What words will you choose more carefully as a seed of revival?

3)   Hannah Sowed The Seed Of Promise.

1 Samuel 1:9-11 in the New King James Version says:

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

Every Christian needs to know the difference between vows and faith promises.

A faith promise contains the caveat, “I will do this as the Lord enables me to do it.”

A vow simply swears before God that something will be done and it’s an absolute.

Hannah offered an amazing sacrifice:  This reproductively challenged woman would give her firstborn son to God and dedicate him under the holiness Vow of The Nazarite.

What precious thing are you willing to sow for the thing you most desire?

4)    Hannah Sowed The Seed Of Respect.

1 Samuel 1:12-16 in the New King James Version says:

And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”  15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”

Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!” (Matthew 12:34).

Hannah made a vow of faith unto God.

The sorrowful nature of her intercession was immediately misunderstood and she was accused of drunkenness. 

Condemnation has long been a problem in the ministry.  The Prophet Eli assumed she was drunk and accused her of such.

Instead of being angry, Hannah spoke respectfully to Eli.

On a personal note, I believe disrespect to be the single greatest problem in the US and it is rampant in the church as well.

What opportunity to sow seeds of disrespect will you forfeit?

5)    Hannah Received Her Promise By Faith.

1 Samuel 1:17-18 in the New King James Version says:

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”  18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.”

Virtually everyone has been touched by the power of God.

Many have received a prophetic promise during a service.

Sadly, many lose the fruit of those moments with God because they do not grasp the fact that active faith is required to keep these anointed moments alive.

Do not miss this powerful New Testament truth, “Internal change will produce external evidence.”

What Seed of godly conduct will you sow for the thing most important to you?

6)    Hannah Kept Her Promise To God.

1 Samuel 1:24-28 in the New King James Version says:

Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.

God is a good bookkeeper.”

How many un-kept promises are hindering your life?

Will you Sow a Seed of repentance over un-kept promises for the sake of revival?

7)   Hannah’s Faithfulness Gave Her More Than A Son.

Hannah’s faithfulness. . .her memorial prayer not only brought her a son named Samuel. . .but a mighty prophet for the nation of Israel.

Her faithfulness brought lasting revival to an entire nation.

1 Samuel 7:3, 4,13-17 in the New King James Version says:

Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.  13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.  15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.”

Pay careful attention to the words in verses 3-4 which is a description of revival.

Verses 13-16 describe four fruits of revival:

Verse 13  Enemies subdued by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 14  Entire cities restored to the Kingdom of God.

Verses 15 & 17  Powerful leadership installed and maintained.

Verse 16 Revival was maintained in a “circuit” of locations.

Can you stir your faith to believe God will produce a lasting result through our efforts here?

May I suggest we begin to look at each seed we sow as precious.  We should never let seed sowing become routine.

When you seed hits the good ground soil of a church or a ministry like ours. . .a spiritual dynamic is released in the earth.

Look at it. . .expect it. . .as you await the manifestation of your harvest.