Community Group Study Notes
1. Have someone in your group provide a 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching.
2. How did the story of Hannah bring you hope? Be specific.
3. What does it mean to be seen and heard by God? Why is this more important than any of our present circumstances?
4. How can we look for God’s bigger purposes when we are walking through difficulty? How does this help sustain us in those low seasons?
5. All of us have people in our lives who feel forgotten, perhaps even that God has forgotten them. How can you and I actively look for opportunities to remind them that they are not forgotten? What action steps can we take as a group to be reminders of God’s love to others, especially those who do not know Jesus?
You know, I think maybe one of the most unwelcome emotions to ever have to deal with is feeling forgotten. Have you ever felt that way, where I mean you just felt forgotten? It feels awful, doesn't it? I mean, it's just one of those things where it just feels terrible. And I know over the last 16 months that there've been a lot of people that have been feeling that way in one way or another. It's been a long haul, hasn't it? And there are people that have just felt forgotten. I hesitate to even talk about who those groups of people are, because I'll forget some for sure. But I mean I know just in conversations that I've had over these last 16 months, I mean, they healthcare workers who were regarded early on as heroes, but as everything just continued along and continued along, they started to feel forgotten at that point too. Or law enforcement officers who felt remembered only by the worst behavior of a few, instead of the tremendous behavior by the many. Or the single adults who during this timeframe have really struggled because there was a lot of people that although they were isolated they were isolated with family, and some single adults were isolated by themselves, and felt forgotten. Or young people who struggled to think about is anybody thinking about how we're having to learn, and how we're having to do all the things that we're doing, and it's not easy, right? And maybe they felt forgotten. Maybe it's been senior adults who have already struggled with feeling alone. Who've struggled every day with feeling sometimes forgotten, and then they're isolated and they feel more so. Or maybe it's been people of color who have over the course of this 16 months through the prism of their unique experiences at times felt forgotten. Or maybe it's parents who've felt forgotten because their work is requiring this of them, and they've got kids at two different schools, and the schools are requiring different things for the kids, and trying to put all that together it's like, has anybody thought about us? Or maybe it's even pastors who I've talked to, some who have wept with me on a phone, and I felt like their churches forgot that they were human, and that they experience the sadness, and emotional distress, and heartache, of all of this just like everybody else does. I think in every corner of our community it would be fair to say that people have felt forgotten in some way, shape, or form during this timeframe. And you know what I know about feeling forgotten? Is that it crushes hope. It really just wants to do this to hope. But I wanna tell you that today I'm not here to crush hope, I'm here to offer some, that's why we're together today. That's why when we worshiped together today, there is nothing like it John said it perfectly, there's nothing like when the body of Christ is together just worshiping God. I mean, it is a beautiful thing to be a part of the corporate voice of all of us being able to put our hope and our trust in God. And so today I'm offering hope and it's old hope, and that's what our series is talking about, right? We're reaching back into the Old Testament, and we're finding these stories, and we're allowing them to speak hope to us. Because as Paul said in the book of Romans, he said that these things that were written in the past, right, they are for the purpose of us, not only being able to endure because we see their endurance, but being encouraged by them because ultimately what they're gonna yield in our lives is hope. And hope ultimately will not fail us, it will not disappoint us. And so I want us to travel backwards in time into a time during Israel's life where it's the period where the time of the judges that we looked at last week, the time of the judges is coming to a close. It's before the time of the kings actually starts, so Israel has never had a king formerly at this point, it's the close of the time of the judges. And I want us to look in the first book of Samuel, 1 Samuel, if you're looking in the Old Testament, if you're finding your place there I would encourage you to do that because we're gonna be in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel. So whether that's in a book that you have in your hand, or whether that's a device that you have, or maybe you're grabbing one from a back somewhere, or looking on with somebody who's next to you, I wanna encourage you to see this for yourself in 1 Samuel. We're gonna be about in the 11th century BC, which is the time of the close of the time of the judges. And I wanna introduce us to a woman today whose voice is going to speak loudly to us. And her name is Hannah. We meet her in 1 Samuel chapter one in the very opening verses, and it says this, "There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephhraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite." This is what you do when you read the Old Testament, right? You start going I gotta work on my pronunciations. "He had two wives, one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none." That's a really stark statement to read in an Old Testament book. Just leave that up there for just a moment. The reason it's such a stark statement is because we get to know a little bit about Elkanah, who was married to two women, right? Peninnah and Hannah. Tells us a little bit about him, that he's a person of some means, if he has two wives that means he's able to care for both of them and provide for both of them. But you see childbearing in the ancient world was extraordinarily important for a woman, and even more specifically, having a son was really important for a woman in that day and age. Because when you read a statement like this, Hannah had none, everybody that would have read this in the ancient world would have realized just how stark, and just how devastating this statement was. The reason is because Hannah had none, which means she has no heir at all. It means that she has no family the line of protection in her life. It also means that she has no social safety net for when she gets older. When her husband has already died, she would rely on generally speaking the care of a son, a child that would grow and be able to care for her as a social safety net to some degree. So when we read this at the very end we are introduced to Hannah. And what we find out is that Hannah had no children, and this was devastating for her. So we start off the book of 1 Samuel, and we're introduced to Hannah's heartache. What's interesting about that is it's almost if you were reading it in the ancient Hebrew, it would be an irony of sorts because Hannah's name means favor or grace. And what we learn right from the outset is that Hannah had no children. It seems as if her name is not living up to her situation in this particular instance. And so we're immediately met with Hannah's stark reality, and her heartache. But we start to see her pain even clearer when we keep reading in verse number three it says, "Year after year, this man Elkanah, he went up from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah, and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah, he gave a double portion because he loved her and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah's womb her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. And whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, 'Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than 10 sons?'" You see when we can and you're reading here not only are we introduced to Hannah's pain, but we start seeing it a lot clearer. Now lemme say this, we see Elkanah, who's introduced to us in these first handful of verses, and what we learn about him is this, he's a good man, he loves the Lord. He brings his family to worship at Shiloh, where the temple or the house of the Lord at that time, the house of the Lord was, and he was there to offer sacrifices, he was there to lead his family in that direction. And the scripture is actually very clear in telling us that he loved his wife. In fact I think he actually favored Hannah his wife over the other one, Peninnah. In fact so much so that when they went to the temple to make their sacrifices what the families would do is they would bring the meat to sacrifice, but then they would share in the eating of it. And it says that he distributed meat to Peninnah, and her sons and daughters. It means that she had a bunch of them, right? And then it says to Hannah, he would give the double portion. Now, so that you know the double portion was actually reserved for the oldest son. And so Elkanah was actually breaking the rules, breaking tradition because he loved his wife, Hannah, and he wanted to give her a double portion of the food. But the difficulty is, is that it wasn't really helping. Elkanah, is a wonderful case study of man who loves the Lord and who loves his wife, but doesn't really know how to help her in the midst of her hurt. Can I get an amen. He loves the Lord, he loves his wife. Listen, and he's trying, he's trying, he even breaks tradition and protocol but it's not helpful, right? She's going through grief and she's going through anguish. And he says, honey, here have a second hamburger. It wasn't super helpful but he was trying, right? But even the questions that he was asking her in the midst of her grief and her trial weren't overly helpful either. It wasn't because he was trying to be mean, he wasn't, he was trying to help. But he says to her, why are you crying, honey? Why are you not eating, honey? Why are you so downcast, honey? And she's probably thinking to herself, why are you keep asking me these things? Why don't you understand? Why don't you get it? And his last question he says, "Don't you love me more than 10 sons." Every woman in here is going, no he did not. He's trying but what he ended up doing maybe unintentionally is he made her pain about him. So it's a good reminder for all of us when we walk through some stuff, have you ever known people that when you're walking through things, male or female, you're walking through things, and there are people that love the Lord, and people that love you, and they're trying but it's not really helping. You've probably experienced it. Sometimes it happens when people lose somebody, right? And then people come around, and they start saying all manner of things that they think are helpful that aren't really altogether that helpful. Elkanah was doing the same thing and Hannah as a result was still feeling the anguish. He was trying to help but it wasn't really helping. But Elkanah was the least of her problems because she had Peninnah, Elkanah's other wife. And Elkanah's other wife Peninnah was actually intentionally hurting Hannah. By the way side note, reason number 524 why polygamy is a bad idea. Peninnah is intentionally trying to hurt, Elkanah he loved her, he was trying to help her, he was trying to be good to her. Here, honey, have another hamburger, that's not what's helping. Honey, don't you love me more than 10 sons, that's not really the point, I do love you, but that's not really the point, right? But Peninnah she's firing some darts right at the heart of Hannah. Could you imagine some of the insulting things that she would say? I mean, you just gotta think about it, right? They're all living together, and she's probably thinking, and saying out loud things like this, whew, so many mouths to feed, and Hannah's just over there by herself. Peninnah is saying to herself, oh God, you've blessed me so much with all these kids. I wish you would give me an extra set of arms because I've just gotta carry them all, they're everywhere. And Hannah's just over there by herself, she had none. Maybe it even got to where she kind of starts to really personally dehumanize Hannah, and make her feel extraordinarily bad. Hannah, honey, she starts speaking down to her, Hannah, honey, could you give me a hand over here? I am overwhelmed with the kids, and it's not like you've got anything going on. Could you imagine being Hannah? She was crushed in spirit. She was grieving, she was hurting. But even in the midst of all of that Elkanah who loves her, and is trying to help but it's not helpful, and Peninnah who's intentionally trying to hurt, and is hurting her so badly in fact that she's saying things that cause hannah to be in a place where she can't even eat. Have you ever been through something so difficult, so hard, so overwhelming that you just lost your appetite, you didn't wanna eat? That's where Hannah was living. But her issue was not so much Elkanah, her issue was not so much Peninnah, her issue was something more. The thing that was really, really digging into her heart more than anything is feeling forgotten. Not forgotten by Elkanah, he didn't forget her. Not forgotten by Peninnah, she certainly didn't forget her, but forgotten by God. Listen to her words as she begins talk, and you see her actions, here's what it says in verse number nine, "Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh", when they had gone up to worship, right? "Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord's house. And in her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow saying, 'Lord almighty, if you will only look on your servants misery and', say it with me, '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, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'" I mean this is a remarkable thing, in her deep anguish what she's doing is she's turning to the Lord in prayer. And in her deep anguish she's praying, and Eli, who is the priest is sitting near the door of the Lord's house. And Eli he sees her lips moving, but he doesn't hear any sound. It's really quite an extraordinary thing. He sees her lips moving but doesn't hear any sound. Listen to what the text actually says verse number 12, it says this, "She kept on praying to the Lord and Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart and her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, 'How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.' 'Not so my Lord', Hannah replied, 'I'm a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman. I've been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.' And Eli answered, 'Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.' And she said, 'May your servant find favor in your eyes.' And then she went her way and she ate something, and her face was no longer downcast." It was a remarkable thing as she prays, and she's praying in a place where Eli the priest can actually see her, and she's mouthing things but there's no sound, her voice can't be heard. Now some of you are just simply thinking when you read that, well, she's just praying silently. We do that sometimes, we just pray silently. Maybe she was. But I have a tendency to think it's a little more than that. Because what the scripture actually does is it centers her grief, it centers her anguish, it centers how distraught she is. And if in fact there was a psychologist that was reading this passage of scripture, they might say what she was experiencing was psychogenic dysphonia. What that is is when your throat there's nothing mechanically or anatomically wrong with your voice, but you're so overwhelmed with grief, or so overwhelmed with depression that not much more than whisper can come out. Some of you may have experienced that before, where you've been so overwhelmed by emotion that not much can actually get out even though there's nothing wrong. I haven't tendency to think that's more what was going on here because the scripture keeps pressing in how grief stricken, how in anguish she was. And as she's over there praying, Eli sees her and he's like, great, we got another drunk one over here. Now he's probably seen that before, right? He's probably seen people who've been out on a bender, and then they want to figure out how they can get right with God. And they show up to the temple, and they're still not sobered up, but they're kinda talking and doing whatever they do, and Eli's like, oh, I've gotta deal with this again. And he says to her, you gotta stop pouring yourself some wine, lady, and sober up. And she says, sir, you misunderstand. The only thing that I've been pouring is my soul out to God. The only thing that's been pouring from me are my tears. I'm not a wicked woman, I'm here pouring out my anguish before God. And Eli says, okay, may God grant you what you've been praying for. And then she says, may I find favor in your eyes. And she went away encouraged, and she went away and ate, and she went away and her face was actually changed. And then what happens to her in verse number 19 and 20, it says, "Early the next morning they arose, and they worshiped before the Lord, and went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant, and gave birth to a son. And she named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the Lord for him.'" It's a really beautiful picture here because the Lord remembers Hannah even in the midst of her grief. And she ends up having a child, and she names the child, Samuel. Samuel means or sounds very much like the Hebrew for heard by God, because the Lord heard her. And so what she ends up doing as the chapter finishes is she weans Samuel. And it takes probably a few years, probably about the age of three, and then she delivers on her promise that she made in her prayer. Lord if you'll give me a child I'll give him back to you. And she delivers him to Eli there to minister in the house of the Lord. It's really a remarkable story, ain't it? And what we see is we see a remarkable woman, Hannah. Her voice speaks so loudly in the pages of scripture, and for all of us to be able to hear, what we see is we see her faithfulness to God even in the midst of such great difficulty. We see that she's a woman of prayer, even though it feels God may feel distant, God may feel like he's not there, she just continues to press in in prayer. We see that she doesn't start giving insult for insult, right? When penance insults her we don't have a record of her insulting back. Even when Eli says you're drunk, she speaks respectfully and doesn't reply insult for insult. She even doesn't disrespect her husband Elkanah, even though he's not helping, he's trying, and she gives him the benefit of the doubt for trying, and she's not disrespectful about the fact that he's trying to help even though he's not being helpful. She is a remarkable woman that is worthy of both our admiration, and our emulation. But what I want us to see as well in this are three truths that I'm gonna pull out of this story that are gonna give us hope, hope for the circumstances that we all find ourselves in. And here's the first one, that being seen and heard by God is more important than our present circumstances. Being seen and heard by God is more important that our present circumstance. You know what's interesting is that I was struck by Hannah's prayer. We read it just a few moments ago, and I was struck by what she said. Look in verse 10 and 11 again in your text, it says, "In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow in her praying 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.'" What us stunning prayer. I'm thinking to myself as I read that, that the reason for her anguish is that she's childless. So the reason for her prayer is to have a child. But in her praying the very thing she's praying for she's willing to give up. Wow. So in essence she's saying this, God, would you please give me a child, and if you do I'll give him back. That it is a remarkable thing because for Hannah, listen to this, for Hannah the most important thing to her was not her present circumstance of childlessness, because functionally she was saying give me a child, and I'll give him back and I'll be childless again. Her present circumstance of childlessness was not the most important thing to her. The most important thing to her was that God heard her, and God saw her. That's what mattered to her more than anything in the world. Eli, he couldn't hear her when she prayed, but God did. Elkanah he asked to be something in her life, don't you love me more than 10 sons, he asked to be something in her life that only God could do, and he did. And in fact when God blessed her with a child what did she name him? God has heard me. It is remarkable that what we learned from this is that it is better for us and more important for us to be seen and heard by God than it is to give way to our present circumstances.
Have you ever been in a spot, it may not be the same spot as Hannah, maybe a different spot, or it could be the same spot as Hannah, but have you ever just been in one of those spots where you were crying out to God, where you wanted God to do this on your behalf, or you want to God to help you, and you were asking him seemingly for the same thing over and over and you were in great anguish? Maybe you felt forgotten. God, do you hear me? Do you know that I'm here? Can I get like an Amazon drone to make it to you with my address on it so that you know what I'm going through? Maybe you've been in that spot before, I have, I've been in a really lonely, dark spot before. And not just one. We've all probably been in those spots. And do you know what for me ended up being able to get me through that? There are sure when we plead before God, and then God just meets us right there, and answers our prayer, and what a blessing that is, isn't it? Don't you thank God when the woman who couldn't have a child gets to have a child, that's a beautiful thing. And sometimes God does that for us, and other times not so quick. And in those moments it's when God speaks and says this, I see you, I hear you, I've got you, and that is enough, that's enough. That sometimes what has gotten me through certain seasons where God may not have done exactly what I wanted him to do. He didn't do exactly what I'd asked him to do yet but God had reminded me I see you, I hear you, and I've got you, and that is enough. You see for Hannah being seen and heard by God was more important than the present circumstance that she was walking through, that should give us hope. But lemme pair that with something else that's going to give us hope, and it's this, that God's purposes are bigger than us. This will give us great hope when we begin to think about it, that God's purposes are actually bigger than us. You know what, Hannah wanted to have a child, right? And she did not have a child. So we might ask, well, why didn't she have a child? Well, the text that we read answers the question, right? Verses five and six says it very plainly, "Elkanah gave to Hannah a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. And because the Lord had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her and trying to irritate her." You caught it, right? The reason she couldn't have children is because God had closed her womb. Now you may be asking the question just like I was when I look at the text, well, why did God closed her womb? And here's the answer, because God's purposes are bigger than just her. I don't know what God's doing all the time. What I do know is that God's purposes are bigger than just us. So he blesses her by the way, opens her womb, she has a child and she gives the child back to God, but she could not have foresaw what God was going to do, in the bigger picture she couldn't have foreseen this. God was going to do something bigger than just her having a child and giving that child back. Listen in fact when you get to chapter two it says this, it says, "But Samuel was ministering before the Lord." So she given him to Eli, right? And he started to grow and serve in the presence of the Lord with Eli the priest. "He was just a boy wearing a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him a little robe, and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice." Probably got this cute, little robe, she's goes, hey Samuel, I'm back this year, here's something. "Eli the priest would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, 'May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for, and gave to the Lord.' Then they would go home, and the Lord was gracious to Hannah." You remember what I told you her name meant, favor and grace. "The Lord was gracious to Hannah, and she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord." Could she have ever foreseen the fact that she could not have children, that her wound was closed, that God opened her womb, and she had prayed, God, if you'll give me a child, I will give him back to you. And God gives her a child, and she makes good on that, and gives the child back, and then you know what God does? Gives her five more kids. Beautiful, isn't it? It's absolutely beautiful when you look at it because God's purposes were actually bigger than just this one event. But the child that God gave her, the first child that she said I'm giving back, Samuel, she probably did not fully put all of these things together in terms of what would happen because God's purposes were much bigger. You see Samuel her son would go on to anoint a king named David. Samuel would clean up the ungodliness in the priesthood that was happening. Samuel would be both prophet, priest, and judge, foreshadowing the one who would come, the Messiah. I don't know that when Hannah got to praying as deeply as she did, that she foresaw all that God was going to do in this process. It's amazing that God's purposes are so much bigger than ours, and when we are tapped into him in prayer even if it's through a difficult situation, God's at work in ways that we could never explain. I read a prayer letter that was given out by the Billy Graham Association. It was actually when Dr. Graham was alive, and he was out a prayer letter to so many people that supported and prayed for the ministry that he was involved in. And in this particular prayer letter he was telling the story of an African woman who had come to faith in Christ. Now, I don't know for sure if she came to faith in Christ at one of the Gram meetings or whatever, but she came to faith in Christ, and so did her children. So now you've got this mom and her kids who've all come to faith in Jesus, and she was a praying woman. And she had a husband. The husband was not from a Christian background. The husband was not happy about what had been introduced into their home. He was not only not happy, but he was extraordinarily angry to the point of he was actually plotting to kill his wife and his kids. And so thinking about how he could actually accomplish that and justify it, and he thought if she tried to steal everything I had that would justify me being able to take her out. The kids would be in on it with her, and I would be able to do all of these things. Now where they were in their culture they had a set of keys, and those keys had everything. Keys to the bank, keys to unlocking the deed for everything that you had, keys to whatever automotive vehicle you might have have, keys to the home, they were all on this key chain, and right there was the source of their whole life. And he thought I can blame her for stealing my keys, and then she won't be able to produce the keys, and I'll have justification to have done what I would do. So he's concocted this plan, and he's on the way to work, he concocts this plan, he's walking over a bridge that's at the headwaters of the Nile river where they were, and he took his key chain, and he threw all of his keys in the Nile and off they go. He goes to work and then heads over to the bar because he's gonna get nice and drunk before he shows up that night, and he's gonna do the deed to his wife and to his kids. I mean I'm reading this and I'm just going, what is happening? Of course, the wife is just a praying woman. And she's also a woman who is taking really good care of her family. And she goes out as she did weekly, and she went to the town, the village, the market, and she begins to buy some things for their family to be able to eat. She buys some vegetables, and she buys fish, and she comes back to her home. She opens up the fish, and she's gutting it. And she pulls out a key chain, she realizes it's hers, her families, she washes it off, says, Lord, I don't know what's going on but thank you. Puts it back on the key chain holder. A couple hours later drunk husband walks in the door, start screaming at the top of his lungs, you've stolen my keys, you've tried to steal everything, that's it I've had it, where are my keys? She walks to the key chain holder, she takes them off and she hands them to him. And by his own testimony in this letter he sobers up immediately, he falls to his knees and he confesses that Jesus is Lord. With her praying my friends, with her praying it was so much bigger than her, it saved her family, it saved the generations of family that would be coming from those children. God's purposes are so much bigger than us. Now, how much did Hannah know that? She had to know it to some degree but did she know it in large degree how much God was going to use what she did in that context? I don't know, but we have some hints that maybe she did know that God was going to work in bigger ways than she imagined. Even if she didn't know what those ways were going to look like. Because what we hear from Hannah in her last words that we read about from her we hear her prayer, her song, listen to what she says, it's in chapter two beginning in verse one, it says, "Then Hannah prayed and said, 'My heart rejoices in the Lord, in the Lord my horn is lifted high.'" Listen carefully to these words brothers and sisters, I'm gonna show you something in a minute. "My mouth boasts over my enemies for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the Lord, there is no one besides you, there is no rock like our God. Do not keep talking so proudly, or let your mouth speak such arrogance for the Lord is a God who knows, and by his deeds are weighed. The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has born seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away." Do you hear her talking about these great reversals? "The Lord brings death and makes alive, he brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth, he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the Lords, on them he has set the world. He will guard feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails, those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The most high will thunder from heaven, the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed." Not only is she praying from the wells of the spirit of God, that's overcoming here, and talking about the great reversals that God can make, right? But she's also prophesying in the very last statement there about the king. There were no Kings in Israel, and yet she's talking about one. Hmm. Maybe she did know that God's purposes were so much bigger than she realized, bigger than her. You know what's interesting is after this song, this prayer that she prays, we don't hear anything else from Hannah. We don't get another word from her. Not in 1 Samuel, not in 2 Samuel, not in the rest of the Old Testament. And by the way she doesn't even get a mention for the rest of the Bible. But I wanna make sure you understand something, her influence is still felt. Here's how I know that, because a thousand years later, you did catch that part, right? A thousand years later there is another young woman who has a miracle baby and dedicates it to the Lord, her name was Mary. And she's so overwhelmed with what God does that she begins to sing a song of prayer. And what does she base that song on? All together now, Hannah. Listen, it's recorded for us in Luke one, "Mary said, 'My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed for the mighty one has done great things for me, holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation. He's performed mighty deeds with his arm, he scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from the thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.'" It's a remarkable thing because 1,000 years later, Mary is influenced by very prayer and song of Hannah. Because what Hannah did is she understood that it was more important to be seen and heard by God than what her present circumstances said to her. And she also knew that God's purposes were bigger than just her life. And as a result 1,000 years later, she is influencing the prayer of the mother of the Messiah, that she may have indirectly prophesied about in her prayer. What? It's astonishing, isn't it? You know what's interesting is Hannah's pain is early, Mary's is later Hannah gave her son up when he was young, Mary watched her adult son be crucified and buried. But that tomb where he was buried much like a barren womb, , where only dead things dwell and no life emerges, suddenly becomes pregnant life as the son of God rises from the death. And the son of God now initiates the great reversals that Hannah and Mary had been praying for. Death becomes life, the poor become rich, the lost become found, the weak become strong, the old becomes new, the barren becomes fruitful, the forgotten are remembered, this is the great news of the gospel, and it's because God's purposes were way bigger than Hannah's pain. When that begins to settle in us, that God's purposes are bigger than our individual circumstances, and they're bigger than us, life changes for us. These truths give us hope. That being seen and heard by God is more important than our present circumstance, that gives us hope. That God's purposes are bigger than just our thing in our lives, that gives us hope. But lemme just drop this last piece of really practical hope on you, it's this, the God who remembered Hannah remembers you. There are people that need to hear that, the God who remembered Hannah, remembers you. You know the God over, and over, and over again, kept telling his people Israel this truth. Listen to what he said, it's in Isaiah chapter number 40 some odd, 44, who cares about the address I want the truth. Listen to what God says, "Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant Israel, I will not forget you." Listen to what God says in Isaiah chapter 49, "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you." This is incredible, isn't it? That we get the opportunity to see these things spoken of. By the way, if you go to the New Testament, you're reminded that the church now carries forward the promises that God wouldn't forget Israel, and he will not forget his people the church, listen to what Romans chapter number nine says, chapter eight, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we face death all day long, we're considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I'm convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." In Jesus God remembers you. In Jesus God has not forgotten you. You can always rest assured that the God who remembered Hannah remembers you. So write this down if you want a take away, just write this statement down, when you remember that God has not forgotten you, hope lives. When you you remember that God has not forgotten you, hope lives. And that's what I wanna breathe into every single one of us today. That because of what God has done in Jesus in remembering the world, "God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever would believe in him would not perish but would have everlasting life." God hasn't forgotten those of us who've been marred by sin. God hasn't forgotten a world that is spinning out of control, and God hasn't forgotten you individually. And you can rest assured that when you put your faith in Christ, God in Christ always sees you, God in Christ always has his face toward you, God in Christ could never forget you. The same God who remembered Hannah remembers you, and you don't even have to send him your address, so you can trust him just like she did. Let's bow our heads together. In a moment we're dismissed, and thank you for your kindness and your listening ear. If you're here and you've never yet put your faith in Jesus, I want you to know this, God sees your need, and know that you haven't. The Bible says that, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death." In other words, we're all in a bad spot because we've all sinned, but God knows our need, and he's rescued us in the person of Jesus Christ who came, who lived sinlessly and who stood in our place to die our death so that we could live his life. He took upon himself the sins of the world so that God in his justice would judge the sins of the world rightly. But he has also given us the opportunity now by faith in him to have our sins forgiven because of his death and ultimately his resurrection. God has remembered the world, God has remembered salvation, God has remembered you. And when you your faith in Christ, your life can be made new, your sins can be forgiven, everything can go from death to life. And if you are here in this place, and you've never before in trusted your life to Jesus we'd love to talk to you about that, how to receive Jesus. When we dismiss in just a moment you can come straight across the atrium into the fireside room, we'd love to talk to you about that truth, and we'll hope you'll do it. If your listening online, watching online, listening on the radio, you can go to the chapel.com/knowingJesus, to find out more about how you can have a relationship with Christ. Father I pray for each of us because every one of us has gone through things, will go through things, or are presently in the middle of something. And we need this truth to bring hope into our lives. That knowing that you hear us and you see us that's more important than just our present circumstance. And we're still gonna pour out our hearts to you, but we know this, that what we're walking through your purposes they're bigger than just us. So would you help us to align ourselves with you so that we see the world the way that you see it. And may we remember that you God, the God who remembered Hannah, you are the God who remembers us. Thank you for that beautiful truth that we cling to, and we hope for through Jesus Christ our savior, and all God's people said, amen!