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Birth of Samuel

Stock Code: eikon_1118
God answers Hannah's prayer

Picture descriptions:

Scene 1: Peninnah mocking Hannah as she has no children
Scene 2: Elkanah trying to comfort Hannah by saying that surely he is greater than 10 sons
Scene 3: At the temple, Hannah is praying earnestly while Eli assumes she is drunk
Scene 4: Hannah assuring Eli that she was praying from her heart to which Eli wishes her God'sblessing
Scene 5: In due time, Hannah is delighted to give birth to Samuel
Scene 6: As she promised God secretly, Hannah gives her son over to Eli to serve God in the temple

Lesson points:

Life in Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim should have been straight forward and uncomplicated - but this was not the case at all.The culture was very different from modern times. Elkanah had 2 wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had given him children,but Hannah had not - which brought great shame and burden. To make matters worse for Hannah, Peninnah would cruelly mockher year after year, causing her to weep and avoid eating. With good intentions (but lack of sensitivity!) Elkanah offered 'support' tothe wife he loved most by asking if he was not greater than 10 sons. She struggling with her complicated and unfulfilled life - it wasa matter for prayer. (Spiritual application: Sometimes prayer can be our last resort when things are difficult - it should be our first!).Hannah in reality was receiving no help from the places she could expect it - her home, her husband - surely she would get help ata place of worship... but as she kneeled in the temple to pray earnestly, the old man of God, Eli, jumped to conclusions and accusedher of being drunk with wine. Poor Hannah. (Spiritual application: Judging others is not something that we should do) But Godhad heard the despairing cries of Hannah as she prayed and He would not let her down. When she explained to Eli that she hadbeen praying from her heart, he realized that she was faithful in giving her secret burden to God. As Hannah left the temple, shealso left behind the weight and pressure of anxiety. (Spiritual application: Hannah found that leaving our problems and situationsbefore God will free us from the burdens that we needlessly carry.) Her devotion to God would come with great sacrifice. She hadpromised God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God to serve all his life in the temple. In due courseSamuel was born. Hannah refrained from visiting the temple for the next few years as she weaned her child. Then when the timewas right, she fulfilled her promise to God and brought Samuel to the temple. Eli was reminded of the woman who had prayedwith such feeling years before. Now the answer to her prayer was standing before him and would be his helper in the temple.Surely God had plans for this child!

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