Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Moms and Friends Learn From Hannah

The neighborhood ladies returned today to learn lessons from Hannah, in I Samuel 1-2:10. Hannah chose wisely when she married a godly man in Elkanah, but I cannot imagine being one of TWO wives! These ladies in India couldn't either. Dealing with the proverbial mother-in-law issues is enough, but another wife? The other wife, Penninah, was blessed with both sons and daughters, and she didn't let Hannah forget it. Hannah was barren. Her heart ached for a child. In those days there was quite a stigma attached to being barren -not honoring your husband with a son. This still exists in Asia, especially China, where daughters are killed or abandoned in favor of sons. But Hannah trusted in God. She did not retaliate Penninah's meanness, but took her sorrow to God. Every year for Passover, Elkinah took the whole family to Shiloh, where Eli was high priest. Elkinah tried to comfort Hannah in her sadness by giving her a double portion for the sacrifice, but he just didn't get it. Every year Hannah had to listen to Penninah thank God for all her wonderful little blessings, when she had none. She was so distraught she couldn't eat the fabulous festival foods. She returned to the tabernacle to cry out to God. From the depths of her heart, she prayed and unloaded her burden on a God who cares. She promised that if God would grant her the desire of her heart, she would give her son to Him in service all the days of his life. He would be raised a Nazerite - one set apart for God, who would not drink wine, and no razor would touch his head. Eli, the priest, could see her there -her lips moving but no words coming out. He jumps to the conclusion that she is drunk and calls her down for it. Hannah doesn't tell him what she was praying about, only that she was indeed sober, just heavily burdened. Eli tells her that God has heard her and would grant her petition. Her burden eased since she had left it with God, Hannah begins to eat and feel better.
After returning home, she loved her husband, and nine months later she welcomed the desire of her heart! She named him Samuel, "heard of God." She stayed home when the others went to Shiloh for Passover until Samuel was weaned. Then, she prepared to return him to God. Can you imagine giving up the desire of your heart once you finally get it? Keeping one's vows in those days was very important, and Hannah did just that. After he was weaned, she took Samuel to Eli. She had made a little robe and ephod for him. Every year when she returned, she gave him a new set of clothes she had made for him. Samuel grew up to be a wonderful servant of God, a priest, a prophet, and a judge. She gave heartfelt thanks to God in a beautiful prayer. God granted Hannah more sons and daughters, honoring her great sacrifice in giving her son back to Him.
The moms can learn many lessons from Hannah, like being a woman of prayer and taking your burdens to God. Like not returning mistreatment for mistreatment, and keeping your promises. Like being a woman of good moral character. All children are God's, and are to be loved, nurtured, and cherished, and should be raised to serve God their Father. For most of these women, this is a strange concept, but they do want to raise their daughters to be of good moral character.
Hannah lived thousands of years ago and yet she faced many of the same issues these women face. I am thankful we have the women of the Bible to learn from.
FOr snack today, I made a cheese ball and crackers.

Shred 2 cups of cheese. I used cheddar and Gouda. Reserve 1/2 cup for covering. Mix one (room temperature) package or tub of cream cheese, 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Refrigerate till cold. Roll in a ball, then roll in the remaining shredded cheese. Refrigerate until serving. Serve with crackers.
 Today the ladies started making their rope baskets from rope and fabric strips.

 We used 6 meters of rope, and tore strips across the grain about an inch wide.
 We used a tapestry needle to thread the loops together.
We'll finish up next week.

1 comment:

  1. Like the baskets. Praying here. Love your blog.