The Heart of a Godly Mother
Topic: Mother's Day Scripture: 1 Samuel 1-2
Date: Sunday May 9, 2021 Scripture: 1 Samuel 1-2 Title: The Heart of a Godly Mother
Table of Contents
- Hannah was a godly wife. 4
- Hannah was a godly prayer. 5
- Hannah was a godly example. 7
- She was a godly nurturer. 9
This morning we're going to be in the book of 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel as we talk about the heart of a godly mother. As we come to celebrate Mother's Day this morning, we want to talk about the heart of a godly mother, and we're going to look at this woman who had a godly heart. An amazing mother. And all of us have something to learn from this amazing woman here this morning.
Mother's Day in America has been a national holiday now for 107 years. It became an official holiday in 1914 after a woman named Anna Jarvis wanted to celebrate her own mother. However, after it became a national holiday, it also became a very commercialized day, and Anna then spent the latter years of her life trying to remove it from the calendar because of all of the commercialization of it.
And we're good at doing that in America, right? We take holidays that have special meanings to them, specific meanings to them, and we commercialize it so that it loses all of its meaning. But motherhood in God's eyes has never lost its importance. Mothers are very important to God. Very important. They always have been. And they always will be. Because that's how God has established His created order.
But here in America we have devalued the importance of motherhood. Not just by the commercialization of a national holiday, but in many other ways as well. We have devalued motherhood.
For example, in 1973, abortion was made legal. And since then, over 60 million babies have been aborted. Mothers have not only been allowed to kill their babies in the womb, but they are even encouraged to do so by society. What has this done? Devalued motherhood. It's devalued motherhood. From 1967 to 2017, the percentage of married mothers with children in the home who are now out in the workforce has more than doubled.
In a 2017 study, 2/3 of married women with children in the home, works outside of the home for pay. This is why we've seen the rise of daycares. The daycare on almost every corner now… before we used to see churches on every corner and now we see daycares it seems like. Daycares that are popping up all over the place or as we like to call it…early childhood education. The feminist movement has lied to women. Lied to women and told them that they are only valuable if they have a career. And if they work outside of the home…then you are valuable.
In fact, an article tells of a woman named Shulie Firestone who was a radical feminist in the 1970s who argued that women would never truly be free of patriarchy until they were freed from the yoke of reproduction. She imagined wistfully a day when babies could be created in mechanical uteruses, freeing women from the physical subjugation of childbirth. Her argument was that women became dependent upon men for provision of the necessities of life such as food and shelter-- and excluded from other social functions. But somehow, being a mother would exclude you from social functions in life. She said that this created a first-class division among humans, male producers and female re-producers.
And many women in our country today, many women across the world today have believed these lies.
They believe the lies of these radical feminists, and they have devalued the role that God has ordained for women.
But motherhood is a high calling. Motherhood is a high calling. And Scripture gives us many examples of godly mothers, from Sarah, to Rachel, to Elizabeth, and even Mary. Godly mothers who loved their children and lived the godly life.
But this morning I want to look at it an amazing mother by the name of Hannah. Open your Bibles to 1 Samuel. We're going to be in 1 Samuel this morning and we're going to look at the life of Hannah in 1 Samuel chapter 1 and chapter 2. Now the book of 1 Samuel is all about the life of Samuel and David, two men whom God had chosen to lead Israel back to Himself. You see, at this time in Israel's history, as you open up the book of 1 Samuel… at this time in Israel's history, Israel was in a dark place. They were at a spiritual low point. There were judges who were ruling in the land, and many of these judges were dishonest. Dishonest judges, men and women, who were dishonest.
In fact, back at the end of the Book of Judges gives us a good description of how corrupt the nation was. Sounds very much like America today, but it says this in Judges 21:25.
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
That's what was going on in Israel at the time. Israel was disobedient to God and they were in a spiritual and moral chaos. The judges who were ruling had either initiated, or they had permitted the worship of Pagan gods. The priests, living in Israel, they weren't much better. In fact, Eli was a priest in Shiloh as we will read about this morning. Eli was a priest in Shiloh. And he was there in Shiloh because that's where the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant were located. But this man, Eli, who was a priest, had two sons --Hophni and Phinehas. 1 Samuel 2:12 says
“Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.”
A nation that's in great spiritual decline, and it's at this point in Israel's history…what's going on is in Israel -- it's at this point with the nation, in this state of spiritual decline, that we come upon a godly woman named Hannah. Look at 1 Samuel chapter 1 and verse 1.
“1:1 Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.” (1 Sam 1:1-2)
So here we are, we meet this family. Here's a family…a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramathaim-zophim. Another way that we could say that, or would the way Scripture tells us the name of the city is it's Ramah, and they lived there in Ramah. This man, Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.
And I know many people have this question here about polygamy. Right? It's a man that has two wives. Why did God allow this to happen? Why did God allow polygamy? Well, God never intended for polygamy. This was never His intended plan? He has never had this as His order. In fact, we see from Genesis chapter 2, where it says that a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, not wives but wife. And they shall become one flesh. Polygamy was never God's intention. But He obviously tolerated it. He allowed for it. Now if you look and see polygamous relationships in the Bible, here's the thing that happens with them…they all end in trouble. Why? Because it's not God's ordained way. There's always trouble that comes from this type of relationship, because that's not how God intended it to be. He tolerated it. And He would still accomplish His plan even with sinners who were not always walking in His ways. But it's not His ordained plan.
And so we see here Elkanah and his wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Now it's most likely that Hannah was his first wife. She was his first wife. As we know that she was the wife that he loved. She was the wife that he loved. Look at verse 4 and what it says there:
“When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; 5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb” (1 Sam 1:4-5)
He'd most likely married Hannah first, the wife that he loved. And then he married Peninnah because God had closed the womb of Hannah. Peninnah would be the woman who would be able to give Elkanah children.
And Peninnah knew this. Peninnah knew what was going on here, and she taunted Hannah. Because she was able to have children, but Hannah couldn't. Look at verse 6.
“Her rival, [that is Hannah’s rival] however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat.” (1 Sam 1:6-7)
Here's this woman, Hannah, is barren, not able to have children, the Lord had closed her womb and Hannah is here in a bad situation. As she was taken care of by her husband, but she had to share her husband. And her husband's other wife made her life miserable. In fact, they would go year after year from Ramah, where they lived, over to Shiloh --the place where the tabernacle was, and they would go there to worship. And year after year as they went to go and worship, Peninnah would just continue to provoke Hannah. And Hannah would weep. It crushed her. She would weep and she wouldn't eat because of her misery.
But Hannah was a godly woman. She was a godly woman with godly traits and a godly heart, who would eventually become a godly mother. And what I want us to do this morning is I want us to look at this amazing woman and see what it was that made her the godly mother that she came to be.
We're going to look at 4 traits as we look at the heart of this struggling woman and what ultimately made her a godly mother. Four traits. The first one is this.
She was a godly wife. And it starts here. It starts with being a godly wife. Look at verse 3 and what it says there.
“Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh.” (1 Sam 1:3)
This was most likely the Feast of Tabernacles as they would travel from Ramah to Shiloh. But notice what would happen when they would go on this journey to go to Shiloh to go and worship the Lord. Verse 7:
“It happened year after year, as often as she [Hannah] went up to the house of the LORD, she [Peninnah] would provoke her;” (1 Sam 1:7)
Peninnah would provoke Hannah. Peninnah would use this trip as an opportunity to provoke Hannah and make fun of her for being barren. Peninnah was having babies, but not Hannah. And you would think that after a few years of this happening that Hannah would just give up and stay home, right? “Every year when we go to worship, this woman provokes me. I'm done, Elkanah” [husband.] “I'm not going anymore.” And you could easily hear the conversation with Elkanah. “I'm sorry honey, but I just can't take Peninnah’s harsh words anymore. I just can't go. I'm staying home.”
But what did Hannah do? She went. She went. She went with her husband and followed him in worship.
She followed him in worship, knowing what had happened the year before, and all the things that she went through as she made her way to Shiloh to go and worship the Lord. She said, husband, if you are going to worship the Lord, then I will follow you. And I'll go and worship with you.
And this is something that I hear about more and more these days. Husbands and wives who don't worship the Lord together. Husbands and wives should be worshipping the Lord together. A wife should not be going to a separate church from her husband to go and worship. If she wants to honor the Lord in her marriage, she needs to go with him in submission to go and worship the Lord to the church that he decides on. She must go.
That was Hannah. That was her heart. She was submissive to her husband. And instead of being distracted by the bantering of Peninnah, she stayed focused on her husband and loved him as he loved her. It's as if she learned from the example of Sarah. Listen to what Peter says about Sarah in 1 Peter 3:5.
“For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.” (1 Peter 3:5-6)
Sarah was submissive to her husband. And Hannah had learned from her. That's what a godly woman looks like. That's the heart of Hannah. She submitted to her husband as a godly wife should. And it was that godly submission that prepared her to be a godly mother. How? Because if your marriage is not right before the Lord, your parenting will definitely be affected, right? If your relationship with your husband isn't right, then your relationship with your children will suffer. This speaks to both men and women. Men -- this speaks to you as well. If your relationship is not right with your wife, your relationship with your children will suffer. There will be consequences and it will be affected.
Hannah lived in godly submission to her husband as God calls a wife to be. And being a godly wife would have an impact on Hannah's future daughters in chapter 2 and verse 21. (1 Sam 2:21) It tells us that the Lord gave her two daughters. Those two daughters are able to grow up and have a mother that they could look at and see what it means to be a godly wife. How would they know what it looks like to be a godly wife? Because she lived it out before them. And so Hannah was a godly wife.
Hannah was a godly prayer. Look at verse 9, chapter 1 and verse 9. Look at what it says there.
9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 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 son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”
12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 15 But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” 18 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.
Samuel Is Born to Hannah
19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have” [what?] “asked him of the LORD.”
Now again, think about the bantering that she has taken on as Peninnah would continually mock her for being barren. That's how she had lived her life up to the point that she had Samuel. Dale Ralph Davis [no connection to him] but Dale Ralph Davis in his commentary plays it out for us. And he says this – “We can imagine how it must have been. Peninnah saying “Now do all of you children have your food? Dear me, there are so many of you. It's hard to keep track. Mommy, Miss Hannah doesn't have any children. What did you say dear? I said Miss Hannah doesn't have any children. Oh Miss Hannah, Oh yes, that's right. She doesn't have any children. Doesn't she want children? Oh yes, she wants children very, very much, wouldn't you say so, Hannah? Don't you wish to have children too? Doesn't Daddy want Miss Hannah to have kids? Oh, certainly he does. But Miss Hannah keeps disappointing him. She just can't have kids. Why not? Why, because God won't let her. Does God not like miss Hannah? Well, I don't know what do you think? Oh, by the way, Hannah, did I tell you that I'm pregnant again? Do you think you'll ever be pregnant, Hannah?” And on and on it goes. And that's how Hannah had to live her life.
And you would think that that would have driven Hannah away from God. And become bitter and angry with Peninnah. But what did it do? It drove her to prayer. It drove her to prayer, it drove her to the Lord and caused her to depend fully and completely on the Lord. Notice in verse 8.
“Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”” (1 Sam 1:8)
Even her husband tries to console her, but even he can't comfort her. But she knows who can. She knows who can offer her comfort. She knows that the Lord is her only answer. She wanted a child.
And this wasn't just a prayer request for the ladies at church to put on the prayer list. No, what did she do? What did she do? She went weeping bitterly before the Lord.
She wept before the Lord and notice her prayer. It wasn't, “Lord, please take out Peninnah.” As maybe some would be tempted to pray. But what does she do? She calls on the Lord. She calls on the Lord with a humble heart and notice how she refers to herself in verse 11 -- she calls herself your maidservant. (1 Sam 1:11) She sees herself simply as a servant of the Lord. She's a humble woman. And she comes in humility and asks God for a son.
And then notice what she does as she asked God for a son, she makes a vow to the Lord that if He was to give her a son, then she will give her son back to the Lord. What a godly heart this woman had. Right? It's a godly woman. And she here is in a state of wanting what every woman wants. She wants a child. And she tells God that if He blesses her with this child, then she will make the Nazarite vow of giving him back to the Lord and notice what she says there at the end of verse 11, all the days of his life. (1 Sam 1:11) For all of his life, I will give him over to You, Lord.
Now what's interesting is she makes this Nazarite vow. That's why she says at the end there, “and a razor shall never come on his head” taking this Nazarite vow -- that was a part of that vow. And that vow was usually just for a specific period of time. When someone would make the Nazarite vow, it was for a specific amount of time. But Hannah says this vow will be for his entire life. I'm going to give him back to you, Lord. He's yours. And you think about Hannah at this point. What is she doing? She's praying for her son even before her son is born. What a godly heart, this woman had. This is a woman who was ready to be a mother. She was a praying soon-to-be mother.
Look, look at chapter 2 and verse 1. Look at what it says there. Did her prayer life stop after the Lord gave her a son? Look at what it says in chapter 2 and verse 1. “Then Hannah prayed and said.” (1 Sam 2:1)
She received an answer from her prayer, and did her prayer life stop then? No, it continued on. Why? Because she was a woman of prayer. She was a praying woman before motherhood, which only prepared her to be a praying woman during motherhood. This was a woman of prayer. So Hannah was a godly prayer, not only a godly wife, and a godly prayer, but third, Hannah was a godly example.
Now, I already alluded to how she was an example to her daughters of what it meant to be a godly wife.
But Hannah was also a godly example to Samuel, her son, as well. Look at chapter 1 in verse 21, look what it says there.
21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 26 She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. 27 For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.” (1 Sam 1:21-28)
Samuel is born. Hannah tells Elkanah, her husband, that she doesn't want to go to Shiloh to worship the Lord until the child is weaned. Why? Because once he is weaned, she's going to give him over to the Lord forever. For the rest of his life and for the rest of her life as well. He's going to be given over to the Lord. And this means that she would only have about two to three years with Samuel before she takes him to Shiloh and gives him over to the Lord. And about the age of three, was the time that the children were weaned, and so around the age of three Samuel would be brought then to the tabernacle with Eli.
But look what she does in verse 24 -- it says she took up with her a 3-year-old bull and one ephah of flour, and a jug of wine, and brought him to the House of the Lord to Shiloh.
Now I know in the NASB it says that she brought a 3-year-old bull, notice what it says there. If you have an NASB it says 3-year-old bull, but there's evidence, other manuscript evidence, that says that it was actually 3 bulls that she brought. One ephah of flour, which would be enough to go with the three bulls to sacrifice and a jug of wine, which was plenty of wine for the sacrifice of three bulls. Which means she makes this journey from Ramah, her hometown, to Shiloh, which was about a 15-mile trip.
Not an easy trip. And she's bringing a toddler with her. And three bulls, and flour, and the wine. Now they didn't have station wagons back then, they didn't have minivans back then. She's not just packing up the minivan for a 15-mile trip. This is hard work with the toddler to bring 3 bulls with her to go to worship the Lord. But why did she do it? Why did she go? Because she made a vow, a promise to God.
She made a vow to God that she would give her son over to the Lord.
Now think about this trip for Hannah…as Hannah packs everything up to go on this trip... think about the heartache that she must be going through. A heartbreak. Yes, she's going to worship the Lord. She's going to dedicate her son to the Lord, and she will leave him there at the tabernacle. A 3-year-old little boy. And she knows that. She knows that when she comes back on this trip, she's not gonna have her son with her.
But she does it. Why? Because she made a promise to the Lord. She made a vow. What is she teaching that little boy? She's teaching that little boy that life is not about Hannah. But life is about who? The Lord. It's about God. This woman is a godly example to this little boy to say “Life isn't about me. But life is all about God.” And she's an example to that little boy of what it means to be a faithful mother who keeps her word. Although it was hard, and you mothers know… you think about leaving your 3-year-old son somewhere and off you go… You're going to go leave him at church and he stays there. That would be hard for many women. Some of you at times may want to do that. But that would be hard to do.
But Hannah kept her promise. She's a woman who kept her word. And she did something that must have caused her heart to break. She returned home from that trip after spending three years of rearing and training and feeding and loving that little boy, Samuel. She comes home. And it's quiet. She doesn't hear the cries, the screams of a little boy. She didn't have a toddler running around anymore. But this was a woman of her word. And she knew that God was going to use her little boy for great things. And she trusted God with him.
She's not only an example of what it means to keep your promises, to keep your word, but she's also an example of what it means to be a true worshipper of God. She loved God above all else. She prayed to God, and she kept her promises to God because she was a worshipper of God. And she would make that 15-mile trip, year after year, and go to the tabernacle in Shiloh to go and worship the Lord. She knew what true worship was of God. She knew exactly what true worship was of God.
If you were to read through her prayer in chapter 2 verses 1 through 10, which we don't have time to do this morning. But if you were to read through that prayer, you would see that it was a prayer that was full of worship, of thanksgiving, and praise to God. Now I want you to notice something over in chapter 2 and verse 10 and look what it says there. Turn over to chapter 2 and verse 10. As she prays this prayer, notice what she says in verse 10.
“Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,” [and notice this]
“And will exalt the horn of His anointed.” (1 Sam 2:10)
Do you know who his anointed is there? The Hebrew where there is the Hebrew word “mə·šî·ḥōw”
You know what that means? Messiah. This is the first time the word “mə·šî·ḥōw” is used in the Old Testament, and it comes from the heart of a woman of a godly woman who knew what true worship of God was. Because she knew her God “mə·šî·ḥōw” The Messiah. And what do you think she was pointing her son to? To “mə·šî·ḥōw” The Messiah. That was her life. She knew who the Messiah was, and she pointed her son to Christ. That's what every mother must do as a true worshipper of God. Your job is to point your children to Christ. That was her heart. This is a woman who had a right view of God. She had a high view of God. And that caused her heart to be drawn up in worship to God.
And Samuel grew up seeing the faithfulness of a mother who would come year after year to come and worship the Lord, making that 15-mile trip. Here comes mom again. Why? Because she loves the Lord, and she has to be here to worship Him. She was a godly example to that little boy.
Mothers, are you being a godly example to your children? They're watching. They're watching everything you do. And so not only was she a godly wife, and a godly prayer, but and a godly example, but lastly, she was a godly nurturer.
Now we know that she cared for and nurtured Samuel for those first three years of his life. But look over at chapter 2 and verse 18 and what it says there. Chapter 2 and verse 18.
“18 Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the LORD give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the LORD.” And they went to their own home.
21 The LORD visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD.” (1 Sam 2:18-21)
Now Samuel, being there now with Eli in the tabernacle, being raised as a priest with Eli, Samuel would wear a linen ephod. Because that's what the priests would wear in the tabernacle. But underneath that ephod they would wear a robe, a long robe that they would wear. In year after year, as Samuel continued to grow, she would make him a new robe and bring it to him, when she would go there to worship. Although she had given her son over to the Lord, he would never leave her heart.
This was a boy who had a mother who cared for him. And as he continued to grow year after year, she would come and bring him a new robe, one that fit him as he was outgrowing his robes, growing up as a boy there in the tabernacle. She cared for him. She was dedicated to him. And she wanted to make sure that he was provided for, even though he wasn't under her roof anymore. She loved this little boy.
And although she wasn't with him every day. It was the little things that she did in his life that mattered.
Like simply bringing him a robe. To nurture him. To care for him. As she would come and bring that to the tabernacle as he was there learning what it meant to be a priest, and serve the people as a priest there, in the tabernacle. And year after year, as she came to the tabernacle to present herself in worship to the Lord, she would bring this robe to her son and continue to encourage him in his priestly duties. Think about the encouragement that that must have been to Samuel when his mom showed up with a new robe for him. What's she saying to him? Good job son. Keep it up. I'll be back next year with a new one for you. Keep going. Keep it up.
And Eli took notice of the heart of this mother. And he blessed Elkanah, and he blessed Hannah and prayed for the Lord to bless Hannah with more children. What did God do? He answered. He answered.
And God blessed her with more children. And he gave her three more sons and two daughters. And you could imagine…you can imagine the nurture and the care that she must have had then for those children. Knowing and realizing I only had my son for three years and I've given him now over to the Lord and he's there at the tabernacle. Think about what she did with those other children.
Mom, where's our brother? Oh, let me tell you where your brother is. He's doing exactly what God has called him to do because he loves the Lord. And where did Samuel learn that from? The worship of his mother. Think about the impact that she had upon him. And I want you to notice this detail that can easily be missed as you read through this chapter. Chapter 2.
- Look at what it says in verse 11. But the boy ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest. (1 Sam 2:11)
- And then in verse 18 now Samuel was ministering before the Lord. (1 Sam 2:18)
- And then in verse 21 and the boy Samuel grew before the Lord. (1 Sam 2:21)
- And then in verse 26. Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men (1 Sam 2:26)
- And then even in chapter 3 in verse 1 notice what it says there. Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. (1 Sam 3:1)
How did that happen in Samuel's life? Because of the heart of a godly mother who loved him and prayed for him, and was an example to him, and who cared for him. Now watch this…look at back at chapter 1 and verse 3. Chapter 1 and verse 3 says:
“3 Now this man [Elkanah] would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli” [Eli the priest] “Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there.
Here are two sons of Eli, who were being raised by a father to be a priest. They were raised to be priests and serve in the tabernacle. Who was their mother? We don't know. She's not mentioned. Maybe it's good she's not mentioned. Because obviously she didn't do a very good job.
- Look at what it says in chapter 2, verse 12. “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD” (1 Sam 2:12)
- Chapter 2, verse 17. Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD. (1 Sam 2:17)
- Verse 22 tells us that they were sleeping with the women who were serving at the doorway of the tent of meeting. (1 Sam 2:22)
These were evil, wicked men who did not have a father or a mother who modeled for them the godly way. And that's how they turned out.
But Samuel did. Samuel didn't turn out like these other men. What's the difference? Samuel had a godly mother who modeled prayer, and worship, and faithfulness to the Lord. And this is what God calls mothers to do. It's a high calling. It's a high calling. It's an honorable calling from the Lord. Don't listen to the lies of the world. That are telling you that you need to go out and pursue careers and do all of this stuff.
God says no…I've called you to be a mother to be in the home and raise your children and be a model for them of what it means to be a true worshipper of Christ. That's what God has called you to do. And what does Satan want to do? He wants to destroy that, to break that up, and say, no, you're not valuable unless you're going out here and doing all of this stuff. And God says, no, you are so valuable and so precious. Do you realize mothers the impact that you have upon your children? Such a great impact.
Be a godly mother to them. Raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord and point them to Christ.
In closing, I want to share with you a story about the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon. Spurgeon was converted at the age of 15. 15 years old. And after he was converted, shortly after he was converted, he wrote a letter to his mother. And here's what he said.
“Your birthday now will be doubly memorable. For on the 3rd of May, the boy for whom you have so often prayed. The boy of hopes and fears. Your first-born will join the visible Church of the Redeemed on Earth. And will bind himself doubly to the Lord his God by open profession. You, my mother, have been the great means in God's hand of rendering me what I hope I am. Your kind warning” [not warming] “warning Sabbath evening addresses were too deeply settled on my heart to be forgotten. You, by God's blessing, prepared the way for the preached Word. I have courage. I feel prepared to follow my Savior.
Not only into the water. But should He call me, even into the fire. I love you. As the preacher to my heart of such courage, as my praying, watching mother.”
Mothers, you have a great impact on the lives of your children. As you model for them, what it means to be a godly wife, a godly prayer, a godly worshipper, and a godly nurturer. What a high and honorable calling.
Many of you are doing such a tremendous job and I'm here to encourage you to keep it up. Some of you ladies are here and you’re grandmothers now. Point your grandchildren to Christ. And live before them in this manner. Be a godly grandmother before them. And live as Hannah did … as a godly worshipper.
Of Jesus Christ.
Let's pray, Father. Thank You for mothers. Thank You for the godly mothers who have had tremendous impact on so many of our lives. Lord, even if they weren't our own mother, women who, or mothers who even taught us in Sunday school…served us and loved us and cared for us and pointed us to Christ. I pray that you would help the women, the mothers of Faith Bible Church to do that, and to live as Hannah lived…as a worshipper of their Savior.
And Father, I pray that you would help us as men, as husbands, who would come alongside our wives and encourage them, and love them, and help them to know and understand what a high calling it is to be a mother. We are so grateful for them. Thank You for the blessing that they are in our lives, even as husbands, and in our children lives, as mothers. Father, we give you praise and glory for the way that you work in the lives of mothers to impact so many people. We thank You for Christ. We thank You for His sacrifice on the cross for us. His redeeming blood, who has saved us and saved so many mothers who are preaching that message of the gospel, so that the lost would come to know Christ as their Savior. And Father we pray that You would continue to use mothers even in our church to go out and proclaim this gospel, to reach the children with this amazing truth, so that they might come to know You. We love You, we praise You, and we give You glory in Christ's name. Amen.