Gratitude for God’s Goodness to Mothers

Rod Hutton May 8, 2022 1 Samuel 1–2
Outline

Psalm 78:6-7 - That the generation to come might know, [even] the children [yet] to be born, [That] they may arise and tell [them] to their children, that they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…

4 actions that leave a legacy of God’s goodness to the next generation

I. Recognize Your Need for God Regularly

1 Samuel 1:2 - [Elkanah] 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 Samuel 1:7a - It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord…

A. Acknowledging your human limits

B. Praying your concerns to God

1 Samuel 1:10 - She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

C. Knowing that the Lord weighs hearts

1 Samuel 2:3b - For the Lord is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.

“[Jesus] saw a greater need for the sisters, more than a healer, they needed a Savior. More than a cure, they needed His cross. This is why Jesus adds, ‘so that the Son of God may be glorified’ (John 11:4) – a reference to the sacrificial and atoning death of Jesus.” (Patrick Slyman, The Masters Seminary Blog – January 15, 2021)

II. Continue to Trust God Through Trials

1 Samuel 1:3 - Now this man 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, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there.

A. When culture challenges your commitments

B. When rivals rip you down

1 Samuel 1:6-7 - Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 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.

C. When spiritual leadership is lacking

1 Samuel 1:12-14 - Now it came about, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 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. Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.”

III. Keep Christ Central as Parents

Deuteronomy 6:7 - You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

A. Children are a gift that belong to God

1 Samuel 1:27-28 - “For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 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.

Psalm 27:3 - Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

B. Christ must be exalted before your kids

1 Samuel 2:10 - 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 will exalt the horn of His anointed.

IV. Give Gratitude for God’s Grace

A. Give thanks your requests are heard

1 Samuel 1:27-28 - “For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 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.

B. Rejoice in your salvation (2:3)

Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).

C. God watches over you (2:9)

Good morning. Happy Mother’s Day. Every Sunday is a celebration as we rejoice in God’s goodness, but I especially enjoy the time we have on special Sunday’s like this to honor Mother’s.

To honor the legacy of Mother’s who have poured into their children and thus poured into God’s Kingdom.

Think about the ways that Mom’s are pictured in culture today…

  • There is historical Mom – maybe the picture of Mrs. Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie. We saw how she cared for her children, cared for her home
  • Or maybe the example of Abigail Adams whose strength was needed to support her husband as he was called to be a part of the revolution, the start of a nation. I am convinced that John Adams’ impact came because of how Abigail lived as a mother and wife.
  • Then there is the working Mom today – who is working outside the home using the gifts which God has given her to also support the family or Stay at home Mom who let’s not kid ourselves, they are working in the same ways an these other examples.

But when we look to Mom’s and we give thanks today – I want us not to look at how well they worked in the home or in the workplace, but rather, I want us to give thanks for the legacy and how they poured into God’s Kingdom…

When I recently traveled to Arizona for a funeral, it was to honor my Aunt Leona. I went specifically because of the close relationships my Dad had with his brother Jim, who had lost his wife of 60 years. While I was there, I enjoyed simply listening to the stories because they were not about her cooking, though she did make some awesome pancakes, I loved listening to the stories of the impacts that Leona had as a mother for God’s Kingdom. No need to build the pedestal to place her on, because like all of us, Leona’s family experienced trials and even division, but ultimately, their family was back together because of the building that was done on a foundation of Christ…

Psalm 78 would tell of the type of family that she was seeking.

Psalm 78:6-7 That the generation to come might know, [even] the children [yet] to be born, [That] they may arise and tell [them] to their children, 7 That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments,

Today, we want to honor all Mothers, a grace from God for whom we should all give thanks.

I want us to honor the mothers of many children, in the same way we honor a mother of one – for we know that God granted the exact number of children that he intended and these mothers have loved and cared for each of them,

I want us to honor foster moms and adoptive moms, for motherhood is not simply about biology, but about the loving connection that moms hold for their kids.

I want to honor grandmothers, who after caring for their own, then help take on the next generation.

I also want to honor Mom’s who have lost a child – and their hearts are filled with love, yet they do not have the avenue to share that love directly.

Lastly, I want to honor any women here who have wanted to become Mothers, but in God’s sovereign hand, that has just not happened

But no matter the situation or the circumstance, as we give honor to Mothers,

[Title Slide] Gratitude for God's Goodness to Mothers

For though none of us would be here without a Mother, we have to look one step further and give thanks for God’s goodness to Mothers and honor the impact they have had because of God in their lives.

This goes fits right in with our annual theme of Growing in Gospel Gratitude. This year we have been studying the Letter to the Philippians, though we will step out of our verse by verse study for this week, we can see God’s Goodness to Mothers even impacting Philippi. The letter is from Paul who has Timothy ministering along with him and God’s Word tells us that it was Timothy’s mother who introduced her son to a faith in Christ. We even considered centering today message just on Timothy’s mother, but ultimately, we wanted to look at a larger view of mothers that leave a legacy of God’s goodness for the next generation.

[Title Slide] Gratitude for God's Goodness to Mothers

Today, we are going to focus our time around the prayer of one Mother as shown in the first chapters of 1 Samuel.

If you will, turn with me to 1 Samuel chapter 1 – that will be on page ___ in the front section of the Bibles in your chairs.

To give some context to this true story, we need to look backwards to the books that precedes it.

After Joshua had led Israel into the promised land, he led their armies to conquer the cities and take possession of the land which God provided, but ultimately they failed to complete the work and there were still enemies living in and around them. When Joshua died, the people of Israel were left without a leader and they began a cycle of being oppressed by an enemy, crying out to God and god would provide a Judge, a deliverer who would bring peace until they would forget God’s grace, return to their own ways and the cycle would begin all over again. Judges closed by saying “in those days, there was no king in the land; everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”

Sound familiar? That’s a discussion for another day

Now let’s look at God’s goodness to a mother in a time when there was much chaos all around.

[READ 1 Samuel 1 and select verses in 1 Sam 2]

With this picture in mind - today I would like to speak to Mothers about Four actions that leave a legacy of God’s goodness to the next generation.

Let me be clear about somethings for all of you non-Mothers as well. You do not have permission to tune out and wait for next Sunday – the principles and the actions that God calls out for Mothers are actions that we all would do well to choose to pursue. So let’s all walk together in this celebration…

When we consider Hanna’s situation and her response, we can know that a message she would speak to each of us is that we need to

I. Recognize your need for God regularly

No matter how deeply Hanna had desired to be a mother, her situation was in God’s hands.

1 Sam 1:2 [Elkanah] 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….

As such, we even see how Peninnah had treated her cruelly.

Hanna’s name means favored, but in what we see, she seems to be far from favored. For a wife to be without children, to be barren, was not a sign that God was calling her to go out and get a corporate job. Children were viewed as a blessing and the lack of children meant a lack of blessing, a curse even

So when we look to Hanna’s example, we need to follow where she went for help, for comfort…

1 Sam 1:7a It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the Lord,

Hanna recognized here need for the Lord, such when it seemed she had not found God’s favor, even when it meant she would be treated cruelly by those close to her, she continued to go to the Lord.

Can we take that as our first application for today – that regardless of our circumstances, or even how we are being treated…

now I pray that we would deal with the issue if someone in the church is treating another in the church cruelly, remember Paul’s call to help Eudia and Syntyche,

but even in the face of trials and suffering – can we make it a priority that we will be in the House of the Lord?

And as we come to His house, we want to do so seeing our need for Him, because it is certainly not the other way around…

When we recognize our need for God – we can begin by

A. Acknowledging your human limits

Our limits are two fold…

First, we have physical limitation – Hanna was barren, there was nothing that she could do that would change that…

  • - That is certainly not to say that Hanna did not seek out the advice if the midwives or others to try to increase the chance of a pregnancy. The same as I would expect a mother today to seek medical advice to understand if there were physical reasons for the empty place in here heart caused by the inability to conceive.
  • - We have to acknowledge our human limits in this are – and ultimately, even with medical assistance, we are called to recognize our need for God to fill the desire for a child that we might make wise decisions in pursuing our goals.
  • But more than just childbirth – we must acknowledge our human limits even as a Mother. I know we want to picture Mom with her Superwoman cape flowing in the wind, but we all have limits which cause us to trust in God for what we are unable to do.

Now I said our limits are twofold, by that I meant physical and spiritual. Not even a mother can solve our greatest spiritual problem.

We must be willing to acknowledge our greatest human limit, our sinful flesh, that would separate us from the loving relationship with our heavenly father.

No mother can swoop in and fix this problem, not even a mother can pay the debt that we owe due to our sin. We need to acknowledge our human limitation, acknowledge our sin and recognize our need for God for salvation.

Mothers – if you are here today, and you have not acknowledge your inability to work your way back to God – there is no greater legacy you could leave for your kids than to make that choice today.

Children of all ages – if you are here today, and you recognize your need for a Savior even greater than your mom, if you are ready to repent of your sin and choose to follow Christ, there is no greater gift you could give to your Mother – better than any flowers or chocolate.

B. Praying your concerns to God

Then as we recognize our need for God regularly, Hanna’s example shows us our need to bring your concerns before God.

1 Sam 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Even in the face of long-term unmet desires, Hanna did not go to her husband to complain about how he had failed to give her a child. She did not go to her girlfriends to grumble about what she did not have and suck the joy out of the room for other mothers, but even in the face of her human limitations, her continued suffering and even the torment from Peninnah, Hanna took her requests before the Lord.

Even when it hurt Hanna to continue thinking bout her desire for a child, she took her requests to the Lord.

How about us – Does your prayer life demonstrate that you recognize your need for god regularly?

When you pray to God - How many times do you pray? How long do you keep a prayer on your list?

Consider another practical means to walk this out in a way that helps us see our recognition for our need for God…

  • - Consider a simple prayer journal – for some, I know that journaling a prayer can be multiple pages for one prayer, but if you think, I could never do that…how about something more simple, that even a guy could do…
  • - Consider a prayer list – maybe it is just a few words to describe what you are asking God for and then put the date, each time you pray add the date
  • - Like Hanna, even if it is year after year, we pray for our concerns before God

Then in our requests to God, we will always want to keep as a part of our prayer the request that God would reveal to us our motivation behind what we ask for…because we can trust that the Lord has insight that we could never have

C. Knowing that the Lord weighs hearts

1 Sam 2:3b For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.

You have probably heard it said, that God answers every prayer, it is just sometimes the answer is No

Sometimes, we need God to answer “no.”

James 4:3 tells us we ask and do not receive because we ask with the wrong motive, but sometimes, we also simply ask too small.

Consider Jesus’ answer to Mary and Martha when they asked Jesus to come heal their brother Lazarus. He said no, and Lazarus died. But consider why He said no and delayed coming. Patrick Slyman described it like this…

[Jesus] saw a greater need for the sisters, more than a healer, they needed a Savior. More than a cure, they needed His cross. This is why Jesus adds, “so that the Son of God may be glorified” (John 11:4) – a reference to the sacrificial and atoning death of Jesus. (Patrick Slyman, The Masters Seminary Blog – January 15, 2021)

In the case of Hanna, God weighed her heart and responded by giving her a child because it was part of God’s plan that would glorify Him and ultimately lead to the true King of Israel in jess Christ.

In addition to recognizing our need for God regularly, Hanna’s example also calls us

II. Continue to Trust God through Trials

In Israel, we are not looking at a time when the Worship of Yahweh was pleasing to God.

1 Sam 1:3 Now this man 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, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord there.

The reason Hophni and Phinehas are mentioned here is a forerunner to the rest of their story in chapter 2. They are described as worthless men who did not know the Lord, yet they were priests. Scripture even says that they despised the offering of the Lord…

We need to continue to trust God through trial even

A. When culture challenges your commitments

This was the culture and worship surrounding how Hanna would seek God in prayer.

Is it really different from the culture we area surrounded by as we seek to follow Christ?

Hophni and Phinehas believed they could do whatever they pleased, what ever was right in their own eyes, because they were the one setting the agenda in the place of worship.

Who surrounds us today – they may not be called the priests of the Lord, but are they the ones attempting to define what it is that we will worship?

In a relativistic culture, where value is place on allowing every one to believe what they feel is right in their own context and truth is rejected because it challenges the way that we feel,

How will we choose to trust God through trials when culture is challenging our commitment?

Will we hold fast to the truth, and the authority of God’s Word in our lives, even in the face of others who loudly oppose that truth.

Pastor Viars’ op-ed last weekend speaks to how we should respond when culture challenges your commitment, and it is not to fight back with all of our might, but rather to respond with a commitment to God’s authority in our lives, responding in love, even in the face of attacks upon His name.

When everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes, will you trust God and wait for the blessing that comes on the other side of that battle…

For Hanna, she trusted God for years and years even

B. When rivals rip you down

1 Sam 1:6-7 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 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.

Consider what that might have been like, to live with Peninnah and to have to receive from her the hatred, the mockery and the abuse year after year, yet Hanna continues to seek God

And it was not just the attacks inside the family, but notice how she lacked support outside the family because

C. When spiritual leadership is lacking

1 Sam 1:12-14 Now it came about, as she [c]continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 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. Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.”

I hope this would not be how you might see Biblical Counseling here at Faith North…

David and I certainly look at passages like these and find applications for ourselves so that we can serve you in a way that is pleasing to God…

But even there, we will still fall short, just as Eli initially fell short in how He viewed Hanna’s prayers to God.

Husbands – I know it is not Father’s Day yet – but I want to exhort you here.

For our wives, the mothers of our children to trust God in the face of trials, we must be the ones to lead, to protect the ground on which they stand when culture is challenging the truth, to build them up in God’s truth, when rival tear them down and to lead. This is an area I believe Elkanah did well as He brought his family, including Hanna to the house of the Lord year and year, or for us week after week walking with our wives as together, we trust God through Trials.

Then as we recognize our need and we continue to trust God, we will be able to

III. Keep Christ Central As Parents

The centrality of the gospel in our homes will be a reflection of how we have chosen to live in the principles of points 1 and 2.

When we recognize our needs for God, we will recognize our family’s need for God and we will choose to bring Christ central in our family.

Deuteronomy 6:7 calls us to this centrality –

Deut 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Much like our purpose in 1 Corinthians

1 Cor 10:31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

These verses impacting our call as parents do not leave an open door to a little bit of the gospel and the world too. When Christ saved you and me, He did not take us out of the world, but he did call us to not be of this world, which means that we must seek to look at all opportunities to be gospel teaching opportunities for our children and that when they look at you and I, they would see our desire to glorify Christ before ourselves.

The Call to keep Christ central in our own lives comes because of His worthiness, the surpassing value of knowing Christ (as we learned in Philippians)

The call to keep Christ central as parents then comes from also seeing the grace bestowed upon in our children…

A. Children are a gift that belong to God

For Hanna, Samuel was truly the answer to her prayers, a gift from God.

1 Sam 1:27-28 For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 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.

But this was not just for Hanna – but for us as well. Samuel was not the only gift

Children are described in this way for us all.

Ps 27:3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

And if our children are a gift, a reward, that belongs to God, then how will you help them to see how God views them…

by keeping Christ central in your family

B. Christ must be exalted before your kids

Look at how Hanna closes her prayer

1 Sam 2:10 “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 will exalt the horn of His anointed.”

She has moved forward from giving thanks for her son to praising God and speaking of God’s ultimate purpose, that He is bringing a King into this world, and that He alone will be exalted.

How will we do that as Parents – to make Christ Central for our Kids.

  • It started here today – by making Christ the priority on Sunday Morning. But I want to challenge you, what will you make central next Sunday, or the Sunday after that?
  • Will your summer camping schedule and time on vacation become central – or will you make the priority to be in the Lord’s House, even when you are away from home?
  • I know some won’t like this statement either – What about summer sports calendars? What will you prioritize when sports conflict with worship? Even if baseball is the path to a scholarship or even possibly the Big Leagues – Is that more important than exalting Christ before your kids? As your Pastor, I love you too much not to say it…
  • How do your kids know you want to put Christ at the center on Monday? Or even Saturday?
  • What if you chose to pray with your children, teaching them to pray and bring their concerns to God like Hanna did?
  • How many of you are starting to cringe just waiting for me to mention family devotionals? You’ve tried it before and it just didn’t stick? It doesn’t have to hurt…
  • Years ago, we tried something out of the box – We discovered that Plugged in online had devotionals about movies that we wanted to watch anyway – So it was popcorn, a movie and a discussion that brought Christ out where maybe the movie alone would not…

There are a wide variety of Family Devotionals that can help you get started – the key in all of it is simply to start the first day, then commit to doing the second day, even if you miss the next day, choose to exalt Christ before your kids by not just saying it is too hard.

  • What about the other opportunities?
  • What about Vacation Bible School? Are you willing to make Christ Central that week even though it means a quick dinner after work so that you can get to the Northend in time to serve? Are you ready to exalt Christ even though it will mean playing games and possibly even being a little silly with kids to help them see their need for Christ –
  • Or to be an example to your neighbors family – that your kids see you put Christ central and being willing to make the invitation and exalting Christ in your neighborhood.

Building a legacy of God’s goodness for the next generation starts with recognizing our need for God regularly and continuing to trust God through our trials and by Keeping Christ central as Parent and our last action to cement that legacy is one that will help provide the glue to hold it together, the encouragement that will help you to press on toward the goal of knowing Christs

Our fourth action for today is that we would

IV. Give Gratitude for God’s Grace

When we begin to look past our need for God today, when we begin to look for something or someone else to provide comfort in a trial or anything else begins to creep its way into the central part of our lives, we can reinforce the legacy of God’s goodness by giving thanks for the grace that was received when your requests were heard…

Give thanks your requests are heard

1 Sam 1:27-28 For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 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.

  • Do you remember our prayer journal – What if each month, you went back to look at all that you have prayed for, how many times you have prayed for something and then next to it on the page, maybe just in the margin, you list the grace that you have received…
  • Maybe it is the direct answer just as you requested – give thanks….
  • But we should also give thanks for the grace we needed but may not have requested…
  • The strength to persevere in the face of opposition
  • The patience to wait while to trust in the Lord
  • The answer to the prayer that you did not expect, something far greater than you ever asked for

Giving gratitude for God’s grace will be a blessing to your soul, but I also ask, who else could you bless by sharing how God has been at work in your family.

and how much more will we give gratitude for the grace God knew that we needed long before we would even admit our need.

B. Rejoice in your salvation (2:3)

We should rejoice in our salvation as it represents a complete reversal of our position before God…

Hann’s story was one of reversals

  • At one point here husband asks – Why are you so downhearted? And later she begin her prayer saying MY heart rejoices
  • She began as barren and seen as unfavored – and God opens her womb that she would be fruitful and seen as favored.

Like Hanna we are barren and fruitless – spiritually speaking – In Hanna’s story we see God bring life where there had been no life…

Eph 2:4-5 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)

We can rejoice because, by God’s grace, as an answer to a simple prayer of confession, our lives have been reversed where God has brought life, where there was once death.

C. God watches over you (2:9)

And in His care, we give thanks because there is nothing that can separate us from His love and nothing that can take out from under His watchful eye…Hebrews 13:5 tells echoes the truth of Scripture that He himself has said, “I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you.”

[Duplicate the Title slide here]

In all of this – as we give gratitude for God’s grace – how much more can you honor Him, than by sharing your thankful heart with others that they too might begin to see the legacy of God’s goodness to the next generation.

Authors

Rod Hutton

Roles

Pastor of Northend Ministries - Faith Church

Northend Community Center Director - Northend Ministries

Chair of the Northend Properties Board - Northend Ministries

Certified Biblical Counselor - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

Bio

B. Mathematics – University of Minnesota
M.A. – National Security Affairs – Naval Post Graduate School
M. Div. – Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Rod Hutton and his wife Kathy have been married for 32 years. They have five children, Chris, Tim, Malia, Grace and Josie. The Hutton’s came to Lafayette on assignment with the Navy to Purdue University which afforded the opportunity to attend Faith Bible Seminary. In 2018, Rod retired from Naval Service and joined the staff to lead the efforts in opening and operating the Northend Community Center and in 2019 he was ordained as a pastor with Faith Church.