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How to Be a Godly Mother B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2023 3:00 am

How to Be a Godly Mother B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Grace To You
John MacArthur

First of all, she was dedicated to the child. That's the right home relationship. Mothers, invest your life in those children.

Believe me, it didn't stop there. Then she dedicated the child to the Lord. She was not only dedicated to the child, but dedicated the child to the Lord. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. It's been eloquently said that whatever else women may do in the world, their chief and enduring hold on the esteem of the human family is attained by their excellence as mothers. Well, one mother in the Bible, though not the most famous mom in Scripture, certainly left an enduring imprint on her family and the family of God. Through her commitment to husband, home, and the Lord, Hannah made her mark and gives us an excellent example to learn from. So it's appropriate that John MacArthur turn our attention to this godly mother who helped mold her son Samuel into one of the greatest men of God. John calls this study, Heaven's Heroes.

If you have your Bible, open it to 1 Samuel chapter 1 and follow along as John begins the lesson. Look with me, if you will, in the Old Testament to the book of 1 Samuel. And I want to share with you what I see to be here, a profile of a godly mother named Hannah.

We're not going to take the time to develop all that's potentially here in the text, but at least to touch the surface of some very, very important things. Obviously, I'm very concerned about what's happening to the American family today. One writer said, no nation is ever greater than its mothers, for they are the makers of men. The rabbis used to teach God can't be everywhere at the same time, so He made mothers.

They have a very special place in society, very high priority. I want us to look at one mother by the name of Hannah in 1 Samuel. You know, we think we live in a tough time today, and in many ways we do, but the time we live in today is no tougher than the time in which Hannah lived. It was the period of the judges in Israel, and the situation in Israel was extremely difficult. Samson had died, and with the death of Samson, there was no great leader in the land. And the land was in a state of fluctuation and turmoil and confusion. And there was a desperate need for a great leader in the chaos and the sinfulness of that day. The nation was weak, the nation was impotent, and the nation additionally had limited prophetic voice. There were no great preachers.

It was a time of a tremendous slide away from the divine standard. And so it was a time when God needed a special man, and in order to make a special man, you need a special woman, and Hannah was that woman. And she demonstrates for us, and we're just going to look at them briefly, three aspects that are necessary for a godly mother. Three things that are mandatory for a godly mother. Number one, a right relationship to her husband, a right relationship to her husband. And we're going to see that beginning in verse 3. First of all, she shared with her husband in worship. You get that?

That's the first thing. There are several points in a right relationship to her husband. The first one, she shared with him in worship. Secondly, it involves a sharing of love. Marriage is not just spiritual, it is also physical and emotional and psychological. And not only did they share their worship, but they shared their affection and their love. So there was Hannah in a hard place to raise a child, in a hard place to be secure, in a divided family, and yet she had a right relationship to her husband because they shared worship, and they shared love, and those two things eliminated conflict. Now I don't care what the conflict around you is. There is no circumstance that is so severe that a shared love of God and a shared love of each other can't overcome it.

And I get weary of people who always want to get out of their marriage. But when all of this is put together, the missing ingredient is children. She had no children.

Why? Verse 5, the Lord had shut up her womb. That was sovereign. The first thing then about a godly woman is she has a right husband relationship. The second one, she has a right heavenly relationship.

She has a right heavenly relationship. When she has a problem, she doesn't lash out at her husband. When she has a problem, she doesn't lash out at her adversary, Penina. She doesn't lash out at the children in the house.

She doesn't lose her cool all around. She goes directly to whom? To the Lord. So Hannah rose up, verse 9, after they had eaten in Shiloh and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. The reason he sat around all the time was he was a huge, big, fat guy who finally fell over off his stool and broke his neck and died.

He was a proverbial slob is what he was, couldn't even get up off of whatever he sat on to check on his own kids. And there he was plopped on a seat, leaning on a post that held up the temple. And so she...pretty vivid, isn't it? And so she came in, you know, for some spiritual advice to see the high priest. She was bitterness of soul and I love it in verse 10, she prayed unto the Lord and wept bitterly.

Listen, ladies, not only do you need a right heavenly...or rather a right husband relationship, but a right heavenly one too. It's needful that when you have some problem, you go to the Lord with it. And she vowed a vow. She said, O Lord of hosts, O Lord of hosts, if Thou wilt. And she began to pray.

Now what do we see in this right heavenly relationship? Number one, she had a passion for God's best. She had a passion for God's best.

And you know what God's best was? Children. Children. The fact that she didn't have children, she felt, meant that she didn't have God's best. Children are inherited from the Lord. She says in verse 11, if you'll just look on my affliction and remember me and not forget me, and all of that means give me a child, give me a child, give me a child. That's why she wept. She had a passion for God's best. You say, are children God's best?

Absolutely. People say, oh, I don't know if I want to bring a child into this world. This world is no worse than that one was for her. They are inherited from the Lord.

They are a blessing. She was not selfish. She didn't want a child so she could prove her womanhood. She didn't want a child so she could show them off to everybody. She wanted a child because she believed that a child was God's best gift. She was willing to accept the responsibility.

I say curse abortions for those are God's best gift. A truly godly mother is not a reluctant mother. A truly godly mother is one with a passion for children who sees them as a gift from God, a fulfillment of the divine intention for women, not to indulge herself and not to prove her womanhood, but because they are God's best gift. So she had a passion for God's best. Secondly, she was a woman of prayer. Her heavenly relationship meant she wanted the best and she prayed for it.

And all of the praying runs right down to verse 12. She continued praying before the Lord and Eli observed her mouth. They watched her. And she wasn't praying just silently.

Her mouth was moving all the time. She was impassioned in her prayer. Why did she pray to God? Because she knew that Elkanah wasn't the source of children. God was.

Do you hear that? Every child that ever is conceived in this world is a gift from God. That's why I say curse abortions.

They take the life of that which God has granted. And she prayed. She prayed constantly. Passion turned to prayer.

And then there is also something here I see in verse 11, I'll call it presentation. She says, Remember me? Remember me? Don't forget me, Lord. In other words, she is saying, Lord, I'll vow a vow.

Here's my life. Remember me and give me what I desire, a male child, and I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life. She promised to give that child to the Lord. And by the way, Deuteronomy 30 says that any time a woman vowed a vow to give her child to the Lord, the husband had to agree.

So Elkanah must have agreed in the prayer too. She wanted presentation. She wanted to present that child to God. She was a woman with a passion for God's best. She was a woman of prayer, and she was a woman of presentation who wanted a child for one reason, and that was to give that child to the Lord. You feel that way about your children? Their greatest desire is to give them to God.

If you don't, you're operating on the wrong premises. She was a woman of purity too. Verse 12, she continued praying, and verse 13, Hannah, she spoke in her heart. Only her lips moved too, but her voice wasn't heard, and so Eli thought she was drunk.

This guy is a real klutz, let me tell you, Eli. He came and get up long enough to see his kids having an orgy on the front steps of the temple. And Eli said to her, how long will you be intoxicated? Put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my Lord. I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid as a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I been speaking.

And Eli answered and said, Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. She was a woman of purity. She was a woman of virtue.

She was no son of Belial. She was no evildoer. She was a pure woman. She poured out her heart to the Lord and drank neither wine nor strong drink. She refrained from it all. Now she had a right heavenly relationship, a woman of prayer, a woman of passion for God's best, a woman of presentation, that is the gift she received, she wanted to return, and a woman of purity.

And by the way, fifthly, a woman of patience. Verse 18, and she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. She ended her prayer. So the woman went her way and she did eat and her countenance was no more sad.

Why? She believed God and she was going to be patient until she heard God's answer. You want to know what the result was? Verse 19, beautiful. And they rose up in the morning early and worshiped before the Lord and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife.

Knew means they had relationships together. And the Lord, what? Remembered her. Wherefore, it came to pass when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived that she bore a son and called his name Samuel.

You know what Samuel means? Heard by God, saying, Because I have asked Him of the Lord. Her prayer was answered. She wanted God's best. She prayed for it. She offered that life back to God. She lived in purity. God answered her prayer.

What was the response? Chapter 2. She was so filled with praise. She said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord.

My horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth is enlarged over my enemies because I rejoice in Thy salvation. There is none holy like the Lord. There's none beside Thee, neither is there any rock like our God. And she goes on and on all the way down to verse 10, praising the Lord.

Just filled with praise for God. Elizabeth did that when she heard of John the Baptist. Mary did that, didn't she, when she heard of the birth of Jesus. You know, it makes me sick to think today that people find out they're pregnant instead of praising God for such a gift.

They get upset about it. A godly mother has a right husband relationship and a right heavenly relationship. And lastly, a right home relationship, a right home relationship. Go back to chapter 1, verse 21. And let's look at the home.

Two things stand out. First of all, she was dedicated to that child. And the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and his vow. Elkanah kept going back, going back to Shiloh, but Hannah went not up. She didn't go anymore. For she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child is weaned and then I will bring him that he may appear before the Lord and there abide forever.

She kept her vow. I'll give that child to the Lord as soon as he's weaned. And for a Hebrew mother between two and three years of age. But she said, I'm not going up there until this child is recovered so that it can feed itself. You know, that's putting the child as a real priority. Some people might say she put the child over worshiping the Lord. No, because she was taking care of the best gift God ever gave her. She was rendering to God the highest service possible. It was more important for that woman to stay there and nurse that child than to go offer sacrifices to God. She knew the priorities. She stayed home with the child in total dedication and commitment, training, loving, instructing and caring for that child.

Verse 23, Elkanah, her husband, who must have been a very understanding man, said unto her, Do what seemeth to thee good, tarry until thou hast weaned him. Only the Lord established His Word, so the woman abode and nursed her son till she weaned him. First of all, she was dedicated to the child. That's the right home relationship. Mothers, invest your life in those children.

Believe me, it didn't stop there. Then she dedicated the child to the Lord. She was not only dedicated to the child, but dedicated the child to the Lord. Verse 24, And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her with three bullocks and one ephah of flour and a skin of wine and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young, as I said, two or three years old.

And they slew a bullock and brought the child to Eli. And she said, O my Lord, as thy soul liveth, my Lord, I am the woman who stood by thee here praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my petition, which I asked of him. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.

It's a fabulous thing to think about. A woman gave her child to the Lord, keeping a promise and a vow she had made to God. But that doesn't mean she didn't care anymore about the child, not on your life. She cared about that child the rest of that child's life.

She never really let go at all. In fact, as they would go back to the temple through the years, they would always go back and express their care and their love to the child. Verse 11 of chapter 2, just pinpointing some highlights as we draw to a conclusion. And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house, and the child did minister to the Lord before Eli the priest. Verse 18, And Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child girded with Elin and Ephod. Verse 19, Moreover, his mother made him a little coat and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

That wasn't the end of the story. The Lord never takes without giving. And so in verse 21, the Lord visited Hannah and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters, five kids.

Maybe she got more than she bargained for. That's the way it is with God. And Samuel grew before the Lord.

You want to know something? Eli had three sons, two sons rather, Hophni and Phinehas. Never in the entire story of Eli and these two sons is their mother's name mentioned.

And the results are utterly tragic. Verse 22 of chapter 2, Now Eli was very old and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel, how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do you such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all these people. Nay, my sons, it is no good report that I hear you make the Lord's people to transgress. And they harken not unto the voice of their father. And so the Lord said, I will slay them. And in the contrast, verse 26, And the child Samuel grew on and was in favor both with the Lord and also with men.

What a contrast. Verse 1 of chapter 3, And the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. Again, always Samuel in the positive. Verse 19 of chapter 3, And Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and did not let his words fall to the ground. And all Israel, even from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.

But that was Samuel. The sons of Eli, sad story. Chapter 4, verse 15, Now Eli was 98 years old and his eyes were dim and he couldn't see. And the man said unto him, I am he who came out of the army and I fled today out of the army. And he said, Where?

What is there done, my son? And the messenger answered and said, Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has been a great slaughter among the people and thy two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead and the ark of God has been taken. And it came to pass when he made mention of the ark of God that he fell from off the seat.

He's still there on the same seat, leaning on the same pole. And his neck broke and he died for he was an old man and heavy. And his daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child near to be delivered. And when she had heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed for her pains came on her. And about the time of her death, the women who stood by her said unto her, Fear not, for thou hast borne a son.

But she answered not, neither did she regard it. And she named the child Ichabod, which means the glory is departed." Sad ending, isn't it? They all died. Never a name of a mother mentioned in the family of Eli.

And look at the price. But Samuel grew and ministered to the Lord. There's no price high enough to value the virtue of a godly mother. She has a right relationship to her husband, to heaven, and to the home. I trust this is a good reminder for all of us. Let's pray together. Father, thank You for our time just simply to touch again this beautiful and thrilling passage, to be reminded over again of the high priority You place upon motherhood. We hear even now the echo of the voices of our precious little children. We thank You for them all. We pray that You would give us the grace and the strength to raise up a godly seed, that they like Samuel might minister before You and not be like the children of Eli. And may we know that it depends upon a right relationship to husband, to heaven, and to the home. Help us to make that commitment. For Jesus' sake. Amen.

That's John MacArthur, chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. The title of today's study on Grace to You, Heaven's Heroes. Now John, just looking back at this story of Hannah, it's sad to say, but these days when people think of a woman who is worth emulating, a downcast and unknown mother who is humbly pleading with God, that's not what immediately comes to mind. And yet that is the kind of woman the Lord is pleased to use, right? And again, you can't help but draw the contrast between the kind of woman that is elevated in our culture today, because it's so stark compared to Hannah. The elevation of women today is predicated on the idea that they have very little interest in family or marriage and maybe no interest at all in having children.

There's a whole generation of women who don't want to get married and there are many who are married who don't want to have children, and they have disdain for the highest possible calling that a woman can have next to being called into the kingdom of God through salvation. So I just want to mention that Hannah's not the only woman. She's not the only exemplary woman in the Bible. There are a lot, and I put 12 of them in a book called 12 Extraordinary Women. This book has been around for a while now.

It's been a bestseller through the years. It recognizes the divinely ordained place that women have in the kingdom and how God uses them in such miraculous and mighty ways. If anything, this will show you that women are not at all second-class citizens. No, God's Word sets women apart for special honor, and 12 extraordinary women will introduce you and take you into the lives of some very key women in Scripture. And God included them in their story in the Bible for a reason, so that you would be enriched and encouraged and challenged. And as you read the stories, you'll find out why.

They were used in extraordinary ways, and you can be used as well as extraordinarily as you allow the Lord to use you. So my prayer is that you'll see aspects of yourself in these character studies, and be encouraged that the struggles and temptations you face are very much like believers in every age have faced. 220 pages, the book is titled 12 Extraordinary Women. It's available from Grace to You, and the price, as always, is reasonable.

That's right. Thanks, John. And friend, the book 12 Extraordinary Women will challenge you to follow the example of 12 women who committed themselves to serving God in extraordinary ways. Order a copy when you contact us today. You can call us at 800-55-GRACE, 730 to 4 o'clock Pacific time, or you can order anytime from our website, 12 Extraordinary Women costs $10, and shipping is free. This book includes a built-in study guide with helpful questions that are great to use in a small group or midweek Bible study.

Again, to order 12 Extraordinary Women, call 800-55-GRACE, or you can shop online at Now, if you'd like a copy of John's series Heaven's Heroes to review on your own or to study with a small group, you can download these messages free of charge in MP3 and transcript format at In fact, you can download all of John's sermons.

That's more than 3,600 messages, all for free. To take advantage of the sermon archive and our many other free study tools, visit our website, Now for John MacArthur and the entire Grace to You staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Be back tomorrow as John introduces you to the person who, after the Lord Jesus Christ, has had the greatest influence on John MacArthur's ministry, and that's the apostle Paul. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-28 05:46:49 / 2023-11-28 05:56:47 / 10

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