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“Only Her Lips Moved”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 4, 2022 3:00 am

“Only Her Lips Moved”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 4, 2022 3:00 am

If someone says, “God is good,” you might think of the song lyric and reply, “All the time!” But what happens when circumstances seem to tell a different story? If that’s true for you, you’re not alone! Be sure to listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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You may have heard the often repeated phrase.

God is good all the time all the time God is good, but what happens when the circumstances of your life seem to tell a different story. Well if that's the case you're not alone today on Truth for Life. Alister Meg reminds us that every situation is under God's sovereign control were in first Samuel chapter 1 while we live in a world of huge advances in technology, not least of all in the realm of ensign and in the midst of all of that there is something quaint and wonderfully reassuring when my doctor actually says to me, and how is your appetite.

It just seems of old-fashioned and yet it is an not uncommon question because being off our food as we might put it is often a sign that something else is going on and that is certainly true here in the record of first Samuel one and out introduction to the circumstances of Hannah. The conclusion of judges was a time not dissimilar to our own.

In this respect that it was marked by social and political and religious chaos. What is quite striking is the fact that in the midst of all of this if you like in that big macro picture the spotlight of Scripture is fixed upon the domestic circumstances of this man of RAM FAM zero fin whose name is Ella Tanner is introduced to us as a certain man that we are told that he has to wife's one of whom is childless.

Her name is Hannah, presumably his first wife, and then a second wife who has sons and daughters. The fact that Hannah is childless is a big part of the opening of the story because if there was going to be a king that would be provided for the people at this time then since Hannah was in this situation, there was no possibility that she would have any part in the answering of that question understory is on folded for us in such a way as to cause eyes as the readers to view these sad circumstances to see Hannah's position as hopeless to see her in a position of helplessness to prepare as if you like for the discovery that God is once again going to do what he's been doing throughout all of the history of his people and that is he's going to reach into the humdrum life the ordinary life of a family and through his intervention. He is not only going to impact that family, but he is going to redirect the course of human history. I encourage you to think along these lines, because you may be here this morning and you're actually saying yourself. I don't really know where I fit in the big scheme of things at all.

You may actually not even believe there is a big skilled scheme of things. You may be the product overview of the world, which regarded all his haphazard that chaos is what you should expect because chaos is all that is there now. Hannah was not like that Hannah that we focus on this morning is a believer inasmuch as she believed that God is responsible for the existence of the world. She believed that it was he who gives to all man life and breath as Paul would later say in acts 17 and it is because she believes that that she's in difficulty because she's childless and instead of trying, as people often suggest proving to be the great healer in actual fact, the longer it goes, the worse it gets. And there in verse three this man used to go up here by year and the passage of time made the events of our life all the more painful again. You may be here this morning and that is exactly your testimony as well. If only this could have been curtailed if only this could've been rectified, but it seems that again and again and again, note the way in which this is provided for us can be viewed if you like and a couple of scenes seen one from verse three through two verse eight I just call this in my notes back off to Shiloh again because you see here that this man, Alcan, who was not only marred by obscurity.

He was marked also by consistency and his consistency was an expression of his piety because Shiloh was an important place historically and religiously and clearly Alcan was concerned to go there and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts. You will notice that in verse three and he would go there to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh or to Lord Sabol note you might think we might be tempted to think that since he took his family there and since he took Hannah there.

It would be a good occasion, then for Hannah quotes to get ourselves sorted out. You know, a visit to the place of sacrifice, and there may well have been some who would have been prepared to say to her, you know, Hannah, do you think that for a little while in your life you could stop thinking about yourself and about your own problem and since we are here for this very express purpose to give your attention to God. Well, I have found in life there is no shortage to Job's comforters, the people who are able to point out to us when we're in the midst of difficulty that it's it's really just a problem for ourselves and that we would be better off if we looked outside of ourselves. It may well be true, but it doesn't actually help note Alcan who was responsible for this little journey on an annual basis had in taking Nina as his wife got something that he wanted namely children, but he also got what he didn't want namely a divided household and in the routine distribution of the portions from the sacrifice of which you will see are there in verse four. His giving of portions actually heightened attention because as you will see the text in front of you.

He would give portions to put Nina his wife and to all her sons and daughters. So here you are one for you and one for you and one for you and one for you in the picture there is of the fullness if you like of Benin is experienced. She has always children and then out to Hannah and what we discover. Well, he gave to Hannah double portion for two reasons because he loved her because she didn't have any children are presumably used him to be a good guy, but I think he compounded the problem was she supposed to do with all this stuff nobody's eating. She has an almost 2 feet. She's got no children together to. I again help myself but I see it in in in pictorial terms. You know that I is in here one and another and another and to their she lives in the leaves. She does she's not even eating.

Remember, how's your appetite. She's not eating Nina looking on, says her husband Alcan. I know you love her more than me. I know you do. That's why you never that stuff and then turning to her arrival to Hannah what you have to thank God for you got nothing you can no children. God is close to. Surely he's forgotten you. So, she becomes the catalyst for all this disruption marred by provocation and aggravation and irritation. In verse seven. So it went on year by year, UCL cannot.

The husband knew that all things that come our way or do not come our way. We need to take us from a father's hand. Hannah knew that as well.

But you see she was having a hard time allowing her heart or her emotions to catch up with her head, see the dilemma was that she had a theology that she had an understanding of God and his purposes that she knew that he was a God who is interested in the affliction of his people that she knew that he was a guard who wouldn't forget his all. She knew this. I did at the same time she was having a real difficulty in reconciling what was an apparent contradiction. You may be here today and that's exactly where you are in your spiritual pilgrimage that you're waiting for your emotions, as it were to be brought under the jurisdiction of what you know to be true of God. Conversely, some of us actually may have emotionally got there and were waiting for our heads to catch up.

No notice how Alcan are true to form, as her husband makes an attempt and fixing things and Alcan are her husband, verse eight said to her. Hannah, why do we. Why do not eat and wiser hearts that to which she might have said why don't you go on a long donkey right fair. I mean you honestly asking me these questions.

Alcan you want to know why I'm sad with TSS when she when he says I am I not more to you than 10 sons, you know, in other words, I'm sufficient my nonsufficient he should've said are you not more to me than 10 sons that would've been the right answer or the right question because her grief was compounded by the fact that she that Alcan I loved her in every dimension of their relationship and along with her long to have a child to have anywhere and so you should have said are you not more to me than whether you give me a son, as opposed to my not more to you than 10 sons seem to beginning in verse nine is a scene of silent prayer in the sanctuary. Verse nine after they had eaten and drunk, and Shiloh question whether Hannah was at that point. Part of the delay. It's unclear for me is unlikely. But what we have. That is clear is that she has now removed herself from the realm of Alcan's questions and she's placed herself in the presence of the one who holds the answers she goes into the sanctuary and you will notice if your Bible is in front of you that the description of her can be summarized just in these phrases, deep distress and 13 years earnest prayer affliction great anxiety and vexation. Imagine that she is saying in our heart. Oh God, I thank you for my husband.

I love him but he doesn't get it. He doesn't understand me to you oh Lord, I cry, but the chances are that Alcan I was in his bedroom praying something similar Lord. I love Hannah and we don't get but to you. We cry seek what we should be struck with at this point is this, that the response of Hannah to this is not vengeance, nor is there any sense of her becoming resentful towards God, which would've been an understandable reaction, nor is she fatalistic, no none of that what she's doing is she's bringing her tears her size. Her belongings she's bringing them if you like into the presence of God.

She she's seeking to bring our life underneath God's jurisdiction, a God who is too wise to make mistakes and do is to kind ever to be cruel. No loved ones. That is the story of Christian pilgrimage, one can be involved in congregational life for a long period of time without being aware of the fact that in the pews in the seats in front of you on a regular basis are is life after life after life that is dealing with these very same issues. There is no simple solution to this. There was no immediate eradication of the problem and many others will go through all of our days dealing with circumstances like this, so it is remarkable what she does all Lord of hosts.

Verse 11.

If you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant, and I know you looked on the affliction of your people.

You looked on knowing the circumstances you looked on Abraham you you looked on your people.

If you will look on the affliction of your servant if you will remember me if you won't forget me. If you will give your servant a son I will give them to the Lord all the days of his life. She's not making a promise in an attempt to induce God's favor. She knows better than that. All she is saying is this God you are the majestic God your sovereign I am your servant. I am in this predicament. I regard this as a deep affliction, and therefore I am asking you to do for me little Hannah what you have done for your people in the past to see God's love in the past is what gives her the confidence to pray as audaciously as she dies.

See she could never have known that in answering her prayer, God was actually addressing the problem of Israel Gordon answering her little prayer was doing something that was vast in its ramifications. That's why is said to you when she asked the question why is this happening to me the answer to that question is not in this and is not in the me for the ways of God are vast beyond our ability to comprehend and in many cases. In our journey of life.

It will be only in glory.

Eventually that we will make sense of all the tangled threads of all the black bits and pieces all the patterns that have been destroyed.

You see, she says, and I will give you this boy and no razor shall touch his hair all the days of his life. The reference here is to a Nazirite vow Nazirite vow would have a timeframe to that's what you read, for example, in the act of how Paul had his hair cut.

According to a Nazirite by lasted for a while, she says, this boy will be yours forever.

Note all these words are put in her mouth, but you will notice that we haven't heard a peep from her mouth. Because in verse 12 it says that she continued praying before the Lord and Eli observed her mouth, but she was speaking in her heart. Only her lips moved, and her voice wasn't heard. In other words, her prayers have been heartfelt in some ways they were observable prayers. But they were in audible prayers, but then let's bring in the religious personnel though.

Be sure to capture and I'm sure what is it what is the pastor have to say he's been watching from the corner sitting there in his chair looking making his own assessments and as he watches from the wings. Eli was the father of worthless sons is concluded that this is a worthless woman and with an embarrassing absence of spiritual insight. He concludes that she is inebriated much the same way as the crow determined on the day of Pentecost.

What was happening to the people of God by then they were pagans they could never understand. And Eli should know. It's too bad is that when your pastor let you down.

You go and pour out your soul, and he doesn't get it.

The best of men are men at best.

Eli is there as a representative of the religious establishment missing the point phenomenally well. She has to explain to him that she's not a worthless woman. She'd been speaking out of anxiety and vexation.

Eli then twigs in verse 17 and he says well in that case go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him and she said well then let your servant find favor in your eyes and then here we go, and the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. I call this final little section I put a heading for myself. You're looking more like yourself and I will be will save you when hit when you bid on. Well there's I saw you a few weeks ago but you looking much more like yourself to sensing this isn't how we live like anybody else What you dress up or something you looking more like yourself are human one myself when I was weeping and sick and sad know what yourself, but look at this now. She has brought her grief to the Lord and before it is answered in one way or another. Her appetite has returned and her countenance has changed in the way in which this is written, points to the fact that the point of resolution for Hannah was not in her pregnancy, not in the subsequent arrival of a child, but in the fact that she had if you like our own. First Peter five, six and seven encounter casting her burden upon the Lord, and it was there in the quiet place in the century. In her own heart of hearts that she was then settled in her heart and lightened in her step Lord divorce. I don't know what you're doing or why. But I take the absence or the presence of a child is from your busy that's that's that has to be I don't know what you're doing or why. But I tell all of us have stuff like that. When I answered yes it was only then that piece began to flood my soul. Hannah answered yes and in the challenging dilemmas of each of our lives. Surely the only stabilizing answer is for each of us to answer yes it's not always simple or easy, but it's true we can trust God even when our circumstances don't seem to make sense listing to Alister big on Truth for Life.

If you been encouraged and strengthened by the teaching you hear on this program would like to invite you to join the team that makes Truth for Life possible. We call them true partners and when you become a true partner you're committing to praying for us and giving a donation each month you choose the amount your regular ongoing support is what brings Alister's Bible teaching blisters all around the world. So if today is the day for you to move from just listening to listening and giving sign up partner and when you do, be sure to request our recommended book is titled little pilgrims big journey.

This is a beautifully illustrated book that brings the timeless story of the Pilgrim's progress to young children, just like the original version of the story follows the main character question on an adventurous journey from the city of destruction, eternal life in God's kingdom.

It's a wonderful story that talks about the pitfalls and temptations that Mark every Christian's journey. The book is perfect for weeks worth of bedtime reading requester or call us at 888-588-7884 Bob Lapine.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy time worshiping with your local church family. Be sure to join us again Monday as we head back to first Samuel to see what Hanna's heartfelt prayer in chapter 1 has to do with us. The Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living

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