1 Corinthians 12:31b (NAS)

And I show you a still more excellent way.
1Corinthians 12:31b (NAS)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hannah's Namesake

Hannah wanted to know why we chose the name Hannah out of all the names we could have picked for her.  Evidently, it was one of the most popular girls names in 1995, the year that she was born, because every where she goes she meets other Hannah's; at school, at church, at dance competitions, and at swim meets.   At the time, we  did not realize it would be such a popular name.  When we were choosing a name for our soon-to-arrive new daughter, we looked in the Bible to find a biblical name, one that would have spiritual significance.

Hannah's name means 'Grace' or favored, making her name Grace Grace or double Grace according to Pastor Roy Bryan Moore. He pointed this out when Hannah was dedicated to the Lord years ago.  And God's sovereign grace is found through out the story of Hannah as found in 1Samuel, chapter1.  When we first see Hannah, she is a very sad lady; crying her eyes out, refusing her husbands words of comfort, and grieving to the point of forgetting to eat.  And why is she so sad?  Her sadness is the result of a deep longing, an unmet need, a strong desire to have a child.   In verse 5 we see the reason why she had not been able to have a child, "the Lord had shut up her womb."  But, Hannah does not give up on her dream of being a mother, she turns to God in her grief and prays 'in bitterness of soul'  (verse 10).  She makes a vow to God, that if he will give her a son, then she will give him back to the Lord all the days of his life. 

All these events, the deep longing for a son, the barren womb, the sadness and grief were part of God's plan for something wonderful that he was about to do.  He was preparing a man to lead the nation of Israel into a period of revival and Hannah's son would be that man.  He would serve as priest and prophet for many years to come and be used by God in a mighty way.  If you haven't guessed it yet, his name was Samuel and Samuel's name means "because I asked him of the Lord". 

God chose Hannah to be Samuel's mother.  In verse 19, we read, "and the Lord remembered her".  She  exhibited courage and determination in the face of a hopeless situation.  In spite of great opposition, she kept asking and she kept believing until God granted her petition. 

My prayer for you Hannah is that you will be like your namesake; that you will cling to God and keep asking until he gives you the thing you desire.

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