Focal Passages: I Samuel 1:10-20, 27-2:1; 12:23-24
Although Hannah was in a bad straight and normal life expectations did not come to fruition as in the lives of those around her, still she kept a hope in God and that hope was passed on to her son, Samuel. The answers to her dilemmas were to be found in God. In Hannah’s life one can find unfilled expectations and unrealized dreams. These plagued her. Yet, she remained consistent before the Lord; her hope was in God and what He alone could do for her. She had a genuine trust that God would work in her life. Notice four key characteristics found in Hannah’s life that allowed her to leave a legacy of hope.
First is her relationship with God. Out of her relationship with the Lord she was enabled to pass on a legacy of hope to her firstborn son, Samuel. She knew God and trusted Him to do what only He could do in her behalf. Her hope came from the Lord. There is no hope without God and a right relationship with Him. This is a lesson that must be understood and proclaimed and passed on. Note that the despair did not turn Hannah away but drove her deeper into her relationship with God.
The second characteristic of leaving a legacy is prayer. Out of the context of her relationship with God she prayed. For anyone to leave a legacy of hope the work of prayer must be found in their life. Hannah prayed. She cried out to the Lord. Out of her relationship with the Lord she came before Him and prayed. She prayed out of the bitterness of soul and heart. She petitioned the Lord for a son. Having a son was important for every family.
The third characteristic in Hannah’s life is worship. She went to the Temple to worship. Did she need to go to the Temple to worship? Yes, she wanted her life to testify to the worth of God. She went to the place of worship. She took the effort and time to go to the house of worship. People who attend worship regularly leave a legacy of the importance of worship.
This dear mother was thankful, which is the fourth characteristic. When God moved on her behalf and answered her prayer she took time to thank the Lord for His benevolent action. Hannah understood that all life comes from the Creator. He also sustains and blesses those who call on Him. Being a thankful person aids in leaving a legacy of hope in the Lord.
These characteristics led to the actual legacy of hope she passed on to her son, Samuel. She had something of substance to give and pass on. Her legacy of hope continued in the life of Samuel. Recall that she gave him to the Lord prior to his birth and she honored that commitment. She took him to live with Eli and her legacy of hope filtered through the life of Samuel and impacted all of Israel. Samuel truly blessed the nation and it began due to the legacy of hope he received from his mother Hannah. The greatest impact was that Samuel was also a man of prayer. He prayed for Israel and understood it to be sin if he did not pray for them. What a great legacy of hope to pass on — a praying child. To birth a child who realizes the importance of dependence on and in God is a blessing to the mother and to others.
This should lead us to ask, “Do I have what it takes to leave a legacy of hope?”
— Hartley is pastor of First Baptist Church, Jamestown.