This week's Haftorah reading is from I Samuel 1:1-2:10. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he relays the testimony of Hannah's life, found in the book of I Samuel, and the connection between her story and Yom Teruah! As we enter into Yom Teruah, allow the challenges of the past prepare you to meet the KING, in this new season!
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – I Samuel 1:1-2:10
Hannah’s story is told at the beginning of the first Book of Samuel, the prophet. It is connected to Yom Teruah—so it is connected to Yeshua’s return at the last trump. Hannah’s name comes from the Hebrew word “chein”, which is usually translated as “grace.” We understand that a name helps us understand something of a person’s nature. The concept of “chein” encompasses and holds ideals of grace, compassion, kindness, beauty, refinement, poise and dignity. Hannah has all these attributes.
She was married to a righteous man named Elkana. Their relationship was a beautiful and loving relationship. In the writings, it describes their relationship as a life filled with joy and commitment to Elohim. The Midrash paints a wonderful picture of their openheartedness. They thought of other people before themselves, however, something was missing from Hannah’s life. Hannah had no children. She ached for a child. She had an intense yearning, such a deep desire, it was a longing from the depth of her soul. It is from this deep place that profound prayers for help emanate.
Hannah’s longing was all-consuming. Like others before her—Hannah thought the solution was to intervene (help Elohim) by bringing in another wife for Elkana. She thought, maybe Elohim would have mercy on her and give her a child. Enter Penina. Penina (which means “pearl”) was a good and righteous woman. And she was fertile. While Hannah remained childless, Penina had baby after baby—ten in all! However, Penina’s actions toward Hannah made her look arrogant and came across as cruel since Hannah was barren.
Elkana knew of Hannah’s longing. He loved her whether she gave him a child or not—but he didn’t understand her crying and why her heart was so grieved. Wasn’t he enough? But none of his words removed her burning desire for a child.
One day—thank Elohim we all have those “one days” – Hannah was in the Sanctuary praying. She wept. She poured her heart out to Elohim. She pleaded and bargained with Elohim; Hannah promised Elohim that if He gave her a son, she would dedicate His life to divine service.
Hannah began to pray, she was so overcome with emotion, that no sound could come out of her mouth. The High Priest, Eli, saw her “stammering lips” and accused her of being drunk with wine. She told him she was not drunk but was pouring out her soul before Elohim. Eli prophesied over her and told her, “Go in peace; may Adonai of Israel grant what you have asked of Him.” She continued her worship and was no longer sad.
When Hannah returned home- she conceived- her prayers were answered and she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel. Once he was weaned, she brought him to the Sanctuary with offerings. She brought Samuel to Eli, the High Priest. Retelling the story, she was now giving him over to a lifetime of Torah and service to Elohim. Samuel became a great prophet of Adonai. Eventually, anointing King Saul and then King David.
What is the connection to Hannah and Yom Teruah? In I Sam. 2:1-10, Hannah prays and thanks Elohim for granting her desire, extols His greatness, exhorts the people not to be haughty or arrogant, and prophesies regarding the Messianic redemption. The fullness of that redemption we see in Yom Teruah.
We are all on a journey until King Yeshua comes. As we anticipate His soon return, we must also realize that with each passing day and new trial, we are becoming ready to meet Him as His bride. Pain brings us to growth. Pain is a part of the package called life. We don’t seek it but we need to understand that it’s a part of life. Pain comes in so many forms. Place of lack (barrenness), the need to fill the void, to fill the darkness with light. It could be a lack of something materially or a feeling of the lack of love. However, it is up to us to seek the solution for healing what needs to be healed. Sometimes the healing is as simple as a shift in perspective—but simple is not always easy.
If Hannah conceived a child early in her marriage, she would not be the same woman she grew into after her trials. She needed to grow to become the woman who would be able to bring a child into this world at the level of Samuel and to mother Him.
Pain has a purpose, even if we don’t understand it. Sometimes the darkest parts of our lives reveal their purpose and sometimes not. Sometimes we build ourselves into something stronger or we become advocates for others. We have the power to transform the hard stuff of life. In the darkest place – we bring the light! Look through your own past and see something painful you have endured and understand how it has helped you grow to where you are now! Because if you can see how you’ve used pain to grow in the past, you can have faith that even if you don’t understand your current path, it’s possible there will be meaning and purpose again. Take your pain and use it to rise!
Rising doesn’t mean that you have to “get over it” so fast. Timing is different for everyone. Knowing you can use pain to grow gives you the power to look for the opportunity to grow and step into it. Other things are not worth fretting about, and the faster you let go, the faster you rise! There is a spectrum of life experiences, and so much of what happens will never be understood from our perspective. However, there can always be a level of healing when we bring meaning and purpose to our struggles and challenges. You may not see from the midst of pain where it is taking you, but you can always know that there is a purpose and meaning to all pain—to bring you to your greatness! Use your challenges to grow!
We are ready to enter Yom Teruah—we have been checking over our lives this past month and preparing to enter this season free of doubt, hurt, confusion, and bitterness. As a bride, we are making ourselves ready for His return. Let the shofar blow! He has allowed things in our lives to help us in this preparation. Our challenges reveal the places within us that need to be changed and transformed. Use the pain and circumstances this past year to propel you into a different perspective and prepare to meet the King. In doing so – you will never know what barren places in your life that will begin to be fruitful!
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Come and celebrate the King on this powerful Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah. It will be a great time of worshipping and praising Elohim. He has been so faithful to all of us! Come and give Him thanks for all He has done for you this past year! It is time to blow the shofar and honor Elohim on His appointed day! Amen and amen!