The Bible should define who God is for me. Our relationship must include experience of professing Him. Hannah poured out her heart because she knew God. (1 Samuel 2:2-12)
Speaker(s): Dennis White
11:00 AM on 5/14/2023
P. Dennis White –
Good morning. Yes. Let’s stand. We’re going to read the Bible for the next three hours! That’s the old
school preaching method! In the book of Nehemiah, you just sit there listening to somebody
read the Bible. What did he just talk about? I’m falling over sleeping.
Let’s turn in our Bible to 1 Samuel 2. I want to talk about Hannah, also. It’s a great example of a
woman who loves God. A great example of a mother who loved her child and loved God. 1 Samuel
I went to church for many years, because my mom made me. Thanks, Mom if
you’re listening! I was just thinking the other day, we talk a lot in our church that our walk with
God we describe it as a relationship, right? And why do we say that it’s because we use words
like he’s our Father. We use words that says in the Old Testament that God spoke to Abraham
as a friend speaks to a friend. Moses saw him face to face. And you go on and on in the Bible,
and how do you see people’s walk with God? There is reverence and there is fear, right? That
might be the religious side of what we believe and the doctrine and the theology that we study.
That’s maybe the religious side. That is also needed, but if it is only that, what are we without?
We are without relationship.
We had some friends over my house last night, and we were saying like if we say that we have
a relationship with God, doesn’t that also mean we should have an experience with God? When
I have a relationship with a friend, and we go out and we play soccer or play baseball or go to a
movie or something, what do we do? We generally talk to each other and there’s a relationship
happening, right? I don’t go there and analyze every single thing that my friend says or last
week you said and you open up your notes and the actually meaning of this word and what you
said is this. No, that can be very dry. A dry relationship, right? But we have a great walk with
God and he is real with us, and I believe that today if we can pay attention, we will see in the life
of Hannah she had one of the most beautiful – and I want to use this word “creed.” You guys
know that word, right? Yeah, creed. We have a creed, right?
We sing the Apostles Creed, right? If you are from other denominations, maybe in your
denomination you have lots of creeds and you recite them during the service. And where do
those come from, but they are articles of the Christian faith that the believers in times past they
would gather them together, and this is how they would live their life.
But there’s also another definition of creed, because it is also very personal. It is relationship. It
is real and it’s something that I experience. It is something that I believe. It is a system of
principles that I believe and that I profess to be true.
We look at this prayer. You can read all of Hannah’s prayer and what is it, but it’s actually
Hannah’s creed. It is something she believes about God. It is something she believes about
God. We’re going to go into Hannah’s life and see how amazing it is that this woman would have
this sets of principles, this sets of beliefs about who God is despite her experience. Because
does she experience God? The answer is, yes, she does. We read it in the story and it is so
clear to us, and it is amazing and we jump for joy. It is amazing how this woman had faith. It is
amazing how God met this need. It is amazing how God gave her a child and this child would
become a prophet and a priest and would do amazing things. It is amazing at how God was so
real to her. We say that, right? But we don’t realize how many years of trouble as P. Eugene
mentioned, but she had a creed. And we see that there in verse 2 and on.
And how do we view God? Our creed is often formed, our principle of beliefs on who God is, is
often formed about how we view God, right? So, how do we view God today? There are many
things in life that actually shape how we view God. Are all those things biblical? How often does
this book actually define my view of God? It should be a lot. I hope it’s a lot. But maybe actually
there are things like my culture that defines who God is. Maybe there are things in my life, there
are sins or negative experiences that I believe that defines who God is. Maybe my family
defines who God is for me. Maybe a church defines who God is for me. We could go on and on and we could say that all these things effect our view of who God is. But the thing is that maybe
these views based on all these things actually could be wrong.
The reason why this is so important is because we look through the Bible and they had a view
of God and it changed their creed. It changed their belief system. It changed how they
professed who God is. It changed how they acted upon their belief system. It changed their
Let’s just name a few. How about Judas. Did Judas have a view about how Jesus was? Yes.
Was it from the Bible? That’s a hard question to answer actually. We’re kind of like yeah, no/yes.
It’s an interesting thought, but if it was from the Bible, then he would have seen Jesus as a
Savior, right, saving the sins of the world not being a military conquest defeating the Romans.
So, how did Judas’ view of who God is or who Jesus was, how did that effect his creed?
It’s amazing I was reading Mark 14 and one of the thoughts maybe for today’s message, but
Mark 14 is so amazing. Because Jesus is with his disciples. He’s preparing to die. And Mary
Magdalene comes in and she anoints his feet. And Judas is the one who says, stop it! Stop it!
We could use that oil for what? For the poor. How useful could that money be? How could we
spend it in the church today?
That’s what Judas is saying. We could spend it this way. We could
spend it that way. We could do something amazing. Jesus’ responded to Judas and the other
disciples who were kind of agreeing with him, he said wherever the gospel is preached, she will
Mark 14, do you know what Judas does right after that statement? He sells Jesus out. Why?
Because Judas had a view of who God was and it didn’t match up. Who Jesus was wasn’t
matching up with his view. It affected his creed. It affected his profession. It affected the way he
acted on what God was saying, on what God was doing. And instead of falling – I don’t want to
say falling in line – but instead of believing in Jesus and what he has said saying I will die, I will
be bured, but I will be resurrected again. Instead of believing in those words, he clung to his
How about another one, one that we can all identify is the Apostle Peter. He’s an amazing guy
because he followed Jesus. He was one of these guys that had a lot of gusto. Kind of wasn’t
afraid to answer loudly and quickly even though his answer was often wrong. I don’t like
answering questions, because I’m probably going to be wrong, you know. But Peter, he had a
view of who Jesus was and what did this cause Peter to do? It’s kind of similar to Judas. Peter
said you will not go to the cross. I will fight for you. I will die for you. I will never, ever forsake
you. That’s what Peter says, right? Why? Because of his view of who Jesus is. Isn’t this
Peter has an amazing redemption story. That’s why we love Peter, because we are like Peter.
Because we say crazy stuff and we are bold in our faith in saying something that we shouldn’t
say, yet God still redeems us and we love it.
I was thinking of another one. This is one of my favorites. It’s Jonah. Didn’t he have a creed or a
view of who God was? But it’s interesting about Jonah. His view of who God was, was right. It
was biblical. Actually, it was so biblical he ran from God, because he knew that God would be
gracious to Nineveh. And just because God basically forces his hand, you know, that doesn’t
happen with many people but it happened with Jonah. Jonah went cause basically it’s that or be
stuck in the fish. So, he goes to Nineveh and he doesn’t preach grace.
He doesn’t preach God loves you. He says, repent or die! You know what, God, if you want me to go to Nineveh, I’m
going to go and here’s my message: Repent or die. And everybody gets saved! And what does
Jonah say? He says, I knew! That’s why I didn’t want to come here. I knew that you were
gracious and you would forgive them. It is so interesting how our view of God effects our walk
with God. It effects our creed.
So, what do we see by these examples? We see that a creed is a belief. It is a system of
principles in which we live by. And actually we could say when James says this and I’m going to
kinda change the translation a little bit. He says that our system of principles or the things that
we believe we are to live by them and if we do not, then we actually don’t believe in them, right?
Like with faith without works is dead. Another way to say that is I have a belief, a system about
who God is and we’re going to say just to get it over with, right, that that belief system comes
from the Bible. It comes from me studying. It comes from me being in church. It comes from me
getting to know who he is personally.
That’s where my belief system comes from. And if I say I
believe in something and I do not act upon it, then do I actually have a belief system? Do I
actually have a creed? And James says, no, you don’t. That’s what faith is.
Now, let’s go back one chapter to 1 Samuel 1. I want to set the premise here for – we read that
amazing prayer and I love it, cause we’re going to look into it. She says she rejoices and she
rejoices. Meaning that she is jumping up and down and shouting the praises of God. Sometimes
in church, aren’t we a little stiff sometimes? I tell my church in Frederick, you know, we’re not a
library! We can say “Praise the Lord” or “Amen!” We can be excited because we have salvation.
We have God in our life and we have a creed.
The Bible tells us who God is, and that who becomes so personal to us in our daily life. And we are excited about our walk with God. What happened in Hannah’s life, she should not have been excited about who God was. Look at
this. 1 Samuel 1:5-7, listen to this, “although the Lord had closed her womb.” Who closed her
womb? It was God. It was God. How many times do we cry out to God and say, God, why are
you punishing me? Why are doing these bad things to me? And sometimes counsel we receive
and sometimes that counsel isn’t wisdom. Oh, it’s not from God. It might not be, right?
Sometimes, evil happens in our lives because of evil people. Sometimes, the evil happens in
our life because we make bad decisions. But Hannah’s story is very different. Sometimes, bad
things happen because of God. Thanks, Father. I love it, you know. Thanks for picking on me,
dad. Thank you, Jesus.
Let’s keep reading. vs. 6-7. That’s hard, isn’t it? Could you imagine? Could you imagine? That
the suffering that she has is because of God? It says it twice, right? That way it is very clear that
there is to be no argument that the reason why Hannah cannot have a child is because of God.
God wants to make it very clear.
What do we say to that? I don’t know. I don’t know. We’re going to see what Hannah says. What
do we say to that? What kind of comfort can we bring? What kind of things can we say? I don’t
know. But the thing is, is that is what God has done in Hannah’s life, and that might be what God
does to us. And then on top of that, what happens is her rival – I like how it says that – her
enemy provokes her over and over again, and it says not once, not twice; but it says this
happened yearly. It happened time after time after time. And she is in a home where she is not
safe. Where she cannot hide. Where she cannot take refuge. Where there’s this other woman
causing her trouble over and over and over again.
And what is her troubling causing? It’s causing her to be reminded how God has done
something to her. Is that an easy place to be in? No, it’s not. But there’s nothing in the Bible
saying like to be used by God or to be hearing or to be a follower of God that life is going to be
easy. We have made that kind of proclamation here in the United States and other countries,
because we are so wealthy with our own means. We have taken God out and we have replaced
him with our own provisions.
But here is a woman who had no provision, who had no defense, and let’s look at this. Let’s go
back to chapter 2:12. This is setting another tone of something she has to go through, because
her husband would go every year and would sacrifice a double portion for her, because he loved
her so much.
Listen. Chapter 2:12, it says the sons of Eli “were corrupt, and they did not know God.” God has
done this to me. There is someone in my own house that is provoking me, who is desiring to bring anger into my life. Desiring to be strife, anxiety, fear, depression. This is the whole
purpose. This is what provoking means. It doesn’t mean we’re going to provoke them to joy,
provoke them to grace. But the idea is that she is being provoked to anger. Anger toward who?
We could say toward this other woman maybe. But actually, where would the anger be directed
towards? To God. Because who is the one who has done this to me? It is God. So, therefore, I
am being provoked by this woman so I can be angry towards God and then my husband goes
and I go with him, and there is a sacrifice being presented to who? To people who were corrupt
it says in chapter 12 and did not even know God. Isn’t that amazing? Wow.
I am thankful for one that I go to a church where the priest, the pastors, right, they are not
corrupt, and they are men who know God. Amen. Yeah, let’s give our pastors in this church an
applause. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for a church that opens up the Bible, and they
read from the Bible and it’s not their opinions. They don’t try to pervert this Word. Because when
I am in trouble, when I think it’s God doing something to me and there’s somebody in my house
or in my work or somebody in my life that is provoking me in anger towards God, that I can
come to a place and I can receive the wisdom of God. It says later on that they had no wisdom.
The sons of Eli. Eli himself had on wisdom.
Eli thought that Hannah was drunk, because she
actually prayed with a little conviction. I’d ask the question, Eli, have you ever prayed with
conviction? Obviously not, because you don’t know what it looks like when you see it. But this is
This is the condition of what’s happening in Hannah’s life. This is so important for us to
remember, because then we read Hannah’s prayer. We’re saying today it’s Hannah’s creed.
Because this is something and again we are going to say it, this is something that she viewed.
How she views God and she holds to these views. This becomes so important, and we could
dissect here whole entire prayer. It’s an amazing, amazing prayer on her view of who God is
despite all of this. But only in one verse. We’re going to look at vs. 2. Only in that one verse. It is
so deep, and it resonates with the character of God. It resonates with the personality of God,
meaning he is personal. He is intimate with us.
And that is what a relationship with God means. It should be – doctrinal meaning should come
from the Bible, right? My view of who God is doesn’t come from outside the Bible. It comes from
this book. But it also comes from my personal relationship with God, and how he has revealed
himself to me. Look at vs. 2. What does it say?
Can you guys talk? Okay. Maybe. “No one is like the Lord.” Isn’t that amazing. No one. “There is
no one besides you, nor is there any Rock like you.” This is her creed. This is her profession.
This is her view of who God is in her life. She says #1, that God is holy. Are you kidding me?
God is the very reason why I cannot have children. Why has he done this to me? What sin have
I committed? What law in the Mosaic law have I broken? What wrong have I done? What
offense have I committed? What is so bad about me? What did my parents do? What did my
grandparents do? She could go on and ask those questions. God, what have I done? She could
maybe answer, I have done nothing. A little offense here and a little offense here, but really
God? This is how you judge my offense.
But that is not her view. That is not her confession of who God is. She says that he is holy.
Meaning that she is saying that he is righteous. That’s what holiness means. It means he is
righteous. Every judgment that he makes is right. Every judgment that he makes is right. She is
processing that to what? To this person who is trying to provoke me to anger towards God. She
is processing that righteousness to the priest in the temple who did not know what
righteousness was. Yet she is saying God you are righteous.
I love this. We read this many times in the Bible, Isaiah 6:3. What Hannah is saying here it is
something that is deeply theological. Meaning it is something we could say, we could open up
to, you know, probably a hundred verses or more and say this is who God is. Yet she can also
say, she can open up her life and say this is who God is. He is holy. Holy, holy, as in Isaiah 6, as the angels are singing to one another, she is saying the same thing in her prayer. She is saying,
holy, holy, holy is the Lord of host.
How about Psalm 111:9. Listen to this. vs. 9. “Holy and awesome is his name.” What is Hannah
saying? Hannah is saying I am not attributing my experience, I am not attributing that you are
closing my womb. This person that you are not defending me from. I am not attributing the
lawlessness in your priesthood. I am not attributing any of that to you, God. Because what I read
in the Word of God, what I read in the Bible, what I know in my life to be true is that God, you
make righteous judgments. That was her confession even before she had Samuel. Otherwise,
she never would have been in the temple crying out to God to redeem, to fulfill a covenant, a
personal covenant she had with him.
Psalm 119:9 is fulfilled perfectly in her life, wasn’t it? Was she not redeemed? She was. It says in
vs. 1, 1 Samuel 2:1, that she was even able to rejoice in the midst of her enemies because of
God. It’s amazing.
The second thing we see here is “there is none beside you.” I was thinking about God being
singular in our life. And every time she makes a statement, she is making a statement about
God and contrasting it to her own experience. Meaning that there are so many things that we
could try to compare God to. Is God like ___? Then fill in the blank. These men? No, he’s not
like them. Is God like these other gods?
It’s funny that Israel would worship other gods. They were set apart. They were holy. They were
righteous. They were set apart to worship God only. But sometimes you find in history, they
would begin to worship other gods. Why? Very simply because they wanted to make sure they
covered all their bases. I want to make sure my crop produces a lot of whatever – corn or
whatever it is. I’m going to pray to God. I’m going to pray to these other gods just to see what
happens. And over and over again, what do you see? Do these gods have any power the
prophets would say. Do they have any power? No, they have hands but can’t do anything.
They have feet but can’t walk. You have to pick them up and move them. They have ears but they
don’t hear anything. They don’t hear your words. Over and over again, what do we see? That
God is set apart. He is different. There is nobody besides God.
And we look at our own lives in application. We look at our own lives, and we can ask the
question is there anybody in our life like God? And that answer could be different for all of us,
right? Cause maybe my answer is absolutly not. I have tested him in Malachi and I have proven
him and I have seen him to be faithful again and again and again. There could be others saying
I have prayed and I haven’t heard him speak. Why is this happening? And why has this
happened? Why has this happened?
Therefore, I run to and they trust something else. You trust
another vice. You sublimate with something else to fill that hole in your heart that is not God,
because you think that might be the thing that could be compared to who God is.
But Hannah is saying here in her own experience, and that’s what’s so amazing. I don’t have to
learn things the hard way. I could open the Bible and read the story of Hannah. And Hannah
says there’s nobody besides him; therefore, I don’t have to test anything else. I can just trust
God, because that is my experience.
That is who God is and I see it to be true. God is amazing.
I was thinking of this verse, Psalm 73:25. “There’s nothing on earth I desire besides you.” What is
he saying? He’s saying I have tried many things in my life to try to solve the problems that you
were designed to solve, God. That’s what the psalmist is saying. What could we say about those
things? I have tried relationships. I have tried drugs. I have tried alcohol. I have tried this. I have
tried. I have tried to work hard. I have tried to have a positive outlook on life. I have tried this. I
mean on and on it goes, right? We try so many things. And even as believers sometimes we
forget that it’s God, but I try so many things.
The psalmist is here in the realization that God is the ultimate becomes more and more evident to the psalmist. It becomes more and more evident to Hannah. There is nothing else that I could do to solve my problem. There is none
besides you. I don’t have anybody else. I have God.
The last thing she says in vs. 2 that he’s my Rock. This is, and actually if you study it very
carefully, she is actually quoting the prayer in the song of Moses just after they are exiting, right?
He says that God is my Rock. God is my Rock, the rock of my salvation. One rabbi says this,
“we observe this word which is translated “Rock.” It signifies something very special. It signifies
that Jehovah that our God is a fountain. He is a source and he is the spring of our life. There is
no source where continual help and salvation can come from but from God.” Meaning this, that I
can run to this source to get help or salvation.
I can run to this source and maybe one time it meets my need. And I become satisfied. I’m gratified. That was pretty awesome. I didn’t even need God there. I ran to this thing and I feel better. Thank you. But the rabbi is saying this word
here that he is our Rock is signifying the fact that he is the only one can bring you salvation
again and again and again and again and again. He’s the only one who can deliver you over
and over and over and over again. Because I don’t want to be like a Judas. I want to be like a
Peter. I want to be somebody who makes a mistake, and then runs to God and he’s the one who
delivers me. And then I run and make another mistake like Peter did. But guess what? He
delivers me. And then I make another mistake and he delivers me.
I find myself because of God redeeming his children that he is still someone who decides to use me as his vessel of honor despite my imperfection. That is the definition of Christ being our Rock.
We need to stop looking to politicians. We need to stop looking to politics. We need to stop
looking to diets. Whatever. Stop looking to these things to deliver you from out of your trouble.
Hannah is saying over and over again. The Bible is shouting it through the top if its lungs not
only through the mouth of Hannah, but through many other mouths that Jesus is the only one
who can meet my needs. And I’m reminding you that Hannah is saying this inspite of her
Your negative experiences do not dictate to you who God is. But if you
allow it to, that will become your creed and it will be your truth, not the truth. There are many
people out there and they think that God is angry at them. I’ve heard. God is a monster. Why
would he allow this child to die from this disease so young? God is a monster if he is even real.
I’ve heard so many things people call God so many names.
But you know what? That isn’t truth. It’s not real. But if I allow it to be, it becomes my truth. But
instead what happens? In 1 Samuel 2:1, we worked backwards there. These words are used
twice. Rejoice and rejoice. #1. it tells us she rejoices in the Lord. What does it say? It says
Hannah prayed and said my heart rejoices in the Lord. I have joy in my life. This word means I
jump for joy. There’s an exaltation that I am triumphing in my life because of who God is. That’s
what that word rejoice means. It means I’m jumping for joy, and I’m exalting in the triumph that
God has had in my life. Has God triumphed in your life? Meaning here’s a little obstacle.
Think about it. God, here’s a little thing. God, here’s a little thing. Could you help me with that? Okay.
And he does it. It’s amazing, right? Is that a triumph? Is that a reason for me to jump for joy and
exalt the name of Jesus.
We see in the Bible that I forget what God has done, so then I ask him to do something else. He
does it and I forget. I ask him to do something else. That’s the story of Israel, right, in the
wilderness. Miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle. Meaning this: that we have have to
be careful of two things. #1. That we don’t become legalistic in our creed of who Christ is.
Meaning that we can’t be strictly theological. It has to be personal.
The other thing that it means is it can’t be completely personal, because I can misinterpret my
experience with God and have a wrong view of who he is. Because weren’t there enough
miracles in the wilderness? I mean, if I were to see one of those I think I would believe. I believe
anyway. That’s just what we say. I’d just like to see one of those. That would be amazing. But
you know what? They saw it again and again and again and again and again. Yet they still were
stiff necked and hard-hearted. But here, Hannah after negative experience year after year, what
does it say about her heart? That her heart rejoiced in the Lord. Isn’t that amazing?
Then, it says rejoice again. This word in the Hebrew, it changes. It means that it makes that
God causes me to be gleesome or to be blissful or to have joy or to be merry. It means because of God’s salvation, I have cause to be glad. That’s what that word means. Because of God’s
salvation that is coming, meaning I am saved and going to heaven. But that doesn’t mean I don’t
need to be saved again. Because I need to be saved daily, right? Because I find myself in
trouble daily, right? Maybe you don’t. I’m in trouble all the time. I say something dumb, you
know. As soon as it comes out of my mouth I’m like oh, shoot! Here it goes again, you know! I’m
saying “sorry” for about two weeks, you know.
Apologies. Emails. Text messages. Get real desperate I start sending coffee or flowers, you know. Just trying to pay penance for my sin. I find myself in trouble often. Why? Because I’m a sinner. Because I’m human. But that puts me
in a place where I need God’s salvation, right? And I am saved today. Coming here to church
wasn’t easy this morning. I don’t know if it was for you. It wasn’t for me. A lot of obstacles
coming here. But do you know what? Yeah, I made it! I think! We’ll see if I make it out! You know
what? God is, God is working in our life. God is working. Don’t neglect the little things that God
is doing in your life. Let those things be reasons for you to give praises to God. Rejoice in him.
And just in closing. We could ask several questions looking at Hannah’s prayer. We could ask
questions like, is God my source? Is God my help?
Am I continually depending upon him? And the answer to that depends on my view of who God is. And it’s okay if the answer isn’t what it should be, because that’s the beauty of who God is. Because he continues to reveal himself
over and over again. We could ask ourselves, what are my desires? Do I desire God? Maybe
not. Maybe I come to church without desire. Maybe I sit here and I am listening reluctantly. But
where are my desires?
I believe that God’s goodness is so good. The Bible says taste and see that the Lord is. He’s
good. God is good. Taste and see it. Do I desire God? Maybe I don’t, but God I want to taste
and I want to see you. I want to taste and see you. We can ask questions like, can I exalt the
name of Christ in the midst of my trouble? And again, maybe the answer is no. But I am looking
at a story of a woman who despite all odds, was able to say yes, yes and yes. Where does that
come from? Is that spit and vinegar? Is that tenacity? Is that zeal? Is that gusto? Is that guts?
What is it? I think it’s something very simple. That she knew something about God, and then she
experienced something about God and she kept it in her heart.
And today, maybe today is the first time that you have had a little, you know, something
happened in your heart. God is maybe there is something happening you never felt before. Hold
on to that. Maybe God is using this message to prick your heart. Hold on to that. You go from
this place and you don’t forget it. Why? Because God is personal. God is real and he wants you
to have a creed about who he is. Christ is our creed. It is Christ. And I live my life today based
on the work of Christ. I live my life today, because he has forgiven me. I live my life today,
because he has forgotten my sins. I live my life today because they are gone. They are cast
away. I don’t live my life today, because I’m a better human being than I was yesterday. I don’t
live my life – fill in the blank. That is not why I live my life today.
I live today and I am successful today because of who Christ is. And it might never be true.
Meaning I could fail again at work. I could fail again. Another car accident, Dennis? Teenagers.
You know. Talking about your mom when you were a teenager. When I was a teenager, it was
like weekly I would come home. Here’s the keys to your old car, mom. And again? Yes, again.
Son, you have failed me. But yet God comes and he says I redeem you. I love you. I forgive
you. I cast this sin away. It is gone. It is so far from me. Why? Because I love you. Amen.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.