My Introductory Comments:
Although First Samuel centers around the narrative of the first two kings of Israel (Saul and David), it begins with a very private family problem as Hannah turns to God in desperation. Her son, Samuel, would eventually serve as priest, a prophet and military leader. His strong personality and leadership undergirds the entire book. As you study the text, take special note of the leadership qualities of Samuel, Saul and David.
Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. What has brought you the most joy the past few years? The most grief? What brought relief from your grief?
2. What does your name mean? Why was that name chosen? How are you like your namesake or like its meaning?
3. How does this list of Elkanah’s ancestry (verse 1) underscore Hannah’s plight?
4. Why did Hannah want a baby so badly?
- to prove her worth as a woman
- to please her husband
- to get back at her rival
- because she loved children
- because she was lonely
- because of social pressure
5. Why was Hannah’s grief especially intense at the annual sacrifices?
- festive occasions highlighted her inward despair
- focusing on God made her question His goodness
- seeing all the children tore her up
- Elkanah’s favoring her at the feast made Peninnah rub it in more
6. What in your life gives you a sense of self-worth?
- my family
- my job
- my education
- my friends and associates
- spiritual security
- other: ________________
7. What encouragement can you find in this story for disappointments in your life? In your own experiences of God’s faithfulness?
8. What “unchangeable” situation have you grieved over as Hannah does? Was it really unchangeable?
9. When has God led you into a time of disappointment before granting your heart’s desire? Are you in the midst of a time of disappointment now?
10. When has the Lord “remembered” you in a time of great need? Has there been a time of great need when you suddenly “remembered” the Lord? What helps at such times?
11. What prayer will you record to help recall how He has been with you?