There is an old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”. The truth it expresses is Biblical, you can’t always see reality when you look on the surface. God calls us to look more deeply! THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR!
KEY PRINCIPLE: Many live with a sculpted appearance of faith. God is not impressed by appearances. He looks past the exterior worship, and examines the motives and reality inside – God knows the heart! We must, therefore, work on the inside, and not just the part other people see.
I. Hannah looked like:
A. A LOSER to Penninah (1:6).
B. A CRYBABY to Elkanah (1:8).
C. A DRUNK to Eli the Priest (1:14).
II. Eli and His “holy family” appeared:
A. Priests of the Most High God (1:3).
B. Righteous judges (1:16).
C. Representatives of God (1:17).
III. Hannah knew and walked with God. He pain was real, and yet she worshipped:
A. Her worship (2:1-10). Look at what she learned about God:
- God rescues me (1).
- God is distinctly different (unmoved by exterior appearances – 2).
- God is my defense (2b).
- God discerns the real truth (3).
- God gives me the strength to go in (4).
- God levels the field for the righteous (5).
- God controls life and death (6).
- God rewards as He sees fit (7).
- God exalts and honors (8a.)
- God created and has the power to hold it all together (8b).
- God guards the way of His people – wicked walk by sight (9).
- God is the judge (10).
B. Her sacrifice in truth (2:11).
A couple of lessons:
In her celebration of God’s faithfulness, she shows her focus was on knowing God, not simply ideas about Him!
Her words were matched by action, giving up the child God gave her!
IV. Eli and His Sons:
A. Hophni and Phinehas’s Sin:
1. Didn’t know the Lord (12).
2. Didn’t follow the Lord in their actions:
a. Focused on self indulgence: took too much of God’s sacrifice(13,14)
b. Didn’t feel the rules applied to them: took too soon (15)
c. Relationship with those who God put in their lives became increasingly less important: violent threats (16)
3. Didn’t follow the Lord’s appointed authorities in their life: disobedient to father (2:25)
B. Eli’s Sin:
1. Dad out of touch (2:22-25).
2. Dad out of control (3:13,14).
Application: Things are not always as they appear! The Godly and the religious aren’t always the same.