FEMALE PROMISE SEEKERS SERIES
Have you been fervently praying, believing, and expecting God to answer a promise that He gave you years ago? Or perhaps cancer knocked on your door and you’re waiting for Jesus to answer with that good report that He promised. Well, Abraham waited 20 years for Isaac; the woman with the issue of blood bled waited for 12 years, and Hannah was grieved in her spirit because she didn’t have a child.
Let’s discover how God answered three women who, by faith, sought their promise through prayer and supplication.
“SARAH: LOVE HAS NO BOUNDARIES”
Sarai was the wife and half-sister of Abram; they shared the same father, but had different mothers; (Gen. 20-12). In those days it was common to choose mates from within one’s own family or tribe.
God called Abram to leave His homeland and his family, and go to an unknown destination. Abram obeyed and He left with a promise from God; and Sarai packed up and went with him; (Gen. 12:1-5).
Sarai was very beautiful, and she had a tender heart; and she loved her husband with all of it. She stood by her husband as the perfect help-meet. She was willing to sacrifice herself in order to save Abram’s life. She took her marriage so serious that when Abram asked her to lie to Pharaoh and to King Abimelech, she agreed. She was willing to sacrifice her marital vows and her purity in order to honor her husband’s requests; (Gen. 12:11-13; Gen. 20:2).
Her love for Abram appeared to go beyond her control because she didn’t want her husband to go through life without receiving the promise of an heir; (Gen. 16:4). She willingly chose to turn her head while her husband took another woman to bed, which was her idea. Though Hagar (Sarai’s maid), gave birth to a son, he wasn’t the heir of promise.
At the age of 90, Sarai became pregnant, and when her time came she gave birth to Isaac, the heir of promise given to Abraham from God; (Gen. 21:1-3).
God changed Sarai name to Sarah, which means “princess” a woman of high rank, as part of the covenant with El Shaddai, after Hagar bore Abrams firstborn son, Ishmael; (Gen. 17:15). Sarah understood commitment and she stood firm in her beliefs. She honored her commitment to her husband and to God. Sarah is forever known as the “Mother of many nations.”
*Gen. 12, 15, 16, 21
“Hannah: A Woman Seeking God’s Heart”
Hannah was one of the two wives of a Jewish man named Elkanah. Peninnah was the name of His other wife and she had children. Hannah had no children because the Lord closed her womb; for that reason, Peninnah would often provoke her. Hannah was grieved in her spirit and she was embarrassed by the taunting from her rival. Her heart’s desire was to have children, but she could not conceive.
Once a year the family traveled to Shiloh because the Tabernacle of the Lord was located there. At the entrance of the Tabernacle, Hannah wept with bitterness in her soul, as she earnestly prayed to the Lord for a son. She was silently praying, so only her lips moved.
Eli, the priest saw her and he assumed that she was drunk. But after Hannah explain the reason for her sorrow, Eli blessed her and asked God to grant her request. The Lord remembered Hannah and she became pregnant. She bore a son and named him Samuel.
*1st Samuel Chapter 1
Be faithful, God is faithful
The story of Hannah gives insight into God’s heart. If the Lord hadn’t shut Hannah’s womb, perhaps she wouldn’t have had a reason to seek Him on the level in which she pursued Him. She discovered that there is power in prayer and strength in waiting. Hannah learned to trust God during the winter seasons of her life. Although it may appear dark and unfruitful, time is of great essence during the winter seasons in our lives.
God invites us to bring our petitions to Him; (Phil 4:6). He understands the feelings of our infirmities; (Heb. 4:15). Hannah’s story teaches us to seek God first with our concerns, and believe that He hears our prayers and He will answer us. Although He may not answer in the same way that He answered Hannah, we must remain prayerful and expectantly wait for Him to answer. God knows our story from beginning to end. He has a purpose and a good plan for our lives, and we can trust that He will see us through to completion according to His will.
Both, Sarah and Hannah sought the promise that God made Abraham and his descendants. Their faithfulness in seeking God proved their trust, and because of that, they each received their reward.