What God Can Do With The Barren And Broken (1Samuel 2)


Brokenness is something we avoid

–       Toys, Furniture, Computers… any item that is broken is discarded.

–       People or relationships that are broken are viewed as damaged and defective.

Brokenness embraced can be a beautiful blessing. Some examples:

–       To open a piggy bank, it often needs broken to obtain all the money inside.

–       To enjoy fragrance of perfume or cologne, you must break the seal.

–       To see a plant rise from the ground, the shell must be broken open by the inside seed substance.

–       To enjoy roasted peanuts there must be a breaking of its outer shell.

–       For a baby chick to experience life it must break the egg that surrounds it.

–       For a wild horse to be a ridable stallion it must be broken and tamed.

–       If you and I want to see God’s greatest blessings, then we must first be emptied of our selfishness and broken over our sin.


Brokenness to the Lord

–       Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

–       Psalm 51:10 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

–       Isaiah 57:15 “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.”

–       Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

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What Can Do With The Barren & Broken? 1Samuel 2:1-10


The setting of the books follows the period of “Judges” for Israel, where there were repeated cycles of evil and idolatry in the land. The end of Judges says, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). 1Samuel opens in similar setting of the book of Judges. As a nation, Israel was barren and broken. The question is

è What would it take for the nation to turn around?

Thus the opening of this book begins with two characters who are barren and broken. Elkanah a priest during a godless season in the nation, and Hannah a barren woman living in a dysfunctional family is broken. What we see in this opening chapter and couple is that God uses praying families to build powerful nations.

Hannah pours out her heart to the Lord in prayer. God answers and blesses Hannah with a son – Samuel. In chapter 2 is Hannah’s prayer that we will briefly examine today – and also with living testimonies from one of our ministry partners – to see what God can do with the barren and broken.

v  Christian life is not about sugar-coating or superficial life.

v  God uses the faithfulness and the flaws of ordinary and broken people to accomplish His extraordinary and beautiful purposes.

o   Who would have expected God to use a rural redneck Jew – Elkanah and a barren & broken wife Hannah – to change a nation and create a powerful kingdom?

o   Your flaws and hopeless circumstances are no barrier to God’s transforming power.

o   God’s favorite environment and soil to move His hands through is dark, dirty, and dying circumstances in order to resurrect new hope and new life.

o   God is all about the ordinary!

  • Everyday moments
  • Everyday relationships


v  God’s faithfulness is most clear in the rearview mirror, not the windshield. Our confidence is trusting God for the future because He has always taken care of our past.

This prayer from Hannah is her conclusion in the story and in all of Scripture. Her prayer is a “mic drop” not to exalt herself but the glory of God.

All of life is about praising God’s fame not promoting our own name.

1Samuel 1:27-28 Hannah prayed for the child and gave him to the Lord, knowing that children belong to God not to parents.

1Samuel 2

–       Hannah prays one of longest prayers by a woman in all Scripture.

–       Hannah’s prayer includes the name Yahweh – the covenant name of God – more times than others.

–       Hannah’s prayer is filled with the heart of God; Jesus will pray and teach on multiple themes referenced in this prayer.

God satisfies. “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.

God saves. “My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.”

God is special. “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”

God judges. “Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

God gives justice. “The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger [literally “become fat”].”

God provides and gives hope. “The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.”

God prevails. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful ones but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.”





In all, Hannah’s prayer can be seen as a prophetic hint at God’s future anointing of a king. Hannah’s son Samuel will anoint Israel’s first king Saul, also David. Yet, Samuel would also point toward far into the future to Jesus – God’s salvation, judge, justice, provider of hope and prevailer of all enemies.

We can smile when we get our _____ /”Samuel” or whatever it is we are seeking from God.


Yet, we no more need our “Samuel” than Hannah needs mothering lessons from Peninnah. What we all need is God as our Savior King. He does the impossible with the barren and broken.

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