We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Week 6, Introduction (06/25/07 - 06/29/07)

We've been looking into the Scripture now for the past six weeks. These Women of Faith walked through their lives with a "story to tell to the nations." Their heritage, hope, and healing came from a merciful, holy, and loving God. Each woman had her own set of difficult circumstances. Yet over and over again God brought about a miracle birth and child of promise. God has a plan, and His plan will be carried out. With this thought in mind, let's explore our final lesson in this series, From Barrenness to Blessedness. Please stay with me in our study this week. I'm convinced the LORD will bless you as we explore Israel, the Church, and the Bride of Christ.

Week 6, Day 1

In Genesis 32:28, we see that Jacob was given a new name by God. That name was Israel. In Genesis 35:10-12, God again confirmed Jacob's name as Israel and told him that a great nation would come from him. To this nation of 12 tribes, God would give a special land for them and their descendants.

In Exodus 4:22 God said, "Israel is My son, My firstborn." Later, God delivered Israel into the promised land. With Joshua in charge, God gave Israel, His chosen people, the Book of the Law which contained all the commands they were to follow. They were to meditate on it day and night. If they would do this, then their way would prosper, and they would have success. The people followed Joshua and agreed to obey the law. (Joshua 1:1-18)

Eventually Israel fell into a cycle of giving in to sin, suffering the consequences, repenting and following God, experiencing His deliverance, then falling into sin again. This happened over and over (see the book of Judges). Their sin eventually led to a condition of barrenness in the hearts and homes of the nation of Israel. Captivity and distance from God finally brought about a change of heart.

Isaiah 54

1. Read Isaiah 54:1-3, 62:1-5, and Galatians 4:21-31. Who do you think the "barren woman" is?

2. Read Isaiah 54:4-10, Jeremiah 31:18-20, and Ezekiel 16:59-63. Who do these passages refer to?

3. From Isaiah 54:5 list all the names for the "husband" or God. (Psa. 95:6-7, 149:1-2) You may want to write your thoughts as you meditate on this passage.

4. In verse 5, Redeemer is given as a name for God. Read Isaiah 1:4 and 41:14 and explain why a redeemer is necessary.

5. In Isaiah 54:9-10, God gave a promise to the Bride, Israel. What is it? (Psa. 46:1-3, 102:18-28; Jer. 33:17-22)

(Heb. 5:6-10, 6:19-20, 7:11-25)

The barrenness of Israel was complete. They had turned their backs on the Holy One of Israel. The Old Covenant of the Law condemned them. They rejected its commands and ended up in exile and barrenness. The Redeemer, however, has compassion on the barren and does not hold sin against them forever. The future of Israel will be fruitful. The kindness and mercy of the Husband, Maker, and God of the earth will bring His promises to fulfillment.


1. God keeps His promises and is filled with compassion. How expectant are you in the promises God has given you?

2. God is the restorer of the barren one. How has God restored you out of your barrenness this week? Have you shouted for joy in this blessing?

3. God's covenant of peace will not be shaken. (Isa. 54:10) Do you have peace with God? What can you do today to experience His peace?

Week 6, Day 2

"The Church"
Isaiah 54:11-17, 55:1-13

1. Read Isaiah 54:11-17 and describe the loveliness of this new city. (Heb. 12:18-24; Rev. 21:1-27)

2. In Hebrews 12:23, what is meant by the "church of the firstborn"? Who are they, and how does this tie into Israel as the firstborn from the Old Testament passages?

3. Read Isaiah 55:1-13. Ask God to show you who Isaiah was writing to. (key verses: 3, 4, 13b)(Jer. 29:10-14)


1. The new Jerusalem is real and will be established one day! Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Jerusalem and Christ's return?

2. The Church of the firstborn is the Church of the New Covenant, which was established by Jesus to the glory of God. Those who believe in Jesus are God's children. Write a prayer praising God that you are His child.

3. God's firstborn, Israel, is promised everlasting blessings (along with those who believe in Jesus). Do you know a person who needs to be introduced to Jesus? Pray about your witness to that person, and then just do it!

Week 6, Day 3

Isaiah 56

1. Yesterday we saw the word "church" associated with firstborn. Read Isaiah 56:1-12 and prayerfully note what is said about the people listed below. (I have used the New American Standard Version.)
v. 4 - EUNUCH
v. 8 - OTHERS

2. Look at Isaiah 56:8 and explore the meaning of the two groups "who will be gathered" by comparing the following passages: Isaiah 11:11-12, 60:3-11, 66:19-22; John 10:16.

3. How does this fit with the New Testament passages of Revelation 7:9-10 and 19:1-6?


1. God has called people from all nations to be part of the New Covenant. Who do you know that needs to hear the message of the gospel today?

2. When did you accept the call of God on your life?

3. Where does God have you today as a witness of Himself to the nations?

Week 6, Day 4

Church and the Bride

1. Read Joel 2:1-28 and write your thoughts regarding the Day of the LORD. (vv.1-11)

2. Read Joel 2:28-29 and explain what is meant by, "I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind." (see Acts 2:1-4, 10:23-48)

3. Look up 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 and Galatians 3:23-29. From these passages, describe who is included in the body of believers.

4. Whom do we belong to as stated in Galatians 3:29? Whose offspring, heirs according to promise, do we become?

5. How is this accomplished according to the following verses?
-Romans 4:13
-Galatians 3:18
-Galatians 4:21-31 (Rom. 9:6-8)
-Romans 10:6-13

6. If we are heirs of the same promise of Abraham, how did we arrive at this place? Was it by law or grace? Use all the passages you have studied today to answer this.


1. Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are heirs with Christ and in the same spiritual family as Abraham. In what way are you rejoicing over your joyful heritage in Christ?

2. How does your life reflect the great joy of your salvation?

Week 6, Day 5

The Bride and the Bridegroom

This week we examined passages in Revelation where the bondservant of the Lord gave praise to God and where the bride, the wife of the Lamb, was described. These passages are very important; however, they must be studied in great detail for a fuller understanding of their significance. We would also need to do word studies to begin to understand the depth of meaning of such profound words and wonders.

1. Read 1 Peter 2:1-12. Who is the living stone, and who are the living stones?

2. In Acts 26:15-18, Paul told King Agrippa about his call. What was it, and who was it for?

What do you learn from this?

3. Read Revelation 19:7-10 and 21:1-9. Describe in your own words who the marriage of the Lamb is speaking of. Give companion passages to verify your findings.

4. Read Ephesians 5:15-21. Make a list of things you are to do as you live each day.

5. Read Ephesians 5:22-33. Under each category below, write every reference you find to Jesus, marriage, and the Church.




6. Summarize what you learned about the connections between Jesus, marriage, and the church.

Week 6, Conclusion

The Church is the bride. The bridegroom, who is spotless and without wrinkle, is our great and glorious Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ! What a beautiful picture-perfect ending this is to our series on From Barrenness to Blessedness. Christ our Savior is preparing to come to earth and establish for us, His bride, the eternal new Jerusalem. There He will reign, and we will be blessed and filled with continual praise, worship, wonder, and awe toward Him forever and ever!

Our time together has been well spent. Our fellowship is sweet when it is with members of the body, the Bride of Christ. Let us remember to always--speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with our hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. Let us be subject (accountable and available) to one another in the fear of Christ remembering to be ready and diligent because HE IS COMING AGAIN!

Week 5, Day Five

Wake Up Laughing: Offbeat Devotions for the Unconventional Woman
by Rachel St. John - Gilbert
Chapter 11 "Wake Up and Smell the Baby"
Babies and Disillusionment

Before my first child was born, I remember older, wiser women saying things like, "Enjoy the time you have to yourself before that baby comes!"

At the time, I wasn't thrilled with the time on my hands due to the weight on my bod and the anticipation of seeing the baby in person. I couldn't wait to play dress-up with my real live baby doll. Diaper and formula commercials sent me into La La Land, day-dreaming about holding my bundle of joy. I especially liked the ones in which a buff-bodied daddy peeks into Junior's crib in the middle of the night, picks up a porcelain-skinned baby, and nuzzles him. (Notice how the babies are either sleeping or smiling in these propaganda pieces.) I know that's what I had in mind- a studly husband and a picture-perfect baby bonding at 2 A.M. in the Ralph Lauren designer nursery while I'm sawing logs in the next room.

But my daydream images became fuzzy with the arrival of baby and the relentless longing for a few hours of uninterrupted shut-eye. My cowardly friends who went before me to baby boot camp didn't clue me in to reality, and I wanted to wring their necks. I ended up with not only a newborn who never slept but also with engorged breasts, each the size of a Goodyear blimp. This turned out the be doubly bad news when I heard the lactation specialist's declaration: "Now remember, the baby's stomach is about the size of an avocado seed." From the looks of things, my baby would need a tummy roughly the size of a water tower to give me even a smidgen of relief.

And what of hubby turned new dad? Well, he discovered talents he never knew he had. He had the uncanny ability to sleep through our baby's cries. So, while he sawed the logs I could only dream about, I cradled my gargantuan mammary glands in my arms and waddled down the hall to the Wal-Mart-decorated nursery, bonding with Junior at 2 A.M.... and 3 A.M.... and 4 A.M. I did enough bonding that first year to be the prototype for human superglue.

And I would love to know where the television producers found that porcelain-skinned infant. I quickly became acquainted with the oxymoron "baby acne." My newborn would have been a shoo-in for a Clearasil commercial. I was so self-conscious about it that I made excuses to strangers in line at the grocery store. "Yes, I try to keep him away from colas, chocolate, and potato chips, but you know how newborns are...."

If you're a mom, I'm preaching to the parental choir. First comes love, then comes marriage, and on the heels of the baby carriage comes disillusionment. Of course, we do experience precious moments with our babies that we will forever hold dear. But on the whole, children are needy and can wreak havoc on your housekeeping, sleep quota, and love life.

When we're knee-deep in diapers, it's important to put things into perspective by reviewing two facts. Fact #1: This is an intense time of life. Fact #2: Babies grow up quickly, and as they do, things get easier. These are time-tested truths- just ask any mother with older children. If you're a relatively new mom or know someone who is and have had a particularly exhausting day (or week or month!), ask God to help you put things in perspective. He may just help you see that beneath your exhaustion is still a heart brimming with gratitude for you priceless, albeit tiring, gift of children.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Psalm 127:3.

Week 5, Introduction (6/18/7 - 6/21/7)

We move this week into the New Testament to explore God's Word for more truths to help us learn and grow. In our search we have studied faithful women who struggled with barrenness. Each learned through her difficulty that it is only God who gives life and completeness of body, mind, and spirit. In Elizabeth's story we'll see similarities to Sarah.

Elizabeth experienced life in its most reverential and sacrificial way. She was born into a family from the priestly line of Aaron. She also had the same name as Aaron's wife in the Old Testament. (Ex. 6:23) Elizabeth was blessed to hear firsthand two familiar poems we enjoy in the church today, the Magnificent sung by Mary (Luke 1:46-55) and Zechariah's Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79).

Let's begin to mine for ourselves the truths from Elizabeth's life of faith and trust in the God of promise.

Week 5, Day 1

1. From Luke 1:1-4, what do we learn about the authenticity of this book of the Bible? List the author and recipient.

2. Fill in the following based on Luke 1:5-25.
* Who was the king?
* Who was Zechariah?
* Who was Elizabeth?
* From whose family line did Elizabeth come?

The priestly line of Aaron was established by God in the wilderness of Sinai when the tribes of Israel were apportioned land blessings. (Ex. 28:1) The line of Aaron became priests unto the LORD and did not hold land rights. Instead they were given tithes from the other tribes. (Num. 18:21) Their role was to offer the sacrifices in the temple to Almighty God. Aaron and Moses were descendants of Levi, whom the Levitical line was named after. The blessings given by Jacob before his death stated that Levi would be scattered among his brothers, and God would be their inheritance.

3. Describe Elizabeth from Luke 1:5-7.

4. Tell what happened to Zechariah in Luke 1:8-17.

5. Describe the child to be born to Zechariah and Elizabeth. (vv.13-17)

6. How did Zechariah respond to the angel? (v.18)

7. What did Zechariah experience because of his lack of faith? (vv.19-20)

Gabriel is mentioned in two books of the Bible, Daniel and Luke. (Michael is the only other angel named specifically in the Bible.) In Daniel, Gabriel was sent with a special message for the man of God. (Dan. 8:16, 9:21) In the book of Luke, Gabriel again served as a messenger for the Lord. In Luke 1:26, Gabriel brought good news to Mary, who would become the mother of the Messiah.

Zechariah was chosen by lot for a special priestly duty. (Luke 1:9) He entered the Holy Place to keep the candle of incense burning at the altar before the Most Holy Place. (Prov. 16:33) This duty was performed every morning and evening. It was a privilege to get to serve in this way because the likelihood of being chosen was extremely rare. There were many priests serving during this time. The duty he performed was so important that many people were outside praying that God would accept the priest and his offering. It was a known fact that sometimes a priest performing this service could be struck dead if his offering was unacceptable. Therefore they tied a rope to the leg of the entering priest in case he perished in the presence of God's Holy of Holies and had to be pulled out. In Luke 1:21 we see the heightened anticipation of the crowd because of how long Zechariah stayed in the Holy Place. This event was significant in the historical narrative, and we can see why Luke placed it here.


1. God's Word is documented and true. Do you believe God's Word is relative to your life?

2. God sees righteousness in His people, and He requires faith and obedience. What does God see in your life right now of righteousness, obedience, and faith?

3. God disciplines those He loves. How has God disciplined you in the past?

Week 5, Day 2

Zechariah did survive the temple visit. In this experience he was given the opportunity to witness firsthand the working of God in the life of His people. He also had the great joy of knowing his prayer regarding a child had been heard. (Luke 1:13) Zechariah, like Abraham, was old. Elizabeth, like Sarah, was also past child-bearing years. As with Abraham and Sarah, this New Testament couple was given a name for their child before he was conceived. Like Isaac, John was a special man who brought a wake up call to his nation and to the world that the Messiah was coming.

1. Read Luke 1:23-25. What miracle took place for Zechariah and Elizabeth?

2. What did Elizabeth do when she realized she was pregnant?

3. What were her words in verse 25?

4. What did she emphasize about how people viewed her and what God had done for her?

5. While in seclusion, what must Elizabeth have pondered?


1. God is able to do anything. What have you asked of God sincerely and persistently that seems impossible?

2. Quiet reflection is healthy for the Christian. When have you taken time to quietly reflect on God's goodness toward you? What was the result?

3. What man sees and what God sees are usually opposite. What are you seeing through human eyes that may be different in God's eyes?

Week 5, Day 3

How long did Mary visit with Elizabeth? (Luke 1:56) Give your best estimate of the month of pregnancy each woman was in at this time.

2. Describe the scene when Elizabeth gave birth. (vv.57-58)

3. Were the angel's words to her correct? (v.14)

4. On the eighth day after John's birth, circumcision took place. The custom was to name the firstborn son after the father. What did Elizabeth say about naming the baby? (Luke 1:59-66)

5. How did Zechariah respond?

6. How did writing John's name on the tablet bring freedom and joy for Zechariah?

7. After Zechariah's tongue was loosened, what immediately followed? (v.64)

8. What happened to Zechariah in verse 67?

9. How did this prophecy confirm "believing faith" in Zechariah for his son and the Messiah his son would prepare the way for?

10. Were those nine months of silence productive for Zechariah?

11. What are you walking through right now that has kept you silent in order to allow God to move you in obedience and faith?


1. God's promises, when fulfilled, always bring joy, gladness, and praise! The joy of the Lord is your strength. Have you claimed His promises for yourself today?

2. True prophecy comes only through the Holy Spirit. How careful are you regarding prophecy today? Do you measure what you hear by the Word of God?

3. Sometimes learning requires a time of humiliation and being quiet before the Lord. When was the last time you were quiet before the Lord, waiting in anticipation to hear Him speak to you?


Week 5, Day 4

1. Describe John's life from Luke 1:80.

For Further Study:
1. With the miraculous birth of John to Elizabeth and Zechariah, who were of the house of Aaron, there came a completion, fulfillment, or ending of something. What was it? (Luke 16:16; Matt. 11:13)

2. From Matthew 11:11, what does "yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" mean? (Eph. 5:25-27, 32; John 3:29)

3. Read Malachi 3:1 and explain it in light of this study on Elizabeth and her son John, who was the forerunner to the Messiah. When was Malachi written?


1. Life is only at its best when the believer allows the Holy Spirit to be in control. How is your life today? Are you surrendered to the will of the Holy Spirit?

2. Mothers have the wonderful opportunity to demonstrate Christ's love to their children. What sphere of influence do you have where you can impact someone else for Christ?

3. John's prophecies and the Old Covenant were fulfilled when Jesus arrived and brought the New Covenant to earth. In what area of thinking are you still living in the Old Covenant? Jesus is the New Covenant of forgiveness and redemption. How are you living for Him in the New Covenant relationship?

Week 5, Conclusion

From Elizabeth's story, we see a humble, joyful, and grateful life. This woman--the wife of Zechariah, from the family of Aaron, righteous in the sight of God, and walking blamelessly in the commandments--was once barren. Then by miraculous intervention she became fruitful for the Lord. She was joyful in her life's mission and was privileged to be available and useful to God as the mother of John the Baptist.

This woman, advanced in years, was watching and waiting for the Messiah. She and her husband knew the promises of God, and God blessed them. Their prayer for a child was heard by God, and His answer came in a most unusual manner. Elizabeth was a woman who knew how to recognize God in her life. The gift she was given was a blessing beyond anything she could have hoped for.

Elizabeth's cousin Mary visited her, and in that meeting, Elizabeth (filled with the Holy Spirit) was blessed. She had the privilege to fellowship with Mary, a woman blessed by God to carry the Messiah. These two women brought much joy to one another. The bond of their friendship was small in comparison, however, to that of Jesus and John, even from the womb.

God's faithfulness to bless the lowly and the barren is a joyous demonstration of His unfailing mercy on His children. We are blessed to share in their joy.


Week 4, Introduction (6/11/7 - 6/15/7)

1) Manoah's wife

2) Hannah


We have been studying Women of Barrenness. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah were all connected with the patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Blessing followed these men and the women God gave them. Each had a unique and compelling story to tell. Life was not easy. The constant travel, the dust and dirt, the endless labor of daily life, and the personal problems of barrenness and humility kept them very discouraged at times.

However, God's mercy, faithfulness, and blessing touched each of these women. The key to their uniqueness was the way God brought them to a place of worshipping Him. For Sarah, it was the miracle birth of Isaac at 90 years of age. She said, "God has made laughter for me, everyone who hears will laugh with me." (Gen. 21:6) For Rebekah, it was her response when asked to go with Abraham's servant. "I will go," she said without hesitation because she knew it was God who had sent the servant. (Gen. 24:58) For Rachel, it didn't happen until Joseph was born, and she said, "God has taken away my reproach." (Gen. 30:23) For Leah, it came after her fourth child was born, and she responded, "This time I will praise the LORD." (Gen. 29:35)

Now we'll move forward to examine other Women of Barrenness whom God blessed in a special way.

Week 4, Day 1

Manoah's wife/Samson's mother

1. Read Judges 13:1-25. What was the condition of Israel at this time?

Identify the "certain man" of verse 2.

2. Describe the incredible scene in verses 2-5. How was it similar to the account in Luke 1:11-17?

3. What did the woman do after the angel appeared to her? What additional information did she share with Manoah?

Nazarite means "separate" or "one who is separated unto the LORD." This did not mean that the person would be a hermit, but rather that the person would follow the rules of the vow as stated in the text. Anyone could, for a season, make this vow and follow its requirements for purity. Other examples in Scripture of someone taking a Nazarite vow are Samuel (1 Sam. 1:11-28) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:15). It is believed that Paul could also have made this vow. (Acts 21:23-26)

4. What did Manoah do in verse 8?

5. How did God respond? (vv.9-14)

6. What did the angel of the LORD say to Manoah?


1. God's power and His presence are awesome, and He demonstrates them in every age. (1 Chron. 29:10-13) How does God reveal Himself to you? Do you see Him as awesome?

AWE (#3372) Meaning: A very positive feeling of reverence for God which may be expressed in piety or formal worship. Holy respect, trembling. (Lexicon, p. 1733.)

2. God is honored when His people live holy lives. (Rom. 12:1-2) How are you living your life today?

3. Prayer is conversation with God. He hears our hearts. (John 17) What prayer has God answered for you today? Are you grateful for His answer?

Week 4, Day 2

1. Read Judges 13:15-23. What was Manoah's question to this mystery man?

2. How did the angel of the LORD answer this question?

WONDERFUL (#6383) Meaning: Incomprehensible. This is one of the titles for the Messiah. A wonder, miracle. (Lexicon, p. 1765) This visit is called a Christophany, a time in the Old Testament when Jesus Christ appeared in bodily form.

3. Describe what happened with the sacrifice in Judges 13:19-20.

4. How did this event compel Manoah and his wife to act in their future?

5. Whose wisdom was stronger after this miraculous revelation? (v.23)

6. Was the LORD's message true? (vv.24-25)

73 From Judges 14:1-4, describe the obedient attitude of Samson's mother and father to keep his Nazarite vow intact as directed by the LORD.


1. God is always available to answer our questions. (Matt. 7:7-11) What have you asked the LORD to explain to you today?

2. God requires that we offer our lives to Him in surrender as a spiritual act of worship. (Phil. 3:1; Rom. 12:1-2) What in your life do you have to offer the LORD in worship and praise?

3. God desires for us to believe Him by faith! (Heb. 11:1-2) What area of your life are you moving forward in by faith right now?

4. God is true and the only eternal truth! (Jer. 4:2; Zech. 8:8; John 4:23-24, 17:17) Do you believe God and all His Word?

5. God desires obedience to accompany faith! (Rom. 1:5; Acts 6:7) How has disobedience brought distance between you and God? Seek His forgiveness NOW! (I John 1:9)

Manoah's wife was a woman of confidence. She was blessed by God with a heavenly visitor. She had a similar experience to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was visited by "Wonderful," Jesus Himself. She had the joy of two such visits, and the second one was shared with her husband as well. This awesome visit must have kept the couple in obedient discipline all their lives. They obediently observed every detail of their call for Samson, who was a special boy. In the end, God's plan was revealed. Although Samson's life had its controversies, his parents, especially his mother, were blessed by having this child out of barrenness.

The LORD speaks to us today in many ways. The most significant and compelling way is through His Holy Word, the Bible. May we listen carefully and diligently to hear what He has to say to each of us today and every day.

Week 4, Day 3


1. Read 1 Samuel 1:1-18. Describe Hannah and her reasons for having great sorrow.

2. What did Hannah do about her sadness? (vv.10-11)

3. Where was she praying, and who was watching?

4. What was Eli's first impression of Hannah?

5. How did Hannah reply, and what were her inner thoughts? (vv.15-16)

6. Can you relate to Hannah in her extreme grief?

7. What did Eli say in verse 17?


1. Earnest prayer brings us to a point of total honesty with God. What are you praying about because your spirit has been oppressed and you have great concern?

2. God sees the heart of the prayer request. When have you been misunderstood in prayer by someone else?

Week 4, Day 4

1. In 1 Samuel 1:18, what happened to Hannah after she completely surrendered her barrenness to God?

2. What was Hannah able to do the next day in freedom, repentance, faith, and hope? (v.19)

3. How does this process for Hannah help you in your prayers and faith today?

4. What happened in the course of time? (v.20)

5. How can you adapt Hannah's attitude to your prayer life? (James 5:13-18)


1. God wants His people to be joyful always, pray continually, and in every circumstance give thanks, for this is God's will for us! (1 Thess. 5:16-18) In what area of your life are you less than joyful, prayerful, or thankful? What will you do about it?

2. Worship of God can only happen in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24) God knows every intimate detail of your life, and He cares about you! (Psa. 139:1-18) How do you bring honor to God in your life?

Week 4, Day 5

1. Read 1 Samuel 1:21-28. Was Hannah true to her word regarding her son, Samuel?

Hannah was able to enjoy baby Samuel for at least three years. Elkanah told Hannah during this three year period, "Remain until you have weaned him: ONLY (emphasis added) may the LORD confirm HIS WORD." (1 Sam. 1:23) Elkanah was obedient in his surrender, but he wanted Hannah to be sure of this immense sacrificial commitment. After Samuel was weaned, Hannah and Elkanah traveled together to Shiloh to dedicate their beloved son to the LORD. They took offerings of joyful sacrifice to the LORD, along with their precious son. There Hannah gave their gifted child, Samuel, to Eli, the priest. She described to Eli the joyful answer to her prayer. "For this boy I prayed and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is dedicated to the LORD." (1 Sam. 1:27-28)

2. This sacrificial gift to God was full of emotion but given freely from the heart. How can you begin today to sacrificially let go of someone close to you, giving them into God's loving care?

3. Read 1 Samuel 2:1-11. Mark references to the mighty working of God and record those words that tell us something about God. (For example: The Lord is exalted; Salvation is from the LORD; Holy LORD; the only one, etc.) ENJOY!


1. God is awesome! How is God visible in your life today? Take time to meditate on Him.

2. God blesses His children abundantly. How is God's blessing being poured out on you right now?

Week 4, Conclusion

God is always listening to us. He is all-knowing, compassionate, merciful, loving, and faithful. We have looked into the hearts of two exciting Women of Faith this week. God spoke to each of these women in unique ways. The conversation He used was tailored to the heart of each individual. God's knowledge of us is so perfect and complete that He knows how to get our attention and how to move us in the process of obedience.

Manoah's wife was faithful to God in keeping herself pure for the son God gave her out of her barrenness. She raised her son in a worthy manner, and God was pleased. Hannah was led to call upon the LORD in her barrenness. Out of her "great sorrow" she gave her life and that of her child to God for His service (through faith, because he had not yet been conceived). God honored her prayer and blessed her in full measure.

Over and over again, the LORD points us to prayer as the means of relating to Him. The conversations we have with the Father are directly related to the blessings we receive from Him. It is God's nature to graciously bestow blessings on us. These women desired to be faithful to their call and vow. They experienced His grace in allowing them to be part of His divine plan. They are examples of how God works in the lives of His children.

God desires fellowship with His children. Relationship building is extremely essential to God. He is always ready to help us in adversity, famine, barrenness, prosperity, fruitlessness, and fruitfulness. He wants us to seek Him while He may be found. He desires for us to delight in Him and to thank Him. While He tarries and we wait expectantly for His return, we need to be diligent in prayer, fellowship, and Bible study. Then when He comes we will recognize Him as our FATHER, FRIEND, SAVIOR, KING, and LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!