1 Samuel 1
What do you think of when you hear the word "worship?" Worship is a term that is familiar to us, and it's a term we often associate with music or a Sunday service that starts in the main auditorium at 10:05 am. However, when we look at the Bible, we see that worship is far more than just a song or a time on our calendars. In John 4:24, Jesus teaches that we are to worship God "... in spirit and in truth." This shows us that worship is more than an outward act; but rather, worship is something that begins on the inside in our hearts.
1 Samuel 1 offers us a wonderful perspective on what it looks like to have a heart of worship. I would encourage you to read all 28 verses of the chapter to get a full picture of what is taking place. In verse 2, we are introduced to a woman named Hannah. I'd like to make three observations from Hannah's story that will teach us how we can begin to develop a heart of worship in our own lives.
In verses 9-16, we see that Hannah's worship was honest and real. Hannah was not concerned with the opinions of others when she was praying to her God. The Bible records Hannah's words in verse 15 when she was questioned about her prayer: "And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD." We see in this passage that Hannah was being totally honest and sincere in her prayer to the LORD. She poured it all out before Him, knowing that He was the only One who could heal her heart and give her peace. Hannah's heart was not one of outward show, but one of true vulnerability before her God as she prayed to Him.
In verses 18-19, we see that Hannah's worship was not dependent on God's blessings, but on God's person. We see in these verses that God had not yet granted Hannah's petition, yet she continued to faithfully worship Him. Oftentimes we want to worship and praise God when He does what we want Him to do, but God is worthy of our worship regardless of how He chooses to answer our prayers. God is worthy of our worship because of who He is. He is our Creator, our Comforter, and our Father. He deserves our worship on the account of who He is, not just what He does for us. Hannah shows us this example of a heart of worship by continuing to acknowledge God's goodness, even in the presence of her difficult circumstances.
Finally, in verses 25-28, we see that Hannah's worship was a testimony to others of God's faithfulness. In these verses, we see that once God finally granted Hannah the child she had prayed for, she immediately gave God the glory. In her conversation with Eli, the priest, she explains that God had done this wonderful thing. Eli's response in verse 28 was to worship the Lord himself. How often, when God works in our lives and blesses us, do we move on without ever giving Him the praise and glory that He deserves for it? Many times we can be more thankful for the blessing than for God who provided it. When God works in our lives and answers a prayer, it is an opportunity for us to glorify Him in our hearts and in the presence of others. Not only does this ensure that our hearts are right before the Lord, but it gives us the opportunity to encourage and edify other believers who also need to give God glory for who He is.
By no means has this been an extensive study on all there is to know about worship, but 1 Samuel 1 can give us a great starting place to begin developing a sincere heart of worship for our God. In the good times and in the bad times, He is always worthy of glory! I would encourage you today to take a moment to worship God for who He is and share that with someone else!
Written by Elijah Ketchum