Scripture: 1 Samuel 1 & 3:19-21
Song of Praise: Doxology
Some of the most intriguing Scriptures are the ones filled with miracles; the blind are given sight, the lame are given the ability to walk, and the barren are given fruitful wombs.
Each time a miracle is displayed, God is showing us, bit-by-bit, how He intends to reverse the curse, and restore His creation.
We've already learned about Sarah, Abraham's barren wife, and how God used Sarah's famined womb as a part of King Jesus' family lineage.
Aside from Jesus being our King, He is also a Prophet.
The famined womb of Hannah points us to this great reality.
Hannah was no doubt loved by her husband, Elkanah, but she had some competition for his affections. Elkanah had another wife, Peninnah. For reasons that are not difficult to understand, she was not very kind to Hannah.
One man, two wives, this equals trouble.
This unnatural arrangement was already outside of God's perfect design for marriage. Marriage was intended for one man, and one woman, joined in a covenant relationship forever.
By design, a fruitful womb was to be the result of marital unity.
For whatever reason, Elkanah decided that adding an extra wife wouldn't be a problem.
After all, Hannah was barren, so Peninnah would be a fair solution to the fruitlessness of his and Hannah's marriage.
Remember, at this time in history, Jesus had not yet been born. Women were hoping to be the one to birth the promised Savior.
A barren womb meant that God was not allowing you to participate in that blessed hope.
The Scriptures say that it was God who closed Hannah's womb, but why?
During the family's yearly trip to the temple, Hannah went to the temple, weeping and pleading with God; begging Him for a son.
In her grief and shame, she offered to give God the very son that she so desperately longed for.
Her deepest desire was to participate in the redemption of Israel, as promised by God in Genesis 3:15.
If a child needed to be born to remove the curse, then Hannah wanted to become fruitful.
She asked God to remove the shame of her famined womb, allowing her to give birth to a son, whom she would dedicate to God's work.
God did open Hannah's womb, causing her to be fruitful. She did give birth to a son, naming him Samuel.
Samuel's name means 'heard of God'.
God had heard Hannah, and she was faithful to her promise.
Samuel was dedicated to a life devoted to temple work.
Samuel grew up to become the last of Israel's Judges, ushering Israel into a new phase of leadership; out of judgment and into monarchy.
The time of the Judges was a particularly dark time for Israel. They were not acting in obedience to God's laws. This rebellion resulted in dis-fellowship.
For a period of time, God disciplined Israel, handing them over to their enemies.
During this phase, the Judges were sent by God as an ambassador. Their job was to communicate to Israel how God was desiring to restore fellowship, if only Israel would repent.
Samuel's name was a proclamation of God's ability and desire to communicate with His people, to bring them back into fellowship.
Certainly, God had heard Hannah's cry for a son, and Samuel had heard God call him into His service.
Samuel's life and ministry along with His Mother's life, point us to the plan of redemption, agreed upon by the Triune God.
Like Jesus, Hannah's greatest desire was to participate in the plan of redemption.
Like Jesus, Hannah rejoiced in the hope of the glory of God.
Like Jesus, Samuel conveyed God's will to God's people.
Like Jesus, Samuel ushered God's people out of Judgment and into a new Kingly rule.
Like Jesus, Samuel was born of a woman who was not likely to conceive and was dedicated to the service of God.
Samuel was a Judge, appointed by God, who spoke on behalf of God, encouraging God's people toward repentance, so that fellowship might be restored.
Jesus is God, speaking to His people; He restored fellowship by taking on the judgment of God for the sins of His people.
Hannah and Samuel's efforts point us to Jesus who is the greater reality of restored fellowship.
Jesus has brought us out of a time of judgment, welcoming us to dine at His Kingly table of fellowship.
Table Talk Questions:
Why was Hannah able to dedicate her son to the service of God?
How was Hannah's famined womb made fruitful?
How did Samuel's life point us to Jesus?
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Meal: Chicken Parmesan, Marinara & Linguine, Roasted Zucchini and Yellow Squash, & Red Velvet Cake
Prep and Cook Time: 1 ¼ hours
4 Chicken Breast, about 8 ounces each, sliced in half lengthwise to make 8
¾ cup seasoned Breadcrumbs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted (or olive oil)
¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
2 jars Marinera
2 box Linguine noodles
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Set aside about 12 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese to use later.
Combine breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan cheese in a bowl.
Melt the butter in another bowl.
Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken,then dip into the breadcrumb mixture.
Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken.
Lightly spray a little more oil on the top.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, spoon 1 Tablespoon marinara sauce over each piece of chicken and top each with 1 ½ Tablespoon mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cook linguine noodles in well salted water until they are al dente’.
Warm up marinara sauce
Mix noodles with marinara sauce.
Serve chicken parmesan on top of marinara and linguine.
Roasted Zucchini & Yellow Squash
Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes
4 medium or 8 small Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (tota)l
10 large Garlic Cloves, peeled
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Italian Herb Blend
¾ cup Parmesan cheese (more or less to taste), grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste.
Preheat oven to 450 F
Cover a large baking sheet with foil.
Cut off the top and bottom ends of the squash and zucchini.
Cut squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and again into ¾ thick slices.
Peel and cut cloves of garlic into small chunks (not mincing).
Toss squash and zucchini, garlic, and Italian herb with all the olive oil in a large bowl.
Spread squash, zucchini, and garlic out on baking sheet making sure all the squash and zucchini pieces are laying flat.
Roast for 20 minutes or until the zucchini and squash are barely starting to soften.
Remove from oven and sprinkle desired amount of grated parmesan over the top.
Place back in oven and cook for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is all melted and starting to brown.
Red Velvet Cake
Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour + 1 hour to cool and frost
Yields: 8 or 9 inch cake
2 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1teaspoon Baking Soda
¾ teaspoon Salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature.
2 ⅛ cups granulated Sugar
1 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
3 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 ¼ teaspoons Red Food Coloring
1 cup Buttermilk (see host tips if you do not have any)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks Butter, softened
5 cups powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease two 8- inch or 9- inch cake pans and line the bottom of the pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cornflour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
Beat in oil.
The batter might look a bit curdled, this is okay.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Add vanilla and vinegar and beat until combined
Add red food coloring, until desired color is reached.
With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
Add buttermilk, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients.
Do not over mix.
Divide batter evenly between pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool in the pan on a wire rack until they're easy to handle. Then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.
Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.