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The Bible and Depression: Hannah was Restored by the Lord - Week 5

Brief Review

Brief Review
In Step 3 we looked at a prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 about Jesus Christ. We saw that Jesus was anointed by God to bring the garment of praise for relief from the spirit of heaviness.

In Step 1, Step 2 and Step 4 we studied the Biblical record of depression of both Elijah and Job. The Lord Restored both.

Depression – from failed relationships and failure to meet cultural expectations – A Study of Hannah

1 Samuel 1:1-2

1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

First of all, we see that Hannah had the perennial problem of a non Biblical marriage - her husband had two wives. While this was fairly common and accepted in her culture – it is not acceptable to the Lord. Scripture is clear, an intimate relationship is one man and one woman united in marriage.

Many suffer from other forms of relationships and the acceptance by cultural values or society does not make them conform to the plan of the Lord. In many cases these non-conforming relationships open the door for the “spirit of heaviness” – Satan.

In our society today it is obvious we have departed from the Lord’s Plan and it is just as obvious that many have allowed the spirit of heaviness – depression – to take advantage of our shortcomings.

Hannah also had no children. Under the Mosaic covenant this was a great shame. Without children, Hannah looked like a failure. Many people would assume she was "not right with God." This was the same reaction from Job’s friends that we studied last week.

This is common today, as well. In fact our society will also encourage people to fall away from the Lord. This is contrary to the Lord’s will as is explained in Romans 12:9-10.

Hannah’s Husband Loved Hannah and Was Faithful to her

1 Samuel 1:3-5

3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

Hannah had a good husband. He loved her, and tried to keep her from feeling deficient because of her affliction. The Lord had shut Hannah's womb for His own reason.

Elkanah did not know what the reason was, but he still wanted Hannah to be happy and feel worthy. He loved her for who she was.

Hannah’s Depression

Hannah was suffering from the strife of an unbiblical relationship and a feeling of being inadequate due to failing to meet the society values of having children.

This is similar to Sarah and Abraham.

1 Samuel 1:6-10

6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

Here we see the symptoms of what is called depression in today’s world. Despite the fact that her husband has done everything he can to show that he cares and loves her, Hannah is falling victim to the spirit of heaviness.
Hannah’s Restoration

But just as with Elijah and with Job the Lord can Restore His People! Jesus was anointed to bring the garment of praise to those who are suffering from the spirit of heaviness. In verse 10 we see the steps toward Restoration. “ … and prayed unto the LORD”.

1 Samuel 1:11-18

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

15 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.

16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

In her depression, Hannah has reached out to the source of the garment of praise. Like Job she is praying to the Lord. Like Job it is her Faith that will begin and complete her Restoration. In verse 18 we see, “ … and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.”

Do you seek the Lord and the garment of praise when you are facing depression? First step is to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and seek First the righteousness of the Lord. (Matthew 6:33).

 

 

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