1 Samuel 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.Introductory Thoughts
Elkanah had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah remained barren. Peninnah used this opportunity of Hannah’s barren state to provoke her, hoping that she could trouble her rival. The Christian’s primary adversary is much different from Peninnah, but Satan’s goal and resolve is identical to this example. The adversary, the Devil (1 Peter 5:8), wants believers to live troubled, fretful, and defeated lives. If he can cause a believer to fret and to worry and to complain, he has a much greater chance of turning that believer’s heart against the Lord (Proverbs 19:3). The Devil knows that if he turns the heart, he might be able to cause that believer to curse the Lord (Isaiah 8:21). Satan uses worry as one of the foundational elements in his multi-pronged attack to bring about his greater objective. He wants to turn hearts against God! Those believers who struggle most with worry offer Satan the greatest chance of success.
• (For children): The king of Assyria sent a letter to Hezekiah trying to make him doubt that God could help when he attacked. He wanted Hezekiah to fear and give up without a fight. Read what Hezekiah did with those threats (2 Kings 19:14-19) and how God heard the prayer and delivered His people (2 Kings 19:35).
• (For everyone): How can worry lead to greater sins for the believer? How could a person who began by worrying, eventually curse the Lord? How will Satan’s ultimate plan for your life be accomplished through worry?
• Does worry come from God or from Satan? Does faith originate with God or Satan? Whose will do you choose to implement when you choose to worry? How is this a dangerous start down a dangerous path?
• Ask the Lord to help you recognize the attacks of Satan.
• Ask the Lord to put a hedge of protection about you.
SONG: WITH CHRIST, I SMILE AT THE STORM