The prophet Samuel is a type of the last-days holy remnant—a prepared body of believers that rises out of the ruins of the old, decadent church.
Hannah, Samuel’s mother, birthed her son through bitter tears and much prayer. “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish” (1 Samuel 1:10).
Try to imagine the scene: Hannah was at the temple every day, on her knees before the altar, crushed and broken because she was childless. As she wept, her adversary—her husband’s other wife—made fun of her. “And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:6).
There are three important things I want to point out from this passage:
- First, the remnant that Samuel represents is born in grief and intercession.
- Second, those who pray and grieve after God’s heart will be provoked by adversaries.
- And third, God’s remnant is always going to be misunderstood!
Note what happened to Hannah as she prayed: “And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!’” (1 Samuel 1:12-14). Eli and his sons represent the dying, corrupt church that has forsaken the Lord’s way. Eli was so out of touch—so dead in his spirit—he thought Hannah was drunk!
When Hannah was praying, she was filled with grief, burdened for the birth of a son. All she could do was move her lips because of her groaning in the Spirit. She prayed, “If You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and . . . will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1:11).
Here are two distinguishing marks of God’s holy remnant:
- They pray like Hannah. Their burden is deep and their heart is stirred because of the wickedness in God’s house.
- Like Hannah, they give themselves to prayer every day of their lives.
God wants to make you like that. He wants you to be able to touch Him and hear from Him. He wants to give you a ministry to others who will come to you with their burdens and trials. And as you pray for them, His Word will come forth!