Have you met Hannah? If not, I am pleased to introduce you to her. Today, we will look at another woman spoken of in the Word of God, her name is Hannah. Hannah lives with her husband Elkanah from the hill country of Ephraim. They are mentioned beginning in First Samuel chapter one. One of the first things we learn is Hannah is not Elkanah’s only wife. To make life even more difficult for her, she shared her husband with another wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had been blessed with children; Hannah had none.
Elkanah was a man of God, we know this because he made a yearly journey to worship and sacrifice to the Lord. When the time for sacrifice came he gave portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah he would give a double portion because he loved Hannah. Hannah suffered greatly because of her inability to have children. If it were not enough, Peninnah made it a rivalry and did not miss a chance to remind Hannah of her lack of fruitfulness. In verse 8 we see Elkanah as he tries to comfort Hannah saying, ” “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad ? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” I am sure she appreciated her husband’s attempt at comfort, but Hannah wanted more than anything to give her husband children. She went up to the temple. Hannah bowed in prayer, weeping greatly in her cries to the Lord. Eli, the priest saw her there and rebuked her thinking that she was drunk. One would think that might have been the tipping point for Hannah. Here she is childless, broken-hearted, suffering taunting and provocation from her rival and now she was also misunderstood completely by the priest who thought she was crying uncontrollably because she was drunk. But no, Hannah answered Eli calmly, ” “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit ; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16 Eli’s, response was, “Go in peace, may the Lord grant you your request.” Hannah, in verse 18 responded, “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.”
The following day Elkanah and Hannah went early to bow and worship the Lord and began their journey home to Ramah. After a while, The Lord remembered Hannah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel because she “requested him from the Lord.” verse 20. Not only did our friend Hannah find grace in Eli’s sight, she also found grace and compassion in God’s sight and He answered her prayer. In gratitude, she raised young Samuel, dedicated him to the Lord, and when he was weaned this young boy served the Lord in the temple alongside Eli the priest. 1 Samuel 2:21 goes on to tell us that God remembered Hannah, at least one translation says ‘was gracious to Hannah’ and she had another three sons and two daughters. As for Samuel, he was raised in the temple and called by God to be a prophet in Israel and later a judge over Israel. God heard Hannah’s cries and He had a plan greater than she could have ever imagined. We may not always understand when we go through difficult trying times or times of suffering. This I do know looking back in hindsight on my life’s circumstances and at the stories we are seeing in this journey. There is always a greater plan and God among all His other attributes is a God of mercy and grace.
Grace and blessings to you!