Chapter 8 – Hannah
There was a man, Elkanah, who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, sons and daughters, but Hannah had none. Oh boy, I can just imagine that household in a time when child-bearing was the main worth of a woman. The husband, Elkanah, used to give double portions of meat to Hannah because he loved her and she was barren, but he may not have made things any better by doing that. The Bible tells us in 1st Samuel that her rival, Peninnah, kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year.Whenever Hannah went to pray about the situation Peninnah would aggravate her until Hannah wept and stopped eating.
One day Hannah made a vow and told the Lord that if he would give her a son she would give him right back to the Lord for all the days of his life. How often do people in their great anguish over something do exactly what Hannah did? “Lord, if you do this for me, I’ll … [make this deal with You].” Deals with God. Do they work? I suspect that your heart needs to be right with the Lord and then He will honor your deep desires. Hannah’s heart was true and God honored Hannah’s request. She conceived and gave birth to Samuel. Did she keep her part of the deal?
Yes, as soon as Samuel was weaned, probably at three years old, she took him to the house of the Lord and gave him to His service. That must have been tremendously difficult, after all Hannah had waited years and years to finally have a child. Guess what? The Lord was gracious to Hannah and blessed her with three more sons and two daughters. I suspect that she was a devoted mother to all her children. The Bible tells us that she would make a new robe for Samuel and take it to him every year when they went up to offer the annual sacrifice.
Next Saturday – Herodias