1 Samuel 1:1-20
1 A certain man from Ramathaim in the hill country of Ephraim was named Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham. Jeroham was the son of Elihu. Elihu was the son of Tohu. Tohu was the son of Zuph. Elkanah belonged to the family line of Zuph. Elkanah lived in the territory of Ephraim. 2 Elkanah had two wives. One was named Hannah. The other was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn’t. 3 Year after year Elkanah went up from his town to Shiloh. He went there to worship and sacrifice to the Lord who rules over all. Hophni and Phinehas served as priests of the Lord at Shiloh. They were the two sons of Eli. 4 Every year at Shiloh, the day would come for Elkanah to offer a sacrifice. On that day, he would give a share of the meat to his wife Peninnah. He would also give a share to each of her sons and daughters. 5 But he would give two shares of meat to Hannah. That’s because he loved her. He also gave her two shares because the Lord had kept her from having children. 6 Peninnah teased Hannah to make her angry. She did it because the Lord had kept Hannah from having children. 7 Peninnah teased Hannah year after year. Every time Hannah would go up to the house of the Lord, Elkanah’s other wife would tease her. She would keep doing it until Hannah cried and wouldn’t eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why don’t you eat? Why are you so unhappy? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” 9 One time when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 Hannah was very sad. She wept and wept. She prayed to the Lord. 11 She made a promise to him. She said, “Lord, you rule over all. Please see how I’m suffering! Show concern for me! Don’t forget about me! Please give me a son! If you do, I’ll give him back to the Lord. Then he will serve the Lord all the days of his life. He’ll never use a razor on his head. He’ll never cut his hair.” 12 As Hannah kept on praying to the Lord, Eli watched her lips. 13 She was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving. But she wasn’t making a sound. Eli thought Hannah was drunk. 14 He said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Stop drinking your wine.” 15 “That’s not true, sir,” Hannah replied. “I’m a woman who is deeply troubled. I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. I was telling the Lord all my troubles. 16 Don’t think of me as an evil woman. I’ve been praying here because I’m very sad. My pain is so great.” 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for.” 18 She said, “May you be pleased with me.” Then she left and had something to eat. Her face wasn’t sad anymore. 19 Early the next morning Elkanah and his family got up. They worshiped the Lord. Then they went back to their home in Ramah. Elkanah slept with his wife Hannah. And the Lord blessed her. 20 So after some time, Hannah became pregnant. She had a baby boy. She said, “I asked the Lord for him.” So she named him Samuel.
Hannah suffered great grief as she dealt with the reality of not being able to have any children. She had her own grief but on top of that she was made fun by Peninnah who had children! A greater deeper grief enveloped her. Here in this passage we see a great woman of God – enveloped in her grief – but she chose to run to her God – to pour out her heart to Him and to beg Him for mercy and the gift of a son. So desperate and grief stricken was she when she was praying that Eli the priest scolded her for being drunk and tried to send her away from the temple.
Lord – when was the last time that in my grief I ran to you and begged you to intervene – desperate for you to answer my prayers? It is so easy to pray nice prayers – that don’t reveal the depth of my hurt or grief. It is much easier to ask you to do something but put all my trust in myself to make it happen. This week may I be bold and desperate enough to pray like Hannah about those things that are weighing heavy on my heart and then place all my faith in You to answer.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn