Hannah is a woman of faith who unashamedly poured out her grief and anguish to the Lord and trusted Him to hear her prayer.
by Vanessa White
We can glean practical principles from the life of Hannah. May we love letting scripture capture our hearts and seeing God’s Word transform our life. It is all by His grace and love. Let us be women who abide in Christ allow the truth of scripture to change our hearts. Yielded and submitted to God, it is sweet surrender. God knows what is best for His children. His plans for us are good, despite the sorrows of life.
- Hannah is a woman of faith who unashamedly poured out her grief and anguish to the Lord and trusted Him to hear her prayer.
Introduction to 1 samuel
When was 1 Samuel written? Between 930 and 722 B.C. The recipients were the people of Israel and Judah between the end of Solomon’s reign and the northern kingdom’s fall to Assyria in 722 B.C. The Book of 1 Samuel begins with the history of the preparation for Israel’s monarchy. The promise of Hannah’s son is Samuel, who served in three significant offices — prophet, priest, and judge.
1 Samuel also illustrates the tension between God’s perfect will and people’s choices.
Hannah, a woman of faith
Hannah brings her desire for a child to God in persistent prayer with the radical hope that God will grant her desire, a child she promises to return to God (1 Sam 1–2). Hannah is further plagued by the presence of Elkanah’s wife, Peninnah, a rival who mocks her suffering even in her most vulnerable moments (1 Sam 1:6–7). – The Bible Dictionary.
READ 1 SAMUEL 1:1-28
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 1 Samuel 1-4
Elkanah had a godly household and a godly wife, Hannah. He faithfully served the Lord; he worshiped the Lord of hosts!
But these were hard times for godly people. There was a defection in the priesthood, and that necessarily gave the tone to the whole of society. When a minister of the Gospel looks upon his avocation just as another man does upon a worldly profession, as a means of gaining a livelihood, and he allows the customs of society, dinner parties and evening parties, croquet parties and garden parties, to absorb his time, just as though he were no teacher of immortal souls, that the children of God are “not of this world “-it is no wonder that the people take after him. “It shall be, as with the people, so with the priest.” (Isa 24:2.) – Mary Elizabeth Baxter
But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”1 Samuel 5-8
The Bible displays many practical principles and godly characters, especially examples of ungodliness and consequences.
The various relationships depicted in 1 Samuel epitomize the shocking differences between Yahweh’s followers and those who ignore Him.
Elkanah had two wives, possibly because his beautiful wife Hannah was barren. Polygamy was a culturally acceptable practice; however, it was not God’s original intention for marriage Gen. 2:24, and this often caused serious family turmoil and chaos.
Despite Hannah’s inability to bear children, her husband loved her. The Lord closed Hannah’s womb. In their culture, it was considered a disgrace for a woman’s inability to produce children.
Peninnah, would mock Hannah and provoke her severely. Scripture tells us her rivalry (enemy) would do this to her year after year.
Peninnah was one of those women whose chief talent seems to lie in the power they have to wound others by unkind words. She signalized herself by her skill in making another suffer by adding to a sorrow which already existed. Such a woman is a disgrace to God's thought of womanhood. - Mary Elizabeth Baxter
Hannah faced persecution, she was constantly reminded of her childlessness and provoked by the cruelty of Peninnah, but Hannah persevered despite her painful circumstances; she served the Lord and went to the house of the Lord. Praise God, Hannah is a virtuous woman! She was surrendered and submitted to the LORD!
Despite the afflictions of Hannah, she gives a clear example under harsh circumstances, and she still went to the house of the Lord; she could have stayed back home and wallowed in misery. She could have been the type of person when things are not going her way and grief is overwhelming to hide from God or cover up the pain. Instead, she chose faithfulness; she was determined to worship despite her feelings.
Her rivalry was probably just jealous, empty, and wanted to make Hannah miserable.
I am so grateful that God gives us so many accounts of biblical people who were ordinary people.
They had the same types of struggles that we still face today, sin, family problems, marriage problems, in-law problems, blended family issues, corrupt society, and the list can go on and on.
The world can be complex, but we can see the goodness of God and His righteousness even through the trials of life.
Hannah’s character is remarkable; she did not retaliate when her enemy provoked her. She is a woman of ideal femininity! Hannah chose to pour her heart out to the Lord.
- We are to worship despite our feelings.
- God is a God of order, harmony and design.
- God does not abandon His people.
- God is still sovereign.
- Despite Hannah’s grief, she gave priority to God’s glory over her desires.
Practical ways to cultivate biblical beauty and femininity
- Find godly examples of true beauty
- Turn outward
- Soak yourself in biblical truth
- Limit cultural influences
What trials are you currently experiencing? What do you think God is doing through them?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth of your word and that we can have confidence in this Book. Your Words stand the test of time. I pray that You would help us as we immerse ourselves into Your word and study the scriptures. May Your grace and truth lead us. It breaks our hearts for our loved ones, friends, and family who have not opened their minds and hearts to the truth. Please deliver them from the hands of the enemy. Help us to worship You and pray despite our feelings, emotions, and circumstances. Strengthen and equip us to be the women of God you have called us to be, help us walk in Your perfect design for womanhood. Help us to give up our desires for Your good and perfect will.
Resources for Further Study
Days of Decline, Season: Hannah’s Prayer and God’s Power by Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss