All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. I Timothy 3:16-17
There are many women mentioned in the Bible. We know the names of some, and others are not named, yet there are lessons we can learn from each of them. I wrote a series a few months ago on Sarah and all the lessons that we could learn from her. This week I would like to look at another well-known lady, Hannah. As we delve into her story, I pray the Lord will show us what He wants us to learn. We will be looking at I Samuel 1:1 – 2:21. We will look at her weaknesses and her strengths and how they can be lessons to us.
Hannah had a problem. She was barren. In those days that was a sign of reproach. It was not because of any sin in her life that caused her to be that way. Verse six of Chapter 1 tells us that the Lord had shut up her womb. As we read her story, we can see that the Lord was preparing her for a special purpose, and until it was His perfect time, she would remain without a child.
We are not given a lot of details, but it seems that Hannah was the first chosen wife of Elkanah. Because she was not able to bear children, he had taken a second wife. This was a frequent practice at that time. Although Elkanah loved Hannah best, she was not content with just being his wife, she wanted to bear him a child as well. It is easy to imagine that every time Peninnah had a baby, Hannah felt like it was the end of the world. Though she no doubt helped to look after these children, it was different from having her own. It didn’t help that Peninnah mocked her for her condition.
But Hannah’s biggest problem was not the fact that she could not have a baby, but it was that instead of rejoicing in the fact that Elkanah loved her, she became bitter and resentful towards the other wife, and missed joy in her life. This caused her husband grief and in verse eight, he questioned her about it.
Everyone has problems. Ours may be different than Hannah’s, but if we are not careful, we can let bitterness and envy rise up in our hearts. It will rob us of the joy that we should have in the Lord and affect our lives in many ways, even causing sickness. When we learn to take every problem to the Lord, we can rise above them and enjoy a life of joy and peace
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us the story of Hannah; her weaknesses and her strengths. Help us to learn from what she experienced and be the godly woman you want us to be.
Devotion by Anne Johnston