Each year Elkanah and his families journeyed to the Tabernacle at Shiloh to worship the Lord of the heavens and to
sacrifice to God. Elkanah would celebrate the happy occasion by giving presents to Peninnah and her children, but although
he loved Hannah very much, he could give her only one present, for the Lord had sealed her womb; so she had no children
to give presents to. The Bible says every time she went to Shiloh she could expect to be taunted. Hannah was reduced to
tears and had no appetite. Vs 8: “What’s the matter, Hannah?” Elkanah would exclaim, “Why aren’t you eating? Why
make such a fuss over having no children? Isn’t have me better than having ten sons?”..maybe he’s expressing a little
inflated ego, but he loved his wife and wanted her to feel loved.
Vs 9-11: “One evening after supper, when they were at Shiloh, Hannah went over to the Tabernacle. Eli the priest was
sitting at his customary place beside the entrance. She was in deep anguish and was crying bitterly as she prayed to the
Lord. And, she made this vow: O, Lord of heaven, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give
me a son, then I will give him back to you he’ll be yours for his entire lifetime and his hair shall never be cut.” True Israelite
women dedicated their first born to the Lord in reverent remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt.
Eli had been watching her and he saw her mouth moving as she was praying silently and because he heard no sound, he
thought she had been drinking. What Hannah was doing was praying from her heart. Did you know that those are the
prayers that are registered in heaven..the ones that come from your heart, not so much as those from your lips? Hannah
begin her prayer alone and found that Eli joined in with her, in faith, too! She assures him she doesn’t need to throw her
bottle away..”I’m so very sad and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.” Eli tells her, “In that case, cheer up, May the
Lord of Israel grant you your petition, whatever it is.” This made Hannah very happy and the Bible tells us that “the Lord
remembered her petition and in the process of time, a baby boy was born to her. She named him Samuel (meaning “asked
of God”) because she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” ..Vs 17-20. Every time Hannah even said her baby’s name, she
remembered she had him because she had asked of God. What are you asking God for today? If He granted you your
request, would you be willing to give it all in exchange for a better relationship with Him? Hannah wanted this baby more
than anything else in the world.
Hannah held her baby’s finger, but God who made the baby held Hannah’s heart. Now she knew and loved the Lord better
than she knew and loved her baby.
The next year Peninnah trekked with her children and Elkanah to the Tabernacle but Hannah remained at home, telling her
husband that she would go the next year when the baby was weaned and at that time, she would leave him there.
Hannah was Elkanah’s first choice of a wife and I’m sure she was his favorite. Peninnah was probably delighted with her
decision to stay at home.
What do you do with the sticky situations and people in your life? In our society today, many homes are made up of
children from other marriages and raising them to honor and love the Lord is a challenge. As mothers, we have to learn to
live out a “God-willed life, not a self-willed one.” It’s all incorporated with God’s desire to take the heart of stone out of us
and give us a new heart and a new spirit as found in Ez 36:26-27
I love how the Message Bible puts it: “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from
your body and replace it with a heart that is God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you
to do what I tell you and live by my commands.” God loves to do that for you. He will do it when our heart wants it to
happen. Hannah’s heart was right before the Lord. God will answer the cry of your heart; He did it for Hannah, He’ll do it
for you. Being a good Mom is hard but we serve a good God!
The next year, Hannah shows up at the Tabernacle with Samuel and confronts Eli. She says, “Do you remember me? I
asked the Lord to give me this child and he has given me my request and now I am giving him to the Lord for as long as he
lives.” I don’t know about you, but I dedicated my children to the Lord, one at the age of six weeks and one at the age of 3
months, but after the service, I took them home with me! The Bible says “So she left him there at the Tabernacle for the
Lord to use.” She gave up the pleasure of raising him at home. Her only son.
After she has given him up, her prayer in I Samuel 2 is one of the strongest prayers ever recorded: “How I rejoice in the
Lord! How he has blessed me! Now I have an answer for my enemies, for the Lord has solved my problem. How I rejoice!
No one is as holy as the Lord! There is no other God, nor any Rock like our God.” Has anything changed at home? No!
She loves the Lord more than she loved the child. Her desire for the Lord was stronger than her desire for a son.
Vs 11 “So they returned home without Samuel; and the child became the Lord’s helper.” Vs 18-19 “..Samuel wore a little
linen robe just like the priest’s. Each year his mother made a little coat for him and brought it to him when she came with
her husband.” Hannah is blessed in her heart. She overcame Peninnah’s stinging words..she’s still living with her but no
longer listening to her.
Vs 20-21 “Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and Hannah and ask God to give them other children to take
the place of this one they had given to the Lord. And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile
Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.” Samuel became the redeeming prophet during the closing days of the judges.
Hannah’s prayer and desire for a son affected the entire nation of Israel. Women, maybe you need to utter the cry of your
heart to the Lord, it may be that He will cause it to reach beyond your request!
1. Hannah was loved by her husband but she allowed Peninnah to make her life miserable. Someone may be “mowing you
down”; tell the Lord on ‘em! Hannah, “Asked of the Lord” ..what do you need to be asking?
2. Hannah gave her only son. That’s what God did, He gave His only Son and then watched Him die for us. Maybe your
son today is a big disappointment, don’t give up; God is still in the raising up business!
3. In Hannah’s prayer in I Sam 2:7, “The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts;” mostly we
experience both processes. What relationship do you need to focus on right now in order for Him to be exalted?
As a mother, you may feel a sense of failure or not being adequate. I raised four girls and I can tell you, I didn’t do it all
right. We do what Hannah did, we “ask of the Lord!”
“All changes come from Him who never changes. When we come down in the world, it is of the Lord and so we may take it
patiently; when we rise in the world, it is of the Lord and we may accept it thankfully. In any case, the Lord has done it and
it is well. It seems it is Jehovah’s way to lower those whom He means to raise and to strip those whom He intends to
clothe. If it is His way, it is the wisest and best way. If I am now enduring the bringing low, I may well rejoice because I
see in it the preface to the lifting up. The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted in glory.” Charles