Background of Hannah
Hannah was the mother of the prophet Samuel. Elkanah had two wives, who were Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was barren for many years but Peninnah had many children. Peninnah would tease Hannah when the whole family go up to the worship place to offer sacrifices to God every year. Elkanah loved Hannah more so he always give him double portion of meat when they went up to the worship place. However, Hannah would weep and refuse to eat.
One day, after they finished their meals at Shiloh, Hannah stood up and prayed silently. Hannah prayed for God to give him a son. Hannah promised to dedicate him to the Lord forever if he give her a son. Eli, the high priest noticed she was moving her lips but there was no voice so he thought she was drunk. He rebuked Hannah but Hannah revealed that she was actually pouring out her anguish and grief to God in prayer. Eli told Hannah to go home in peace. God heard Hannah’s prayer and she was conceived. She gave birth to a son called Samuel.
The next year, Hannah did not follow Elkanah to the worship place. Instead, she stayed at home until the boy is weaned before presenting to the Lord. After the time of weaning the boy came to an end, she brought Samuel to the worship place at Shiloh along with some offerings including a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine. After she had sacrificed the bull, she brought the boy to the high priest Eli and gave him to God. Hannah reminded Eli about that time, when she pray; and now God has answered her prayer and gave him a boy. From that time onwards, Samuel stayed with Eli and served at the worship place with him. The account of Hannah can be found in 1 Samuel 1-2:11.
What Can We Learn about Hannah?
God used Hannah to give birth to Samuel. Samuel was the last judge of Israel. It was Samuel who anointed Saul and then David to be king of Israel. Samuel was a spiritual leader of the Israelite. He taught them the word of God so that they will walk in God’s commandments. He also helped the Israelite to overcome the Philistines. God has a good plan for everyone of us. In Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Everything happened at God’s perfect timing. Because God’s perfect timing hasn’t arrive, Hannah was barren for all these years. The difficult circumstances of Hannah, where Peninnah kept on teasing on her barrenness, made her become frustrated and prompted her to take the step to pray to God for a son. In return of the favor, Hannah promised God to dedicate to him completely so that the boy would serve the Lord for all his days. In Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV, he hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. In Romans 8:28 KJV, and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Hannah was faithful in keeping her promise. We must always keep the promise we made to God. If you don’t keep the promise you made to God, you are lying. Lying is a sin. In Exodus 20:16 KJV, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. In Numbers 30:12 KJV, if a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Hannah was humble. She humbled down herself by praying to God. We must always be humble before God. In James 4:6 KJV, but he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. God always help the humble and lift them up from. In 1 Peter 5:6 KJV, humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
God knows our heart desires and needs. If you have a need but you don’t pray to God about it, nothing is going to happen. As God’s children, we have the rights to ask God for a favor and receive for him. In Luke 11:9-12 KJV, and I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?