Hannah: A Trusting Heart
When I first started working on these devotionals, I intended to write about Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. As I was finishing Esther, however, I felt it more important to do a devotional on Hannah. Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth’s story is very important, and perhaps I will do a devotional on her later. However, Hannah’s story is more pressing at the moment. Hannah’s life, upon first glance, is quite tragic. She was the favorite wife Elkanah, who also had another wife. She lived during a time when this was not only accepted, but normal. Hannah was childless. In the Hebrew culture at the time, bearing sons was hugely important. Not having someone to bear your husband’s name was shameful. Elkanah’s other wife, who had several children, was cruel to her. All of Hannah’s life she probably dreamed of having children, but when she married she was barren. When she went to the temple with Elkanah to offer sacrifices to the Lord, she prayed to God for children. She poured out her soul to God, and pleaded with Him. She vowed that if he gave her a baby boy, she would give him back to the Lord. She would dedicate him to a life of serving God, as his Lord and Savior. She wept and prayed some more, and the Priest, Eli, thought she was drunk. When he reprimanded her for drinking, she said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” -1 Samuel 1:15b-16. Then Eli told her to go in peace, that her prayers may be answered. Hannah went home, and a few months later she became pregnant. Then she had a baby boy, and named him Samuel. When Samuel grew a little bit older she took him to the temple, and dedicated him. When it came time to leave, she left Samuel with Eli. Then she prayed to the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:1-10 says,
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 “No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
3 “Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.
4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
And the hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.
6 “The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
8 He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,
To set them among princes
And make them inherit the throne of glory.
“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He has set the world upon them.
9 He will guard the feet of His saints,
But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
“For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces;
From heaven He will thunder against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to His king,
And exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Hannah was rejoicing, because God had given her son, but she had to leave her baby behind. As Samuel grew he went into ministry, from the time he was child. Each year Hannah would make her little priest a robe, and bring it to him. Doesn’t this story seem quite sad? First, Hannah is barren. Second, she’s made fun of by her husband’s other wife. Third, she has a baby, but has to give him up when he’s still a toddler. It doesn’t seem quite fair. Why couldn’t God had just given her a baby? Sometimes what we think is perfect for us, really is not what is best in the big picture. Samuel grew into one of the most famous and godliest priest of the Bible. He anointed the first two kings of Israel, one of which was the most famous king of all time. Are you noticing a pattern? All of the women we have studied so far, with the exception of Esther, have raised amazing children. Rahab’s son was boaz, Ruth’s son was Obed, and Hannah’s son was Samuel. We don’t know who Esther’s children were. Mother’s affect their children so much, the mold them and form them into the people they become. Who they are, and the lives they lived, shape their kids into who they are. But what can we learn from Hannah specifically? Hannah showed amazing trust and perseverance. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” She never gave up believing God would work miracles, even when she was mocked. When she did have a son, she gave him up just as she said she would. She never broke her promise, because God never broke his. You know what else? Because Hannah trusted God with Samuel, God blessed Hannah with more children. How about you? Are you entrusting your life to God?
“…You say to God, “I have never seen you provide for me.”
God says to you, “You have never trusted Me.” ~Corallie Buchanan