“Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:1-2)
She faced incredible hardship, but God blessed her. Others taunted her with cruel words, but she chose to believe God’s Word instead. The enemy whispered doubt, but she stood strong in her faith. Such is the story of Hannah.
While there isn’t a lot of information about Hannah, her mark in the Bible is significant. Hannah was one of two wives to a man named Elkanah; Hannah could not have children, but the other wife had many children. The other wife, Peninnah, would taunt her regularly and Hannah’s misery was indeed immense. One night, while in the temple, Hannah prayed fervently for a child, so much so that the priest Eli thought she was drunk.”Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”
Hannah prayed that if God would give her a child, she would give that child back to Him. What’s beautiful about this story is that she did indeed give her son, Samuel, back to the Lord. Baby Samuel lived with his family and they loved him very much. But when Samuel was old enough, Hannah made good on her promise to dedicate him to God. She took Samuel to the temple to live with the priests and Eli promised to take good care of him. Every year, Hannah and Samuel’s father visited him at the temple. She had more children and was a good mother to them. Samuel, who had been dedicated to God, became a prophet of his people and a leader of Israel.
Listen to Hannah’s prayer found in 1 Samuel 2: 1-5: “Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the Lord The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.“Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions. The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away.”
God hears the cries of our hearts. “The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17). He is worthy of our trust, which is something Hannah truly believed. Scripture tells us that after praying, “Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.” (1 Samuel 1:18). Hannah did not yet know whether God was going to give her a child, but she went away confident that He had heard her plea. God did give Hannah a son, yes, but more than that, He gave her the peace of His presence.
- What can we learn from Hannah’s example as a mother?
- What did Hannah’s prayer reveal about her understanding of God?