Hannah. A story of faithfulness and prayer.
We've heard from several other women in the Bible that have a strong need to be a mother. God actually commands us to be fruitful and multiply, (Genesis 1:28) which is why so many women (still today) long to become mothers and start a family after they get married.
Hannah was one that longed to be a mother, yet was barren (childless). To make matters worse, in Biblical times, (remember that people were still sinful and did not follow God's laws) many men would marry other women or have relations with another woman if their current wife did not bear them any children. Men had a desire to also bring children into the world, in order to carry on their lineage.
With Hannah being unable to give her husband, Elkanah, a child, we see Peninnah enter the story. Peninnah had children. And while Elkanah favored Hannah, this still caused great distress in their relationship.
Hannah wept and cried out to God to make her a mother. You can read her heartfelt prayer as it is poured out in 1 Samuel 9-11. She tells God that if He offers her a son, she would willingly give him over completely to the Lord and set him apart for holy discipline.
The Lord hears her prayers and eventually grants her a son. His name is Samuel. Hannah is overjoyed and follows through on her promise, dedicating her son to the Lord. In chapter 2 of Samuel, you can read the beautiful prayer/song she prays, by giving thanks and praises to the Lord. Samuel actually grows up and becomes a great prophet and leader for Isreal.
Hannah's story teaches us about prayer and faithfulness, but also about loyalty. She prayed and gave her heart to the Lord. She asked with an earnest heart and received a son and then praised God for His blessing. Then she stayed true to her word and raised Samuel up to be a Goldy man.
Do you believe your prayers are heard? Think about that. What do you earnestly pray for? Are your prayers full of gratitude and thankfulness to God?
Next time you pray about something that you really have your heart set on, remember Hannah's story and her prayers full of praises and her act of faithfulness.
Bible Study Notes:
***This Week read about Rahab. This is the last woman we will be studying this summer. You will find her story in Joshua 2. Read a few verses a day (this is a shorter story but a good one to end on) and as you read, respond, reflect and react. What can you take away from her story?