Hannah knew what it was like to have someone hassle her (1 Samuel 1:1-8). The source of the ridicule was her husband’s other wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none, so Penninah bugged her about it. In fact, whenever they went up to the house of the Lord, Hannah’s rival provoked her until she wept and would not eat. We know that Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, loved Hannah. Yet, I wonder why he didn’t step in and confront Penninah’s inappropriate behavior (Elkanah’s inaction is a good reminder that we need to support those who are being treated unfairly and to even attempt to make the situation better). Perhaps, you are in a work or school situation where someone is provoking you. Hannah ultimately took the matter to God in prayer and God responded. Obviously, we may need to take other steps, but prayer is always the best place to start and proceed.
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Hannah’s prayer, after God gives her a son, is a wonderful testimony to God’s ability to see everything (1 Samuel 2:2-10). At one point, she prays, “The Lord is a God who knows” (v. 3). God knows everything. He sees us and everything that happens to us. Not only does He see it all, but He assesses the actions that unfold before Him (v. 10). When someone acts with kindness, God sees it and judges accordingly. When someone is mean, God knows all about it and weighs that deed on His scales of judgement. What a comfort and challenge to be known by One who sees everything.
Hannah prayed for a child and God answered. He provided a son in Samuel. I find that I’m often quick to ask God for something, but not quite so diligent in offering praise when He answers (especially when the answer is not what I expect). Hannah not only prays, but also gives thanks to the Lord for His response to her prayers (1 Samuel 2:1-10).