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If you clicked over to read this post your first thought was probably, “Who in the world is Hannah?” Am I right? Well, Hannah was a woman in the Bible, in the book of 1 Samuel to be exact and during my devotions recently I have been reading a little bit about her life.
As I read, I realized what a remarkable woman she was. If you don’t know her story, I encourage you to read it in 1 Samuel chapter 1. For reasons unknown to us the Lord was not allowing Hannah to bear children. Infertility is bad enough I’m sure, but her husband’s other wife provoked her about it all the time too the point where Hannah would weep constantly and not eat. Can you imagine?
“And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.” – 1 Samuel 1:7
So Hannah promises the Lord that if He gives her a son then she will dedicate Him to the Lord for the rest of his life. She wants to have a baby so bad that she is willing to give that baby back to Lord. She recognizes that the Lord is the one who can grant her this gift and that the child is the Lord’s anyways.
“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life…” – 1 Samuel 1:11
The story continues with God granting Hannah a son – Samuel and she keeps her promise and dedicates him to the Lord. But the story really doesn’t end there because Samuel becomes a great man of God and was used greatly throughout many years. What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness and Hannah’s perseverance!
There is much to be learned from this story I’m sure, but here are five things that really jumped out at me that I learned from Hannah:
4 Things I Learned From Hannah
1. God Never Forgot her.
As I mentioned above, we don’t know why Hannah was infertile for a time, but I think one of the reasons this story was put there was to show us that even through this trial in her life, God never forgot her. He was there taking care of her and helping her along the way.
“And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.” – 1 Samuel 1:19
Even in her sorrow and grief, God was there and He remembered her and granted her a son. God never forgets us, and I am so thankful for that reminder that even in our darkest hour He is there helping us through.
2. God Rewarded her Faithfulness
Hannah could have given up. She could have thrown herself a pity-party and said, “God must hate me.” But she didn’t. She stayed faithful to God and He rewarded that faithfulness by giving her a son. Sometimes it’s hard to stay faithful in the trials that come our way, it’s easy to want to give up. But if we gave up at every little thing, we would never see the reward, we would never reap the blessings of faithfulness. Sometimes we just have to hang in there and push on until we can see those rewards.
3. Prayer Works
Hannah prayed and prayed. She never gave up. She didn’t just pray a quick prayer of – “Oh Lord, PLEASE give me a baby. Amen.” No, the Bible said she wept, fasted and prayed.
“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.” – 1 Samuel 1:10
Hannah sought the Lord until He answered and she never gave up. I love this because this shows that prayer DOES work! Sometimes It’s easy to wonder if our prayers are being heard, but they are. We just have to learn to keep praying and seeking His face.
4. She Kept Her Promise
It would have been a great temptation for Hannah to go back on her promise to dedicate her son to the Lord. After all, once he was old enough she only got to see him once a year when they went to the temple. But she didn’t. She raised him well, brought him to the temple and honored her promise.
“And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her…and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they…brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.”
Such a great example she set for her son and for her family. I am so thankful for her example and her testimony.
What about YOU? What is something you have learned in your devotions in the past few weeks?