Biblical Wonder Woman: HANNAH is introduced to us as one of the two wives of Elkanah. It’s interesting that from the very beginning, their status as a wife and their status as a mother are immediately established. The first wife, Hannah, was loved, but had no children; the second wife, Peninnah, had children, but was not loved. Hannah lived in a time when a husband could take a second wife if his wife was unable to bear children. Hannah’s barrenness opened the door for Peninnah’s existence and positioned Peninnah’s productivity to be used as a tool to torment Hannah. Peninnah was quite aware of Hannah’s position as the first wife as well as her status as the loved wife. This awareness provoked Peninnah to taunt Hannah year after year as they went to Shiloh to worship.
If this taunting was not enough, Hannah’s distress became the catalyst for her husband’s frustration. Elkanah asked the wife that he loved the reason for her tears, her refusal to eat and her downhearted spirit. He questioned if her childless condition was a valid reason for her emotional state. He reminded her that she had him and asked her if having him wasn’t better than having ten sons. What a difficult circumstance!!! Her body was failing her, her husband’s second wife was taunting her, and her husband was frustrated with her and invalidating her feelings! This Biblical Wonder Woman: Hannah, continued to maintain her existence year after year while enduring great hardship.
After a sacrificial meal, Hannah rose to go and pray. While she was crying out to God in deep anguish, Eli the priest watched her from the entrance of the tabernacle. As she petitioned God, Eli accused her. He had mistaken her sorrow and anguish for drunkenness. This Biblical Wonder Woman defended herself by explaining that she’d only been pouring her heart out to the Lord. Eli responded to her with a word of blessing: “…go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of Him.” (1 Samuel 1:17, New Living Translation) It was this benediction that provoked Hannah’s thank you as she returned to her family, began eating again and was no longer sad.
Hannah experienced four different areas of betrayal: Her barren body produced no children, her husband’s jealous second wife taunted her with her abundant productivity, her frustrated husband dismissed her feelings and her non-discerning priest misunderstood her behavior. However, with all of this, Hannah returned from prayer with a renewed spirit and a restored faith. And the Lord remembered her prayer! Hannah conceived and gave birth to Samuel!!! Hannah kept her word to God, and God blessed Hannah beyond her prayer. She took Samuel to live with Eli and serve in the tabernacle. Keeping her vow to God set her up to receive her petition multiplied. “And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.” (1 Samuel 2:21, New Living Translation)
Everything we go through positions us to bring glory to God’s Name. When we trust Him to handle our situations, we’ll be like Hannah: We’ll get up from prayer with a renewed spirit and a restored faith! Our situations may not have changed at all, but we are changed by prayer. When we release our cares and concerns to God, we allow Him to empower us to press beyond what was pressing us and to walk in faith through praise. (#ChurchSchoolSaturday #TheSumUp: Make A Joyful Noise – Only You!) Pressing beyond betrayals can be extremely difficult, but Biblical Wonder Women are RESILIENT!