July 22-23: Hannah – 1 Samuel 1
This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In July and August, we’re reading the stories of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Miriam, Zipporah, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Proverbs 31 woman, Gomer, Elizabeth, all the Marys, Martha, woman at the well, bleeding woman, adulterous woman, Canaanite woman, Lydia, Eunice, Priscilla, and the Titus 2 woman. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Hannah – 1 Samuel 1
The Birth of Samuel
1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. 4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. 6 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Hannah Dedicates Samuel
21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”
23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Fulfilling a Promise | Jess Howell
1 Samuel 1:28
Like many women we’ve read about thus far, today’s story is of the barren Hannah. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, had many children and was very unkind to Hannah – jeering at her and provoking her constantly. Hannah was devastated, even looking past her husband’s obvious love for her. But one day, Hannah came to a breaking point and prayed her heart out that God would bless her with a son; in return, she would dedicate the child back to God.
I can’t help but wonder if Hannah struggled with her promise to God when she found out she was with child. Did she wrestle with Him about it? She sounds pretty confident saying “I give him to the Lord.” Would I give my child up so easily as she did – or like Abraham did Isaac? I don’t think I’m fully there yet, but I want to be! I want my desire to be ONE with God and do whatever He asks, no matter what. I long to be near Him always. If God keeps His promises to me, I need to keep my promise to Him.
Father God, Your timing is always perfect, even though we can’t see it or understand it. Help me to see that Your promises are always true and perfect. When I doubt You, Father, bring me gently back. Show me the things I need to give back to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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