Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Hannah, a Daughter of God
Hannah’s Hope and Perseverance
Imagine that God has answered your prayer for a godly husband. Not only is the man righteous, but he is also wealthy. Hannah was that woman. Yes, Elkanah, a Levite was a person of financial wealth and a man who feared and reverenced God. It is not his wealth that deserves the focus. God’s order for the family has never changed. He would never answer a woman’s prayer for a husband with a man who could not financially provide for a wife and children. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).
Although God has ordained their marriage, Hannah’s life reveals suffering for two reasons, “…but Hannah had no children” (1 Samuel 1:2). Secondly, Elkanah’s decision to marry a second wife, Peninnah [to have heirs] produced chaos in their home. “So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children” (1 Samuel 1:6 NLT).
The consequences of not waiting on God and resolving our challenges with our solutions will always produce sorrow. Hannah did not disobey God, yet, she suffered because of her husband’s lack of faith in God.
The question of “Why did God tolerate polygamy in the Old Testament?” has many believers perplexed. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The marriage of one husband and one wife is God’s original plan. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). God does not tolerate sin as we imagine. We suffer dire consequences for the disobedience of fulfilling our carnal desires including separation from God.
Marriage is a covenant between God and both spouses. When one spouse is thinking and living outside of God’s will, both will suffer. Elkanah’s decision to marry a second wife produced devastating consequences. Hannah suffered taunting from Peninnah year after year until finally she was overwhelmed by the continuous torture, “therefore, she wept and did not eat.” (Verse 7)
In exasperation, Elkanah responds, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8).
We cannot define his response with today’s thought processes. Even so, Hannah would never disrespect her husband because of her love, honor, and reverence for God and her husband. Although his answer seems unusual, Elkanah’s words gave Hannah a glimmer of hope, “So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh…” (1 Samuel 1:9).
In the bitterness of her soul, Hannah wept in anguish. Yet, her prayer of commitment to God is exceptional, “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut” (1 Samuel 1:10 NLT).
The rest of the story demonstrates God’s love and faithfulness to those who possess faith, obedience, and commitment to God. Daughters of God dedicate yourself to obediently serving God. Mothers, pray over your children daily and raise them in the ways of the Lord. God is looking for faithful women who will cry out in times of anguish for guidance and deliverance. We must be a modern Hannah in our journey with God. Remain faithful until Jesus comes again. God, the Giver of good gifts promises to give us restoration and victory!
Prayer: God, we thank You for the special place we hold in Your heart. Give us the strength to persevere with faith and obedience. Jesus, we love you and ask this prayer in Your Holy name. Amen.