Though not often, there are cases in the Bible where men were married to more than one wife. So in 1 Samuel one, we find a man named Elkanah that had two wives: Hannah and Peninnah. Already you can tell that something, some issue is about to arise. The thing was that Peninnah had children for Elkanah, several children indeed; but Hannah, on the other hand, had none. She was barren and childless; at least for now.
Every year Elkanah, his two wives and children went to a place called Shiloh to worship and give sacrifice offerings to God. But because Peninnah had children and Hannah had none, Peninnah sadly would taunt and provoke Hannah continually. The text says “year by year” she did this. (V. 7) And the situation came to the point that Hannah would weep and in this instance, she wouldn’t eat.
Elkanah, her husband said to Hannah, “Why do you weep, why do you not eat? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?”
He just didn’t get it! A woman’s desire and heart for her own children is unlike anything her husband can give. But Hannah goes into the temple of the Lord, pours out her heart and frustrations before God. (Pause) The first thing we must take note:
1. A woman of integrity does not retaliate or allow bitterness toward others to overwhelm her.
Hannah turned to God and wept in anguish. And like Hannah, we too can come to our Lord any time we are in need of help! While at the temple Hannah prayed and said, “Oh Lord, if you will indeed look at the affliction of your servant, and will remember me….” (V. 11) In that prayer, Hannah made a vow to God. She vowed that if He gives her a son, she will in turn, give the son back to Him.
While Hannah prayed, the priest Eli stepped in and because he saw her lips moving but saw no one or heard anything from her- he assumed that she was drinking. “How long will you be drunk?” Eli exclaimed. (V. 14) But it was far from Hannah to do such a thing. She started to explain how she was praying, praying with a very “sorrowful spirit,” and petitioning the Lord out of much grief.
Eli then responded to her, “Go in peace, and God… grant you your request.” (V. 17)
*James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Also…
*Proverbs 15:29 – God hears the prayers of the righteous.
So Hannah washed her face and went on with things as usual. She believed God would do what he said.
2. A woman of integrity lives consistent with what she believes in.
Hannah trusted in God: and behold our gracious God did indeed grant her request. When the child was born, it was a boy.
As soon as the boy (verse 24) was old enough to be weaned, Hannah brought him to the “House of the Lord” along with sacrifice offerings, and present him to the Lord. So Hannah brought her young son to the temple, and in front of the priest Eli, explained how she spoke to him after praying for a son, and now that she is holding him in her arms, she will perform her word as she said.
3. A woman of integrity keeps her word and fulfils her vow.
Hannah gave the son over to the priest, she presented her son to the Lord. “For his whole life (Samuel) was given over to the Lord,” and became a mighty man and prophet of God.
First of all cleanse my heart of all guilt and sin. Teach me
to turn to and depend on you. When others mistreat me,
give me the strength not to retaliate or grow bitter, but give
the situation over to you. May I live a consistent life of
righteousness wherever I go. And as much as is within me, help
me to always keep my word, for your glory, honor and majesty!