Scripture: 1 Samuel: 1-4. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none, and she was provoked by Peninnah. She wholeheartedly prayed to God and asked Him for a child, and He gave her Samuel. Hannah promised to give her firstborn to God. After Samuel was weaned, she took him to Eli at the house of the Lord at Shiloh, where he stayed and worshiped the Lord. Eli’s sons were taking parts of the sacrifices to God before they were offered to Him on the altar. Eli chose not to confront the situation and ignored their selfish actions. The Lord called Samuel’s name three times, and each time Samuel thought it was Eli. When Eli realized it was God calling Samuel, he told Samuel to answer the Lord. And the Lord spoke to Samuel, telling him of some great events that were going to happen. Follow along in 1 Samuel 1-4!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
When Peninnah was provoking Hannah for not being able to bear children and making her feel bad, God was working His plan. There are many in this world who are struggling with God’s timing in answering prayers, and they need our love and help. By supporting those who are going through rough times, we may help them stay strong in their faith and confident in the Lord to bring fulfillment to their lives. We cannot stop others from criticizing us, but we can choose how we will react to their hurtful words. By thanking God for the relationships that He has already given us, we can stay away from self-pity and keep our hope alive. Hannah didn’t want to give up; she prayed and brought her problems before God. When we pray to God, it opens up the way for Him to work in our lives. Be thankful for the ways that God has blessed you in life, and trust that He has ultimate control over your life. Instead of seeking revenge for Peninnah’s treatment to her, Hannah left judgment up to God. We must also resist the temptation to take justice into our own hands, leaving that to God. We must be ready to listen to God and to act upon what He tells us. Just as Samuel responded with “Here I am,” when He was called by God, we must also be ready when He calls us to action.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Please help us to act selflessly, helping others, and setting a good example to others around us. When we face bitter times in our lives, please help us to completely rely on You. Help us to be reminded of the love and strength that You have provided in our current relationships. Please help us not to take justice into our own hands when we are treated badly from others. Thank You for being there for us when we need You the most. Please continue to guide and direct each of our lives to fulfill Your ultimate purpose, Father, and help us to always be ready when You call us to action. Please forgive us for the many sins that we commit, and help us to forgive others. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.