I have been reading through I Samuel lately and considering specifically the beginning. In the past I have read through and focused on Hannah’s intense longing and God’s answer to her prayers. And then of course, Hannah’s great prayer of praise and exaltation of God in chapter two.

These are things I still concentrate on but I’m seeing Hannah more and more as a shining beacon of God’s grace in this section. She alone, it seems, trusts God. Consider the surrounding people. Elkanah loves Hannah and we see that he even gives her a double portion to offer. He is perplexed that he is not enough for Hannah, but he cares for her. Peninnah, the other wife, is..well… the other wife. She is cruel and is even called Hannah’s rival. Perhaps she was jealous of Elkanah’s real affection for Hannah and, like others in her situation, uses her fruitfulness to injure Hannah.

Eli, has worthless sons (I Sam. 2:12), who don’t know the Lord. Eli fails to deal with them (for which he would pay) but is quick to condemn Hannah as a worthless woman (I Sam. 1:16) in her sincere and fervent prayers. Isn’t that often the case? We are quick to judge in others sins which seem to be having their way with us. Why? I know I have done it.

In the midst of these people, the Lord reveals Hannah as a hurting, but trusting woman. Even before her heart’s desire was answered, she looked to God. We don’t see that she dishonors Him in any way here.

God has a larger plan (just like He always does) than just this snapshot in time of the lives of these people. They have no clue what lies ahead. But none of us does in our own lives. I am reminded that I need to be faithful in the present circumstances of my life, trusting Christ for each day, each moment. How easy it is to be caught up in the daily drama, reacting to the actions of others, and miss the great privilege of casting our cares and burdens on Jesus who cares for us.

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