Sunday, November 14, 2021

1 Samuel 2:1-10

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Last Sunday we read Psalm 121 and were reminded that God is the builder of the house, so with God we live with the possibilities of divine joy, pleasure, and purpose of our lives as we acknowledge God in everything we do.

Today we’ll be talking about a wonderful woman of faith; her name is Hannah.

We read 1 Samuel 2 but I want to spend some time to remind you of some background that happened in chapter1.

There was a man named Elkanah who had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah was able to produce children but Hannah was not. Peninnah was not nice and irritated Hannah. 1:7 says that this went on for years and it specifically mentions Peninnah as Hannah’s rival who aggravated her until she wept and wouldn’t eat. Hannah must have been sad and depressed. But the relationship with Peninnah was not only her difficulty. At her time, leaving no heir was considered a moral issue as well. It was seen as a punishment from God for sinfulness. Everywhere Hannah went, she might feel the stares or perhaps even aloud, saying ‘what had she done wrong? What had she done to deserve this?’… You know, Hannah trusted God faithfully, and her faith must have been tested every time someone said her life must not be as pure as it seemed. I think it’s

just like Job and his friends judging him, saying he is sinful and that God punished him.

Hannah was misunderstood by her husband as well. Elkanah says, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” I don’t know what you think but I don’t feel he gets it. He might try to tell her how much he loves her, but he seems to have no clue, no empathy.

And that’s not the end of her suffering. Eli the priest wrongly thinks that she’s gotten into the communion wine and he rebukes her. Day after day, year after year, she had to live with a pain in her heart that would not go away. She seems to have no help at all. If it’s our time, we could use therapist, counselor or some medicine for depression, but she didn’t have those things, of course. And there is no community to hold on for her.