5 Powerful, Relevant Reminders from the Life of Hannah

Contributing Writer
5 Powerful, Relevant Reminders from the Life of Hannah

Hannah is a dynamic woman with a life full of both hardships and miracles. Her story is tucked away in 1 Samuel 1-2. As a woman who could not conceive, dealing with a husband who was married to another woman, and aging with unmet dreams, Hannah brought her troubles to the Lord.

Today we are going to look at five lessons from the story of Hannah.

1. God Cares about Our Disappointments and Pain

The story of Hannah reminds us that the Lord cares for us even in our trials and hardships. Hannah did not attempt to hide her pain and desperation for a child from God. Instead, she invited Him into her sorrow, and He met her there.

“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servants misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11).

What is causing you deep anguish? What makes you weep bitterly? It can be easy to listen to the voice of the enemy that our pain does not matter to God. However, this is a lie. God heard Hannah in her distress, and He hears us too. This does not always mean that He is going to give us what we ask for, but it does mean that He is with us, catching our tears in a bottle, using the situation for our good and His glory, and comforting us so that we too can comfort others.

2. We Should Be Watchful of Sin When God Says No or Wait

“He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none” (1 Samuel 1:2).

It is not clear who was married to Elkanah first, but Hannah is listed first. If Hannah and Elkanah were unable to conceive, it is very likely that they acted foolishly like Abraham and Sarah by involving another woman to bear their children and carry on the family line. Regardless of who was married first, Elkanah was involved in a sinful and dishonorable polygamous marriage. Hannah was (whether by her choice or not) involved in that complicated relationship.

The polygamy seen in Hannah’s story warns us against the temptation to sin when God says no or wait. We can often be tempted to take control and make things happen for ourselves, when we continually pray to the Lord but He does not answer with a yes. In those weak, tired, and tear-stained moments, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help our Spirit remain strong because the flesh is weak. If we do not heed that warning, our sin will multiply our sorrows.

3. We Can Worship in Our Trials

“Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her” (1 Samuel 1:19).

One beautiful thing about this verse is that Hannah worshipped the Lord before she conceived. She came to God in the midst of her disappointment and gave Him glory regardless. This is not humanly possible. It is not in our nature to worship Jesus when we are in great loss or pain. However, this is the work of God in a believer’s life.

Hannah modeled what it looks like to live by faith and not by sight. She knew that even if she did not receive the blessing of a child, that the Lord was still faithful and He loved her. This is purity in faith. Then, something miraculous happened – Hannah conceived. When it says the Lord remembered her, this is not implying that the Lord ever forgot her. This is meaning that He chose to act.

4. There Is Grace in Our Humanity

After Hannah conceived and gave birth to none other than a boy, she named him Samuel. I wonder if Hannah had secretly hoped for a daughter, so she would not have to give the baby up? However, a son would secure the family lineage. A lot was on the line with that blessing, even though there would be sacrifice.

“Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, ‘After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.’ ‘Do what seems best to you,' her husband Elkanah told her. ‘Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word’” (1 Samuel 1:22-23).

It was the first year to go to the temple, and Hannah was not ready yet. I imagine the great emotion behind her decision and wanting to care for her infant. She decided to wait and wean him before bringing Him. Elkanah reminded Hannah of her promise as he went without her.

It is precious to think about the grace that God gave Hannah, to have this vital time to love and care for her son Samuel as a baby. Even though it would come with sacrifice, there was grace within it. God deals graciously with us in our lives as well. He calls us to hard things, but He is there with us and He knows that we are weak humans.

5. God Blesses Obedience

Hannah ended honoring the Lord with her promise and gave Samuel back to God. She followed through with her word and sent him to be raised by Eli the priest in the temple of God. However, the Lord also blessed Hannah with five more children!

There is a beautiful prayer called “Hannah’s Prayer” found in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Hannah blesses the Lord after giving Samuel over to the priesthood and magnifies the name of God. Many say that it parallels the prayer that Mary sang in Luke 1:46-55.

What Hannah had to do was by no means easy, but she understood that the Lord gave her Samuel for His intended purpose to lead him into the priesthood. This points forward to when Mary knew she would conceive her son, Jesus, who would be the Messiah.

“And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:21).

The obedience of Hannah led to blessing. God ended up providing not just one more child in her old age, but five more children. She had the delight of experiencing motherhood in the end and even made Samuel clothing each year to bring to him when she visited. It may not be physical blessing like Hannah’s story, but when we live in obedience to the Lord, blessing follows us.

There is a verse in the Scriptures that is often misquoted. Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This is not a guarantee that we will “get what we want” if we follow God. However, when we truly delight in the Lord, He becomes the desire of our hearts and He will gives us Himself.

Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” As we aim to live lives of obedience to God in the power of the Holy Spirit, may we remember that He is the blessing and He is with us always. 

Photo credit: Unsplash/Fa Barboza

Emma DanzeyEmma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.