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 (Manna 19)
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A Woman of Patience

In the land of Ephraim there lived a man called Elkanah. Elkanah had two wives; one of them was Hannah, the other l1enninah. Penninah had children but Hannah had no children. Every year Elkanah would go up to Shiloh to worship God and offer sacrifice. After that he would apportion the meat to Penninah, his children and Hannah. But the port ion he gave to Hannah was much more than the portion he gave to Penninah because he loved Hannah. When Penninah saw that God had shut up the womb of Hannah so that Hannah was barren, she provoked her. This happened year after year. Hannah was so provoked that she refused food and drink hut wept in the house of the Lord (1 Sam 1:1-88). However, she did not loose her temper. She did not argue with Penninah who had provoked her, She did not ever approach her husband to avenge her. Fools would readily show their anger hut the wise would endure (Ecc 7:9; Rum 5:3-5). Hannah relied on the mercies of God to remove her misery. She was humble, gentle, a prudent woman of few words.

A Woman of faith

When Elkanah brought his family to Shilob to worship and otter sacrifice, Elkanah and his family, except Hannah, ate their meal after offering. After they had eaten Hannah rose up and prayed to God. She wept bitterly as she vowed to God saying, “O Lord of the hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him into the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1 Sam 1:9-11). It came about that as Hannah was praying to God, Eli, the priest, was watching her. Her mouth was moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought that she was drunk. Then Eli said to Hannah, “How long wilt thou be drunken? Put away thy wine from thee.” But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drank neither wine nor strung drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord ... for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.” Then Eli answered and said, “God is peace: and the Lord of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him.” Hannah said, “Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight.” Then she went her way and ate and her face was no longer sad (1 Sam 1:12-18).

A Woman of Gratitude

Hannah’s prayers were answered. God blessed her with a son whom she called Samuel meaning “that which she had from the Lord.” When the child had weaned Hannah brought him along with three bullocks, one ephah of flour and a bottle of wine to Shiloh to pay her vow to God before Eli. Hannah consecrated her son to the Lord as she had vowed (1 Sam 1:19-28).

A Woman of Thanksgiving

Hannah, in her thanksgiving prayer, said, ‘My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because 1 rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God… The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up (1 Sam 2:1-11). After the prayer Hannah returned to Ramah leaving Samuel behind to minister unto the Lord before Eli. Samuel was able to devote his entire life to serving God because of Hannah who had presented him before the Lord.

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