It was the darkest of times…still. There are just seasons where a spirit of darkness covers the earth. Literature historically is filled with such times.
And yet in these darkest of times, there are hidden points of light like the stars. Sometimes we forget there are stars. We forget to look up and see. We just see that darkness is everywhere. And yet these points of light persist.
The story of Hannah is like an echo chamber of history and of God’s moving. Already we have seen a handful of barren women conceive to fulfill the purposes of God:
- Sarah, Abraham’s first wife had Isaac – Genesis 11:30, 16:1-2
- Rebekkah, Isaac’s wife – She had Jacob/Israel Genesis 25:21
- Rachel, one of Jacob’s wives – She bore Joseph. Genesis 29:31
- Manoah’s nameless wife, Samson‘s mother – Judges 13:2
She’s been deeply sorrowful with her empty arms and to add injury to insult, the second wife bullies her severely. She is in such terrible grief that the priest, Eli, thinks she is drunk (1 Sam 1:14).
She cries out to the Lord and Eli sees her. He tells her,
“Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested upon Him” (1 Sam 1:17).
And then here’s what’s amazing about Hannah. She picked herself up, stopped grieving and cast off her sadness (1 Sam 1:18). She believed that the Lord heard. And he did.
Some time later she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She had promised the Lord that if he gave her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord for all his life. He was to never cut his hair but to serve the Lord “for as long as he lives” (1 Sam 1:29).
And that’s exactly what she did. When he was old enough to be weaned, he took him to the temple to give him to the Lord. Can you imagine? What a sacrifice.
Now juxtaposed against this was the priest’s sons. “They had no regard for the Lord” and cared nothing of the sacrifices, treating them with contempt (1 Sam 2:12-17).
So we have this righteous woman whose prayer was answered by the Lord and then she kept his vow to him. And we have the people who were supposed to be righteous, Eli’s sons, priests kids, who despised the Lord’s holiness.
The sin from Eli’s sons and their servants was “very severe in the presence of the Lord, because they treated the Lord’s offering with contempt” (1 Sam 2:17).
A thunderstorm is definitely brewing. You know God is about to do something big. Because a miracle is granted to a simple, righteous woman, and judgment is brewing with those who were dedicated to righteousness.