She prayed deeply and confidently. But too often that is where our faith and obedience end; at the door of God’s glory. We are shy and fearful to enter into the promised land. We are careful to believe only so much, but never cast our heart completely upon Him.
We fear His failure, though He never fails; we fear our heart-break, though love is the only language our Savior speaks.
Hannah acted on her prayer, she stepped in faith according to what she had prayed as verse 19 tells us “Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife.”
They had done this before, countless times, but nothing came of it. Time and time again she answered her marital duties but to no avail, as she remained without child. She could have easily given up and succumbed to discouragement. She could accepted her role as a childless wife. But that was not Hannah. Hannah was stubborn but honest in her desires. More importantly she was confident in the power of God to work miracles.
And so because she acted on her faith, “the LORD remembered her”
(1:20) So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.”
Next we see a little of Hannah’s payback towards Peninnah, the other wife. If you remember back to the beginning of chapter 1, it begins by explaining that every year Elkanah was faithful to take his family up to the temple to offer sacrifices. But also during this time, Peninnah would rail on and ridicule Hannah for being childless. Year after year this conflict persisted between these two women. But now Hannah was with child. The story presents it logically, that the child was still very young and needed to be weaned before being offered to the priest.
Probably she could have traveled with them, but I believe her intent was a bit more calculating. She remembered the hard times Peninnah gave her.
And so to stay behind to nurse the child would be a constant reminder as Elkanah and his family made the trek to the temple. Every mile they traveled without Hannah stung the heart of Peninnah as she remembered why Hannah had stayed behind. She was made to eat her words in the end.
Hannah kept to her vow. She weaned Samuel and then, as young as he was, went to give him for the service of the LORD.
I want you to think about what she was giving. She was giving her one and only son. The son she had prayed for. We only have one of her prayers recorded, but realistically how many times did she pray before that? How many barren years did she endure before the joy of Samuel came to her face? How many emotional beatings did she take from the other wife? And then, suddenly to have all your problems seemingly fixed. To have the son you’ve always wanted – to be the person you’ve always dreamed of being, and in the position you had always hoped to obtain.
The impossible had happened to her and she gave it away. She showed again where her heart lie. It did not depend on what men thought, or her rival wife, or even Samuel her son. Hannah’s allegiance was to God, her obedience was the key, the focus and the treasure.