Ephesians 4:8 - "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."

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Who was Hannah?

     Hannah was a woman of faith; prayer, sacrifice, and dedication.

First, we learn that Hannah was one of Elkanahs’ wives. In the Old

Testament times, we often see that it was common for men to have

multiple wives. Second, Hannah was barren and desired more than

anything to have a child. The bible makes it clear that children are a

gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3).

     This caused Hannah so much pain and grief that she was not

able to have a child, yet Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah had children

and was very unkind to Hannah. Hannah’s Prayer at Shiloh: “And

when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his

wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto

Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the

LORD had shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her

sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her

womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the

house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and

did not eat” (1 Samuel 1:4-7). “Then said Elkanah her husband to

her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why

is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons? So

Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had

drunk.

     Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the

LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the

LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of

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 unto the LORD all

the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head” (1

Samuel 1:8-11).

     “And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the

LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her

heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli

thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt

thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah

answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit:

I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my

soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of

Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I

spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered, grant thee thy petition that thou

hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in

thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her

countenance was no more sad” (1 Samuel 1:12-18).

     In 1 Samuel 1:4-10, we see another one of Hannah’s prayers,

which was praising, prophetic, powerful: And Hannah prayed, and

said, "My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the

LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I 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. Talk no more

so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for

the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled

are girded with strength. They that were full have hired out

themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the

barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed

feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to

the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh

rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of

the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them

among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the

pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon

them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be

silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The

adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven

shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the

earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of

his anointed."

     Now, Eli was the high priest at the time and when he saw

Hannah praying he thought she was drunk. When Eli confronted

Hannah about this, she used wisdom, she was respectful and was

not offended at his questioning. Instead, she spoke with kindness

and explained her situation. Eli blessed Hannah with peace and an

answer from God: “And Hannah answered and said, No, my LORD,

I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor

strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count

not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance

of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered

and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition

that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find

grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her

countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning

early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to

their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the

LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time

was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son,

and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of

the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:15-20).

      Hannah went on her way and continued to live for God. “And the

LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons

and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD” (1

Samuel 2:21).Then, Eli blesses Hannah a second time when she

returns with Samuel. Hannah kept a good attitude, none of that

would have happened if she had become offended at Eli.

     Here are a few things that we know about Hannah: 1. According

to Strong’s Concordance, Hannah in Hebrew means Channah, an

Istraelitess: to show favor, be gracious 2. Hannah was very loved by

Elkanah, her husband (1 Samuel 1:4). 3. Hannah had 5 other

children, three sons and two daughters, after Samuel was born (1

Samuel 2:20-21). 4. Hannah teaches us the importance of having a

good prayer life: she knew the importance of fasting, praying and

living a dedicated life to God. 5. Hannah is the mother of the prophet

and last Judge of Israel, Samuel. Hannah kept her word that she

vowed to Eli that she would give her child to God.

     When Samuel was weaned and just a young child, Hannah took

him to live at the tabernacle. As a child he helped the high priest, Eli,

with jobs around the tabernacle. Although his parents had given him

to Eli to raise in the Lord’s service, they never forgot him. “And when

she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks,

and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto

the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. And they

slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my

lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee

here, praying unto the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:24-26). None of this

would have happened if she had become offended at Eli. Read the

Hannah’s full story in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2. Hannah teaches

us a valuable lesson in being a woman of faith; living a life of prayer,

fasting, dedication, sacrifice, and thanksgiving! Hannah shows us

how to bring our desperate cries and all our brokenness to God!