Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, was barren at first. She naturally yearned to bring a child into the world, but the only thing she seemed to get was trouble. However, she handled that trouble in a godly manner
To be barren back then was an embarrassment, with some even thinking that such a woman was cursed. Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, had children and provoked Hannah, especially when they traveled to the Temple (verses 6 and 7). Satan, I’m sure, added to this pressure. Hannah wept and would not eat. Elkanah’s less-than-tactful response (verse 8), “why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?,” added to her hurt.
Public domain image by Charles Foster, scanned from author’s private collection.
Hurting her even more was the response from Eli, the High Priest, someone that was to be spiritual. Hannah poured out her heart before the Lord, but could not speak. Eli, thinking she was drunk, foolishly said (v.14), “How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.”
We see her godly character in verses 15, 16 and 18. Instead of lashing out at Eli, she addressed him with humility and reverence. The fact she came and prayed (9-10) shows she did not lash out at God but had earnest faith.
We see she was not selfish, for in verse 11 she vowed to Yahweh that if He would give her a child, she would give him back to the Lord. That is also self-denial.
When her son was born she honored God by naming him Samuel (1:20), ” his name is El.”
As a good mother, she met Samuel’s needs before he was placed into God’s service (1:21-23). With integrity she kept her word and gave him to the Lord (1:28). This shows her full trust in God. She continued to show her motherly love as Samuel stayed with Eli for we see (2:19) each year she made Samuel a little coat to wear.
She was triumphant because God heard her humble prayer (1:17), and because she rightly testified of the power of God, giving Him thanks and praise (2:1-11).
Finally, God blessed her with children she could keep for herself (2:21): “And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters.”
Because of trusting God, Hannah truly went from trouble to triumph both materially and spiritually. She is indeed a great example of not only godly motherhood, but godly living.