SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 1
SITUATION: We have a man named Elkanah from the hill country in Ephraim who had two wives. One was Hannah and the other was Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah was barren. Elkanah loved Hannah even though she could not give him any children. Being barren in those days was a stigma. Sarah called it her “reproach.” It means to be scorned. For Hannah, it was an affliction.
- What was life like for Hannah? (1 Samuel 1:3-8)
- What did Hannah decide to do? (1 Samuel 1:9-11)
- What did Eli accuse Hannah of and why? (1 Samuel 1:12-14)
- What was Hannah’s response? (Verses 15, 16)
- What words of encouragement did Eli give her? (1 Samuel 1:17)
- What amazing thing happened to Hannah? (Verses 19, 20)
- What did Hannah name her son and why? (verse 20)
- Why didn’t Hannah go with Elkanah for the yearly sacrifice? (1 Samuel 1:21-23)
- How did Hannah fulfill her vow to the Lord? (1 Samuel 1:24-28)
- How often did Hannah see Samuel after she dedicated him to the Lord? (1 Samuel 2:19)
- What blessings did Hannah and Elkanah receive from God? (verses 20, 21)
- Was Hannah’s sacrifice worthwhile? (verse 26; 1 Samuel 3)
Hannah went to God in prayer and He answered. He saw her affliction and removed it. He blessed her with a son who was to become one of the greatest prophets of Israel. It was he who anointed kings Saul and David. Hannah’s story is a perfect example of the power of prayer. And it testifies of God’s goodness and generosity. Hannah had “lent” Samuel to the Lord and in return, He blessed her with five more children. Sometimes God gives us above and beyond what we ask for. Like Hannah we don’t give up. She kept on praying and praying until she got the assurance she needed. She left the temple a changed woman. She had a smile on her face, her heart was light, a heavy burden had lifted and her appetite was back.
- Why did God close Hannah’s womb? Did He want her to seek Him?
- Was it jealousy that drove Peninnah to torment Hannah? After all, they shared a husband who loved Hannah more.
- Was it faith or desperation that drove Hannah to seek God in prayer?
- Hannah’s name means “grace”. Is this significant?