1Samuel 1:1-18, “15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”
To be misunderstood can be very frustrating. For people to read into things and arrive to conclusions can also be deadly because it’s like a doctor who looks at certain symptoms and prescribes medicine without thorough examination first. Wrong diagnosis leads to wrong medication, wrong medication can lead to catastrophic results.
And here we find Hannah who was misunderstood by her rival Peninnah, Husband Elkanah and Eli the priest (her pastor). While Peninnah was jealous of her for receiving double portion of offering, there was great longing in Hannah’s heart that was way bigger than what she was given. Peninnah misunderstood her intentions and therefore made her life miserable. On the other hand, her husband did not seem to understand the longing of her heart when he believed he gave her everything. Yes he loved her more than Penninah even when she was barren, and yes he gave her double offering, yet he could not meet the very hunger of her heart he knew about. Then we meet Eli the priest (her pastor) who could not understand how a woman with a lovely husband would come to the temple each year when she was not required to and look like she was drunk, vs. “13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!””. He thought she was drunk and advised her to put away her wine. Eli the priest could not tell the difference between someone who was in agony and someone who was drunk. Can you imagine the thoughts in Hannah’s heart? “no one seems to understand me”.
In the midst of no one understanding, she poured her heart to the Lord who she knew would understand. Only God could diagnose her situation and prescribe the right medication to her dilemma. And the comforting words she received, vs. 17, Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And her reaction, vs. “18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad”.
Here is a specimen of the intense desire that reigned in the bosoms of the Hebrew women for children. This was the burden of Hannah’s prayer; and the strong preference she expressed for a male child originated in her purpose of dedicating him to the tabernacle service to God. It was a God given burden generated through different circumstances to reveal God’s providence through means that were heart breaking and did not make sense. All these three people pushed her forward to reach the One who knew her dilemma, and more than that had the capability of making it a reality. Psalm 94:19, reads “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”, why, because God knows you and understands you. He understands what you are saying even before you say them. Let that be your delight, let that be your joy and let that be a reason to call on Him at all times. Hannah knew where to go, how about you?, Blessings Ev