Hannah’s heart was heavy because she had no children. Though her husband Elkanah tried to comfort her, it wasn’t enough.
Though Hannah had a difficult enough time watching Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, bearing child after child, the yearly trek to Shiloh for worship was the worst. At those times, Peninnah provoked her to the point where she couldn’t stop weeping long enough to eat.
Hannah took her concerns to the Lord. While Eli the priest sat at the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord, Hannah poured out her heart to God. She made a vow to Him.
“O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” (1 Samuel 11 ESV)
As Hannah prayed, her lips moved, but no sound came out. Eli saw her and since he wasn’t used to anyone praying so fervently, he jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk.
Hannah denied his accusation and explained to Eli that she was merely pouring out her heart to the Lord.
Eli told her to go in peace and God would grant her petition, then Hannah went her way and ate for she was no longer sad.
Hannah lived in a time when everyone was doing right in their own eyes. Even the sons of Eli engaged in horrific sins in the Lord’s house. Hannah saw the sins of the land and prayed that she might bear a child who would help draw the people back to the Lord. God answered her prayer.
Read about Hannah’s vow in Scripture: 1 Samuel 1
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