The story of Hannah and the birth of Samuel remains one of the most remarkable stories in the Bible. How a barren woman could call on God and in the process one of the greatest characters in the Old Testament is born. Samuel grew up to become the last of Israel’s judges, he became Israel first prophet, and he became the advisor to the first two kings, Saul and David. Samuel was a man who had favour with God and with men. He was considered a hero of the faith and his name is recorded in Hebrews 11:32 in the ‘Faith Hall Of Fame’. It was said of Samuel as he grew up, that the LORD was with him and didn’t let any of his words go unfulfilled. (1 Samuel 3:19).The story was recorded well over 3000 years ago, but its lessons still hold true today.

SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Samuel 1:1 to 1 Samuel 2:11

Hannah was a married woman who had no children and was unable to have children. She was married to a man by the name of Elkanah and she was one of two wives. The other wife seemed to be very fruitful and had several children. Hannah had none. In that time a large family was seen as a sign of a blessing and the lack thereof was seen as a curse. Hannah had to endure ongoing humiliation and shame. To make matters worse, the other wife constantly harassed and taunted her. She had desperate circumstances and there appeared to be no hope and no end in sight. She really had a raw deal. Her name, Hannah, meant ‘woman of grace’ or ‘gracious woman’. But it must have been very difficult to be what her name meant when she was surrounded by such desperate, on-going circumstances and issues. We know that she often cried and wept and that she would not eat because of all that was going on. Many people find themselves in similar situations today. They are surrounded by difficult circumstances, often they are issues that are beyond their control. Perhaps you are in such a situation today?

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