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Hannah was a woman in the Bible who trusted God, but she did not have children. Hannah prayed every year with her husband at a place called Shiloh. She prayed to God to bless her with a child (Esler, 2006). Hanna was Elkana’s wife, and she is the mother of Samuel from the Bible. According to Hebrew, the word has interpretations including the meaning of beauty and passion. In the biblical version, Hannah is the other wife of Elkana. The other wife, Peninnah, bore children to Elkana, but Hanna did not have any children.
One day, Hanna went to the Lord in the prayer to give her a child in a temple. While praying Eli, the priest sat on a chair near the doorsteps of the church. In her prayer, Hannah asked God for a child, a son. In return, she vowed to God that, if he gave her a son, she would give back the child to God to serve him. She made a promise to God that, if he gave her a son, he would remain a Nazarite and would serve the Shiloh priests in the temple. While she was praying, Eli thought that she was drunk, and he started to question her. When she explained what she was asking from God, Eli brushed her away telling her that her prayers will get answers and that the desires of her heart granted. As promised, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a baby boy called Samuel, since she asked the Lord of him. She raised him well, and after weaning the baby, Hannah brought her to the temple with a sacrifice. She composed the praise songs for the Lord for answering her prayers. Eli announced other blessings to Hannah, and she bore other children; three sons and two daughters. When Samuel grew up, Hannah took her to the temple. She could have chosen not to take her baby to the temple. Her choice indicated her extraordinary devotion to God. In the Bible, Hannah represents the self-sacrifice done in pure faith. Children showed dedication to the temple even after weaning. This was probably because of the high mortality rates. After weaning her baby, Hannah took him to the temple, when he was around three years old. She served her promise by bringing a child to serve the Lord. In the Bible, the quality of a person’s sacrifice reflects the quality of faith. In the Old Testament, only perfect animals without blemish were the best for sacrifice.
Hannah had a raw deal in life. She was childless in a society, where the lack of children was a sign of failure. It is extremely painful, when the longing of the heart faces denial, and it can cause a lot of despair. Instead of allowing the pain in her heart to cause bitterness, Hanna used the pain in her heart to pray to God for a child. It is remarkably clear that Hanna developed an intimate relationship with the God of Israel, than even the way the priest Eli had with God. It is particularly ironical that Eli was a priest, and even when God spoke, he did not hear anything. Hanna, who was a childless woman, conversed freely with God (Hall, 2000). It is clear that God blesses the most unfortunate in the society with the graces of his unending blessings. The perception that in the Old Testament God did not treat women fairly is not true. This is clear in the different instances, where God blessed the women in the Bible. Hanna is an example of God’s blessings. Esther was also an example of of God’s blessings. Sara, who was childless for many years, finally conceived a child in her old age. After Hanna had an encounter with God, she felt that her condition had changed even before she had the baby. She continued living a normal life, as she trusted God for her promise (Wright, & Curreli, 2004). This is proving that contentment comes in life with believing in Gods providence, and finding the rest in him. From Hanna’s case, it is clear that contentment comes before possession.
How Hanna Will Fit Into the World of Today
In the current world, Hanna would be a perfect example of an outcast woman in the community. Most of the communities consider childlessness as an evil in the society. Hanna’s answered prayers are a perfect symbol of the act of faith. Hanna would have been an exemplary woman, as most of the women today would find it difficult to keep the promises they make to God. Some even end up forgetting the promises they make soon after they receive their blessings. An excellent example is that most of the mothers know that a time will come when they will part with their children. Most of the mothers find it hard to let go of their children. Therefore, they may interfere on children's lives to the extent of becoming nuisance. Women of today should emulate Hanna, and when children come of age, they should let them go ahead and serve him as required (Patterson, 2005). Hanna took her son to the temple to offer him to God, an act most women today should follow as an example. When their children come of age, they should let the go ahead to serve their own destinies. God used Hanna to show that it is possible to give back children to God, as all the children are God’s perfect gift. For some parents, it is not easy to let go of their children. God gave parents, especially mothers, the grace to take care of their children from time of birth, and later release them to the world for them to face life on their own. Hanna gives glory to God for the gift of the baby. She had a fulfilling life. Since God's blessings do not come instantly in life, Hannah's life was not doomed, but a show of patience. People living in the contemporary world should understand from Hanna’s story that God makes people wait for some things, so that he can use it to bless them.
In conclusion, Hanna possesses a lot of faith, as portrayed in the Bible. She trusted God for a son, and God in return blessed her with a child. Like each of the other people recorded in the Bible, she was an exemplary woman. In the current world, there are several 'Hannahs', whose desires and prayers remain unfulfilled. This should act as an encouragement for all of them. The prayer of Hanna paid the price for the anointing of Samuel, as a prophet in Israel. Christians should believe that Hanna was an ordinary woman just like anyone else, and her trust and humble prayer worked miracles, as accepted in the sight of the Lord. Samuel prospered as a Judge and with his prophecy in Israel.
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