2 "May you find favour in God's eyes," said the priest. Hannah was a good woman who loved God. But she was sad, for she had no children. Each year, her husband took her to a place called Shiloh, where they worshiped God. And each year, Hannah prayed a special prayer that God would give her a child. One year, she prayed, "Dear God, if You will only give me a son, I will give him back to You, to serve You all his days." She prayed so hard her mouth moved, but no words came out. A priest asked if she was drunk. "No," she said. "I'm pouring my heart out to God.""May you find favour in God's eyes," said the priest.
3 The following year, Hannah couldn't make the trip to Shiloh with her husband because God had answered her prayers. She had a new baby boy named Samuel!She happily cared for Samuel until he was old enough to leave her. Then she kept her promise to God, and took Samuel to live with the priests in Shiloh. It wasn't easy for her to say good-bye, but each year she made him a special robe to wear as he served God.God gave Hannah many more children. And Hannah was pleased to know that Samuel was growing up in Shiloh, where he would love and serve God always.
4 1 Samuel 1: 1 There was a man named Elkanah, from the tribe of Ephraim, who lived in the town of Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham and grandson of Elihu, and belonged to the family of Tohu, a part of the clan of Zuph. 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. 3 Every year Elkanah went from Ramah to worship and offer sacrifices to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord.
5 1 There was a man named Elkanah, from the tribe of Ephraim, who lived in the town of Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham and grandson of Elihu, and belonged to the family of Tohu, a part of the clan of Zuph.
6 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. 3 Every year Elkanah went from Ramah to worship and offer sacrifices to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord.ShilohRamah
7 Shiloh – the main religious city of Israel for 400 years – the tabernacle of God, and the priests of God were there, and people must travel there to make their sacrifices every year.Hophni and Phinehas – the two sons of Eli the Chief Priest – these 2 men were very wicked. They became priests because of their family, not their faith.Elkanah still made his sacrifice there – the wickedness of the priest did not make his own sacrifice worthless.
8 Polygamy (having more than one wife) was very common in that part of the world, but the Bible never shows polygamy as a good thing – there is always strife and conflict in polygamous families in the Bible.
9 4 Each time Elkanah offered his sacrifice, he would give one share of the meat to Peninnah and one share to each of her children. 5 To Hannah, however, he would give a special share because he loved her very much, even though the Lord had kept her from having children.Why is Hannah jealous of Peninnah?Why is Peninnah jealous of Hannah?
10 6 Peninnah, her rival, would torment and humiliate her, because the Lord had kept her childless. 7 This went on year after year; whenever they went to the house of the Lord, Peninnah would upset Hannah so much that she would cry and refuse to eat anything.Rival - a person who competes with anotherTorment - to tease a person over and over to cause painHumiliate - to damage somebody's dignity or pride, especially publicly
11 8 Her husband Elkanah would ask her, "Hannah, why are you crying 8 Her husband Elkanah would ask her, "Hannah, why are you crying? Why won't you eat? Why are you always so sad? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" 9 One time, after they had finished their meal in the house of the Lord at Shiloh, Hannah got up. She was deeply distressed, and she cried bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.
12 Meanwhile, Eli the priest was sitting in his place by the door Meanwhile, Eli the priest was sitting in his place by the door. 11 Hannah made a solemn promise: "Lord Almighty, look at me, your servant! See my trouble and remember me! Don't forget me! If you give me a son, I promise that I will dedicate him to you for his whole life and that he will never have his hair cut."
13 12 Hannah continued to pray to the Lord for a long time, and Eli watched her lips. 13 She was praying silently; her lips were moving, but she made no sound. So Eli thought that she was drunk, 14 and he said to her, "Stop making a drunken show of yourself! Stop your drinking and sober up!" 15 "No, I'm not drunk, sir," she answered. "I haven't been drinking! I am desperate, and I have been praying, pouring out my troubles to the Lord. 16 Don't think I am a worthless woman. I have been praying like this because I'm so miserable."
14 17 "Go in peace," Eli said, "and may the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for." 18 "May you always think kindly of me," she replied. Then she went away, ate some food, and was no longer sad. 19 The next morning Elkanah and his family got up early, and after worshiping the Lord, they went back home to Ramah. Elkanah had intercourse with his wife Hannah, and the Lord answered her prayer. 20 So it was that she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, and explained, "I asked the Lord for him."
15 As soon as Samuel was old enough to leave his mother (about 3 years old), Hannah and Elkanah took him to live with Eli the priest. Every year they visited him and Hannah would bring him new clothes she had made. She had 3 more sons and 2 daughters.
16 Samuel learnt well from Eli, and when he was a little older, God started to talk to him. After Eli died, Samuel became a prophet and the leader of Israel for many years. Everyone respected him.This was a very important time in Israel’s history, and God used an ordinary man and his unhappy wife to complete his plan for his people.
17 This lesson is about a prayer, so what do we learn from Hannah’s prayer? 1) When Hannah was really unhappy, who was the only one who could help her?Only God can really help, and one good result of unhappiness is that we will turn to Him. Hannah said, “I have been pouring out my troubles to the Lord.” God appreciates our honest prayers.
18 2) Hannah made a very serious promise (a vow) to God. Is this necessary? Deuteronomy 23: 21 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.
19 3) After Hannah prayed and Eli said, "and may the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for." how did Hannah change?Then she went away, ate some food, and was no longer sad. 19 The next morning Elkanah and his family got up early, and after worshiping the Lord, they went back home to Ramah.Hannah received Eli’s blessing with faith. When she had faith in God, she was happy again, and she could truly worship Him.
20 4) Hannah didn’t forget to keep her promise to God and to praise the Lord. In chapter 2, when Hannah took Samuel to live with Eli, she worshiped God with these words,“The Lord has filled my heart with joy; how happy I am because of what He has done! I laugh at my enemies; how joyful I am because God helped me!No one is holy like the Lord; there is none like Him, no protector like our God.”