Hannah. Barrenness. And 3 Lessons for You! (Part 2)
By Derrick D’souza
In my previous post, I talked about how God can turn your place of barrenness into abundance and we learnt from Hannah’s life how her response to her barren state was impressive and can be applied as an antidote to eradicate bareness in every area of life.
I also spoke about the first lesson that we can learn from Hannah’s life: Understand your season and what God is speaking to you.
Here are two more lessons to learn from the life of Hannah:
2. Make your Peninnahs push you to the feet of Jesus
I believe Hannah was a woman who really strived to walk in God’s ways. We can see it from her life and her responses in three clear interactions.
Firstly, the Bible does not provide any evidence that Hannah retaliated back in anger or manipulation to hit back at her rival’s taunts (unlike Sarah).
Secondly, Hannah’s response was graceful to the man of God who incorrectly rebuked her for consumption of alcohol while she was praying in the house of God.
Thirdly, a beautiful hymn of praise that bursts forth from her mouth to the God of Israel for being righteous, just and a Holy God.
These all indicate that she was a not just an ordinary believer, but one who meditated on God’s word and was careful to walk in the ways of God.
God’s intervention in a believer’s life is to prune and strengthen him to bear much fruit. Just as Hannah had to deal with a Peninnah in her life, in this world you will encounter many Peninnahs, who are used by the enemy to bring you down, talk about your appearance or looks, remind you of your past failures and weaknesses. But what we need to understand is that the very Peninnahs who are trying to push you to a corner actually end up pushing you into the presence of God. We see that Hannah finally got the message after years of ridicule and taunts.
1 Sam 1:9 says, “…..Hannah stood up”!. Not to fight, to argue but to get into the presence of God and pour out her heart to her maker. Wow! This time was special because we know that when Hannah came out of the temple she was no longer downcast, crying or upset but instead she worshipped and began to eat (1 Sam 1:18-19). What changed? She had given her problem to God and left it in his hands and refused to let any Penninah take away the joy of her salvation.
We see in 1 Sam 1:5, that Elkanah loved Hannah and gave her a double portion. Peninnah was aware of this bias towards her and was hurting (read also Gen 29:31 NKJV). Hence, she constantly tried to hurt and put Hannah down. People who have not received the love of God will always manifest the hurt they have received! They will try to hurt and intimidate you and many times be used as a weapon of the enemy to cause discouragement. But like Hannah, we are to take all our hurt and problems to the Lord and cry out before Him instead of retaliating. I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears (Ps 34:4)
3. Honor the man of God
Hannah’s response to the priest Eli when he thought she was drunk, reveals a heart of humility and honour towards the man of God. When Eli heard her response, he blessed her saying, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Sam 1:17). Many people fail to receive blessing from the man of God placed in their life because of offense. Offense is the single biggest weapon the enemy uses against believers to get them out of places of blessing and move them into places of bareness. Hannah was quick to answer gracefully and hence received a blessing. When you honour the man of God in your life, God can use him to bless you. What you don’t honour, you cannot receive from! (Matt 13:54-58), “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?… and they took offense at him”! The Bible says, that Jesus was not able to do any miracles there.
Kill offense, because the enemy will work overtime to get you to that place. As my spiritual father Pastor Shyju Matthew says, If you want to grow kill any thought of offense that comes in your mind. Pray and ask God for a revelation of the man of God He has placed in your life so that you may receive and grow.
To conclude, we can either allow the circumstances of life to make us take matters into our own hands and live with its consequences or we can take our situations to the Lord who is mighty and able, that we may enjoy His blessings with no regrets. Like Hannah, may we choose the latter.
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