Hannah was faithful

Last updated on September 23, 2021


“Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh … And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her.” (1 Samuel 1:3;6-7)

After the short introduction to Elkanah’s family, we read how they used to go up to the religious center of those days, year by year, as God had commanded the Israelites to do. In Shiloh, they worshiped the Lord and sacrificed to him. Then they ate the meat of the sacrificed animal as a family. This situation intensified Hannah’s pain, since it stressed her childlessness. Peninnah celebrated there with “all her sons and daughters” and used the festive meal to upset Hannah and to make her feel bad because the Lord had not made her able to have children.

The easiest way to avoid this pain, would have been for Hannah to not attend the Lord’s feasts at all. But she kept going year by year. She did not let her pain interfere with her presence in God’s holy tent or her taking part in the sacrifice and worship.

Our current worship services are not completely comparable to Hannah’s annual feasts. But we can take her faithfulness as an exhortation to keep attending church services when we feel depressed and may actually prefer to stay home and curl up in a corner instead of being confronted with our loss or pain.
Does attending church services help you to look beyond your present problems, or do you find it hard to be there?

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