W. Austin Gardner
The lessons to be gathered from the fascinating story of Hannah are clearly evident. First of all, as we think of all Samuel became we realize how the excellencies of many men have usually been foreshadowed, if not exemplified, in the characters of their mothers. “The genius and intellectual sweep of Goethe were foretokened in the many-sided brilliancy of Frau Rath.” The mother of John Wesley was remarkable for her intelligence, godliness and executive ability earning her the title of “The Mother of Methodism.” As no one in all the bleak world is more fitted to guide little feet Godward, may heaven grant us more mothers like godly Hannah.
From Peninnah’s harsh treatment of Hannah we discover how a thoughtless, unloving word of ours can give sorrow to others. How necessary it is to guard our tongues! (James 3:9, 10). From Hannah’s conduct under much provocation we first of all learn that the heart of God is a comforting retreat for a sorrowful soul. Whatever our particular sorrow may be, the Man of Sorrows waits to undertake. Hannah carried her trial and yearning to God in prayer and she teaches us something about the necessity for form and the spirit of intercession. Compare her silent heart-prayer with Psalm 19:14. From Eli who misjudged Hannah we learn not to be too hasty in our conclusions. Too often we wrong others by misinterpreting their motives. In Hannah’s mild and dignified defense of her character we learn how to defend our rights in all humility (see John 8:48, 49; Acts 26:24-26).
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Herbert Lockyer, All the Women of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Academic, 2016).