Caught Between Peninnah and Samuel


I’m reading through the Old Testament. At times it’s difficult to connect to, but other times there’s something in a passage that unearths my soul. You might know the story of Hannah and Peninnah, but if you don’t, here’s a recap of the first two chapters of Samuel:

Hannah and Peninnah were wives of Elkanah.
Peninnah had children, and Hannah had none.
The Lord closed Hannah’s womb, and she mourned her barrenness.
Year after year, Peninnah provoked Hannah to irritate her; she provoked her until she wept.

The Bible says that in bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. She poured her soul out to the Lord. In her tribulation, she promised God that if He gave her a son she would give him over to the Lord. The next morning Hannah arose and worshipped before the Lord, and upon hearing her praise the Lord remembered her.

After some time, she gave birth to a son and named him Samuel, which means I asked the Lord for him.

Samuel was not just any child. He grew up in the presence of the Lord and was known as a prophet and judge over Israel. He led Israel to victory over the Phillistines and anointed David as king.

As I read, some things became so clear. I am caught between Peninnah and Samuel. As significant as the story is, there’s much more to it than Hannah’s barrenness and eventual birth to a king. It’s a beautiful picture of a broken woman, at the end of herself, finally submitting her life and future to the Lord, crying out for His help and praising Him in the midst of the pain. And God’s response: He remembered her.

It seems so simple.

There are situations in my life that are provoking me, irritating me and causing me to weep, yet all I need to do is pour out my soul to the Lord, to cry out to Him, and to lift up a voice of praise. And God’s response: He will remember me. In my future is the promise of a Samuel, an answer to something that I asked the Lord for, the birth of something significant.

3 replies to “Caught Between Peninnah and Samuel

  1. Melinda, I LOVED this piece. It is so true. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your blog is breathtaking! I am
    so proud of you.

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