The biblical book of Judges tells us about a woman named Hannah. She was married to Elkanah and resided in Ramathaimzophim.
As if it wasn’t difficult enough to explain where she lived, she also had to deal with the fact that her husband had another wife. That wife wasn’t too friendly either. She was jealous because Elkanah loved Hannah more than her.
The fact that her husband loved her more didn’t help Hannah’s problems either. She wanted children and the other wife had plenty. To make herself feel better, the other wife was always rubbing it in. The other wife was able to give Elkanah something that Hannah couldn’t — children.
Talk about being depressed, Hannah had a lot to be depressed about — or so she thought. Why couldn’t she rest in the love that her husband showed to her daily? No, Hannah couldn’t rest. She wanted children!
Yearly, Elkanah took his two wives and all his children to Shiloh to worship and to sacrifice. Yearly, she endured the trip and the provoking of the other wife. She finally had had enough. Children was what she wanted. She realized that the only way she would ever have children was to cry out to the One who could provide the miracle she desperately desired.
Into the temple she went. Crying out to God, she poured out her heart’s desire. Her burden had become so great and her heart so heavy, she fell before the altar with her face in her hands. She would not stop praying until she had an answer. She was serious.
As she continued pouring out her supplication, she caught the attention of the high priest. In her earnestness, she had not cared who noticed her. But he, having not seen such earnestness in so long a time, thought she had to have been drinking. So sad that the man of God did not have the spiritual discernment to realize she was a woman in spiritual travail.
As she defended her actions, the high priest told her to go in peace “and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” Hannah left that day with confidence that God had heard her prayers.
Today our churches are without children. We have barren wombs but no desire. The ‘lost wives’ of the world mock and torment because they have a multitude of children led away by the great deceiver. We must find our tears again.
O for children to present to the Lord! O for fruitful wombs bearing precious souls for Christ’s glory! May our burdens be heavy for lost souls and may we find ourselves weeping at the altar where the Lord awaits our petitions.
May we have an abundance of Samuels. Yes, praise God, Hannah had a son. But not only did she have a son, but God opened her womb for many more children. She was able to rejoice over seven while her adversary’s womb waxed feeble.
Hannah is a picture of the church today. She is being persecuted by those who are jealous of Christ’s love for His own. But as the church cries out to God, precious children are being born. The arrogancy of the proud will be brought to nought. The children of the Most High God will prevail. May we follow Hannah’s example and cry out to the LORD who is the only One who is able to deliver us from barren wombs.