Elkanah was a man who loved God and went up to the temple every year to worship and make sacrifices to His God. He had two wives. One called Peninah and one called Hannah. He loved Hannah the best and Peninah knew it and took her jealousy out on Hannah.
The scripture says, God did not give Hannah children, and Peninah had many sons and daughters. Peninah used this situation to torment Hannah. Hannah would cry and Elkanah would try to comfort her. He would tell her how much he loved her, but it was no good. Neither Hannah nor Elkanah could do anything about it.
Once a year they all went up to the temple in Jerusalem for the worship and sacrifices for sins. Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion… He loved her and wanted to show it.
Hannah made up her mind to do something about her pain.
What could she do?
She took it to the Lord. She was in earnest. She so greatly desired a child that she asked God for one directly. As she came to God, she knew she had to be honest and her relationship with God had to be right. She was so caught up in speaking to Him and petitioning her case, the old priest Eli thought she was drunk..!
This is what Hannah said to Eli, the old priest…
1 Samuel 1:15-16 NIV “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli blesses her and she takes comfort, eats some food and her appearance becomes brighter. Hannah goes home and waits in faith for God to answer her prayer.
1 Samuel 1:19-20 NIV “ Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
When Samuel was three, Hannah took him up to the temple and gave him back to the Lord.
God had answered her prayer and now she was showing her thankfulness to God for what he had done for her.
She said…”I give him back to the Lord- for his whole life, so that he will be given over to the Lord.”
Hannah did not make an idol out of her son. She loved the Lord, and knew that it was all because of Him that she had been so blessed. God had taken away her shame, and Hannah worshipped HIM.
So we may ask and receive, not to indulge ourselves, but to know God and recognise his work in our lives, and to give Him back His own. We ask but do not receive because often we ask selfishly for our own desires.
God is not unkind, and blesses us, even when we don’t ask, and He answers way beyond what we could even think of asking. As He blesses us each day, we continually give back to Him what he gives and serve Him with full hearts.