Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Lesson From Penninah

Today I read 1 Samuel 1 & 2. It's the passage about Hannah and how she was barren and prayed to God and he blessed her and gave her a baby boy. I've read this passage, and heard it preached so many times, but I can't honestly say that I've ever heard anyone focus on Penninah, the other wife of Elkanah, Hannah's husband. Penninah was blessed with children and had a good husband, but instead of focusing on her blessings, she focused on the fact that her husband gave extra special care to Hannah. Penninah's jealousy caused her to lash out at Hannah and rub it in that Hannah was barren.

Even though I'm familiar with this passage, today was the first day that Penninah's part really stood out to me. And I have to admit that I was convicted because I am prone to the same. When something good happens to someone else, I become jealous and critical of their success instead of sharing their joy and remembering the ways I've been blessed myself. I've even done it with my own husband when he's had a fun day out of the house. Instead of sharing his joy, I become grouchy and indifferent because I'm jealous of his free time. Lately I'm seeing how truly selfish I can be, and how much I need God to change me and teach me how to love like Him.

Of course, how can I read these chapters without also taking special notice of Hannah's Prayer in Chapter 2... Anything I say would just pale in comparison so I'll just leave you with the passage itself.

1 Samuel 2

1 Then Hannah prayed and said:
"My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

2 "There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

3 "Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

4 "The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

6 "The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.

8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
"For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's;
upon them he has set the world.

9 He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
"It is not by strength that one prevails;

10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
"He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed."


Mrs.B said...

Thank you for your input on Penninah... I was doing some research on a project about her and stumble accross your passage.. thanks for enlightining me have a bless day

Anonymous said...

great read. I would love to follow you on twitter.