Hannah was chosen by God for a certain destiny. Reflecting on her life from my vantage, it is easy to see it play out.
God causes her to be barren. No one doubts He is the reason she cannot have children. Her family worships the Lord every year. It is their practice and they are serious and faithful about it. No one seems to think it is a problem that Hannah is barren or that it is something to be fixed. In fact her husband doesn’t even see it an issue. He is happy with this woman he loves just as she is.
But God has seemingly planted the desire for a son deep within Hannah. Every year at the time of worship she prays for God to open her womb. Her desire is visible to the point that she is teased and ridiculed. This is painful to Hannah but she is not distracted from the true source of her redemption. If anything, the pain drives her more fully to seek God’s salvation.
On this particular year during the time of worship, Hannah is unashamedly distressed before the Lord. She clearly has no concern over appearances. She is not thinking about anything except reaching the heart of God.
When her conversation with Eli ends she knows in her spirit God has heard, spoken to her through his agent and answered her request. She goes away rejoicing even when her desire has not yet been fulfilled.
Hannah reminds me of a book called Rees Howells Intercessor*. Rees was a man called by God to pray for others – those he did not even know and situations he could never influence on his own. God asked him to identify with those he was praying for in unusual ways – eating or living like them until he knew he had achieved his prayers. Then he praised God for the answers until he actually saw them come to pass.
Lessons from Hannah:
- She knew her desire and who could grant it.
- She was unashamed and undistracted in her intercession in spite of the ridicule.
- She knew when God answered her intercession and waited for the actual fulfillment in faith.
- Maybe Hannah knew somehow, that her desire for a child was God’s destiny for her: to birth and rear a Godly young man who would serve the Lord faithfully – even to the point of anointing Israel’s King David.
Much like Rees Howells, Hannah was a unique intercessor on God’s behalf – that He might rescue many from their distress.
* Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Percy Grubb
More about Rees Howells http://www.byfaith.co.uk/paulreeshowells.htm