In this eBibleguide, Victor examines Hannah in the Bible – her story, facts about her life, life lessons, and Bible cross-references.
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Who Was Hannah in the Bible?
However, Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah had children and taunted Hannah constantly – reminding her of her inability to bear children.
Even though Elkanah loved Hannah very much and tried to encourage her (1 Samuel 1:8), she cried most of the time because of Peninnah’s constant taunting and reminding her of her predicament.
But Hannah prayed to the Lord, God answered her prayer and gave her a son!
Facts About Hannah in the Bible
- Hannah had no children initially – because of this Elkanah’s second wife Peninnah taunted her. (1 Samuel 1:6)
- Hannah’s family were dedicated worshippers of the Lord but this did not stop her facing life challenges. (1 Samuel 1:3, 21, 1:2)
- She refused to accept her unpleasant situation. She prayed fervently to the Lord to give her a child (1 Samuel 1:9-11). The Lord answered her prayer (1 Samuel 1:19-20)
- Hannah remembered to show gratitude when the Lord answered her prayer (1 Samuel 1:11, 19, 1:24-28)
- Hannah praised the Lord (1 Samuel 2:1-10). She poured praises to the Lord for showing Himself mighty in her life.
- Hannah had 5 more children after Samuel (1 Samuel 2:21)
Life Lessons from Hannah in the Bible
This section discusses the major life lessons we can learn from Hannah in the Bible.
1. Difficulty with Conception Can be Resolved
The issue of difficulty bearing children is common today. It has been there from Bible times and it is still there today.
Moreover, Christians and non-Christians face this challenge. If you are a Christian woman reading this and you are having difficulty conceiving children, you can console yourself in the fact that God has resolved this issue for other women – starting from the Bible times to today.
In every of this story, the Bible used the phrase “unable to conceive” (NLT). The good news is that for everyone of the story, the Lord turned their situation around and they conceived and bore children!
So, the first lesson from the story of Hannah in the Bible is that God can fix the inability to conceive.
Having said that, I want to add that today medicine has advanced. If you have been trying to conceive for sometime, you should consult a doctor. It is NOT lack of faith on your path. It is completely okay to seek medical help because God can use their skill and science to help you conceive.
2. Christians Face Challenges Too
Another lesson we can learn from Hannah’s story is that Bible believers face challenges too. We live in a world where things can go the way we do not expect.
If you are facing some challenges, your first reaction should not be “God why me?”. The Bible recorded that Hannah and her family went to Shiloh every year to worship (1 Samuel 1:3, 21). They were dedicated worshipers too but she faced a challenge that made her cry all the time.
So, how do you react to challenges? Sometimes, it is okay to cry if you feel overwhelmed (1 Samuel 1:7). But after crying, remember to pray to the Lord to fix the problem or show you what to do to fix the problem.
I said that you should ask the Lord to show you what to do because sometimes, we actually need to do something to fix a problem!
Following on from the last point, after praying (or while praying), engage your mind and think of possible things you can do to fix the problem. To give a specific example with conception – recently a friend told me he has a cousin that have been trying to conceive. He called her and asked specifically how often she had sex with her husband.
It turned out that it rarely happened because her husband always traveled for work. My friend then recommended that whenever she (his cousin) knew her ovulation was approaching, she should go wherever her husband was. A few months later, she conceived! The problem required actions and when she took the right actions, she fixed the problem.
So, another lesson we can learn from Hannah in the Bible is that God can fix infertility, and indeed other life challenges. However, most times, we may have a part to play.
3. Life Challenges Can be Resolved
Another important life lesson we can learn from Hannah in the Bible is that God can fix our problems. But we have to ask (1 Samuel 1:9-11).
Hannah had 2 choices: 1, feel pity for herself, and cried to herself. 2, cry out to the Lord in prayer. She choose the latter. Yes, she was in pain. Yes, she was distressed. But instead of just crying, she decided to pray. I am not in any way trying to diminish your pain or challenges. I am simply saying that there is a better way to respond – like Hannah, pray!
Another important lesson from Hannah is that her prayer was very specific.
She was not just mumbling – she asked for a son. She did not even ask for a child – she asked for a son – a very specific prayer.
Being specific is not necessarily for the Lord. It is for you. Why? So that when God answers your prayer, you will be certain that He did!
There is one aspect of Hannah’s prayer I should address – she made a vow. It was NOT the vow that compelled God to answer. No, God answered her prayers because He is a good God and because she asked. So, do not think that you have to make a vow to God for Him to hear or answer your prayers. It is perfectly okay to make vows to the Lord. My point is – do not be compelled to – and never make a vow you cannot fulfill.
4. Remember to Show Gratitude to God
This is the final lesson we can learn from Hannah in the Bible. When God answered Hannah’s prayers, she did not just get on with her life. She came back, fulfilled her vow to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:24-28), and gave praises to the Lord (1 Samuel 2).
Showing gratitude to God is primarily for our benefit. Why? It creates an additional opportunity for us to commune with God – to praise Him and hear from Him. He loves it when we praise Him – this is true whether He just answered our prayers or not – He always answers our prayer anyway, it may not be the way we expect!
Furthermore, when we commune with God through prayers and praises, He speaks to us. Ultimately, we benefit from going back to show gratitude to God. Remember Luke 17:17? “Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?” (NLT)
To buttress my point about the benefits of going back to the Lord to show gratitude – see what happened to the 1 man that came back to show gratitude to Jesus.
Does this mean that the other 9 were not completely healed? The Bible did not say. One thing the Bible did say is this “Your faith has healed you.” There has to be a difference between the healing this man received compared to the other 9! Maybe additional revelation about how to stay healthy?
Cross Reference Verses About Hannah in the Bible
Here are other Bible verses relating to Hannah in the Bible. Some of the verses may or may not have been referenced in the post. The verses will help us for further studies.
- Genesis 11:30 – Sarah had difficulty bearing children but God eventually gave her a child.
- Genesis 25:21 – Rebecca (Isaac’s wife) also faced challenges bearing children.
- Judges 13:3 – Sampson’s mother (the Bible did not give her name), also did not bear children until the Lord visited her.
- Luke 1:7 – Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother) had him at old age.
I hope you found this study of Hannah in the Bible helpful? Kindly share your views using the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page. You may also share your life experiences that will help other readers.
Finally, for more eBibleguide studies about other Bible characters, visit our Bible Characters page.