Thursday morning I woke up much earlier than usual and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I just love how God brings about revelation. I read a scripture on the YouVersion app that I’ve been meditating on ever since. I was able to minister about it to a home group Friday night and I’m still meditating on it. The scripture was 1 Samuel 1:7 and it’s the story of Hannah (Samuel’s mother) and Peninnah . The first part of verse 7 says, “Year after year it was the same.”
Hannah and Peninnah were married to the same man -Elkanah. Peninnah had children and Hannah did not. Every year Elkanah and the rest of the members of the family traveled to Shiloh in order to make sacrifices to the Lord. Elkanah gave out the portions of the sacrificial meat to each family member. Verse 5 says, But to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had given her no children. Year after year it was the same; Peninnah tormented Hannah because she didn’t have children. Each year Hannah was reduced to tears and lost her appetite. Some of the most hurtful and tragic situations I’ve walked through with friends was due to infertility. Hannah was heartbroken over not having a child. The Amplified Bible says that she was embarrassed and grieved. To make matters even worse Peninnah purposely tormented her. Growing up in church I’ve always heard that Hannah was barren. The Bible never says that though. It says in 1 Samuel 1:6 “because the Lord had closed her womb.” There’s a huge difference between a women being barren and her womb being closed. It might seem barren but it just means that the timing hasn’t been right. Her womb was closed but it wasn’t barren. If a women is barren it means that she is unable to conceive. Hannah was able to conceive it just wasn’t her time to have children -yet. As I read through the chapter I felt so bad for Hannah. She was childless, Peninnah tormented her and she was married to Mr. Sensitive. Bless his heart, Elkanah didn’t have a clue. He said in verse 8 ““Why are you crying, Hannah? Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” Hannah desperately wanted children and her husband simply didn’t understand. He thought he was more than enough for her needs. Hannah was walking through the greatest heartache of her life and she couldn’t even rely on the support of her husband.
The Bible goes on to record that after a sacrificial meal in Shiloh Hannah got up and went to the tabernacle to pray. While there, she poured her heart out so desperately that Eli the Priest accused her of being drunk. Hannah had to respond to his accusations in a place that should have been comforting. Instead of finding solace she was met with accusations. Her answer was, “ No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I was pouring out my soul before the Lord. Regard not your handmaid as a wicked woman; for out of my great complaint and bitter provocation I have been speaking.” Eli said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” Hannah said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So [she] went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad.
There are several things I want to encourage you about today. We have all probably encountered various situations and year after year it’s the same. Year after year the enemy torments us about our barrenness. He torments the dreams and destiny on our lives because we look so unfruitful. Year after year we listen to his taunts and it’s the same. Just because there is something in your life that LOOKS barren, it doesn’t mean that it is. It just hasn’t been time; YET. However, the time is now! There is not one barren person reading this who has God given dreams, promises or desires. You are not barren! It may look like barrenness because you’re not holding the “baby” yet but get ready! Exodus 23:26 says, “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. That verse is used mostly for physical barrenness. I believe it can be applied spiritually too. You may not even feel like you’re pregnant with any dreams or promises but just you wait! You may feel like you miscarried or aborted the plans of the Lord. Cry out of God for your dreams. As long as you’re breathing it’s not too late! Cry out to Him for a glimpse of the plans that He has for you.
You may be married to Mr. Sensitive and he doesn’t understand what you’re going through. You may feel like you don’t have any friends or family that can relate. Your soul may be grievously vexed and your heart broken. You may feel completely alone. Sometimes the only voice you can hear is the voice of the adversary tormenting you and lying to you. Peninnah taunted Hannah for being barren. People in your life may look at you and see barrenness but they don’t see the whole picture. They can’t see that it’s not your due time YET. Hannah didn’t even find comfort in the priest. He accused her and she had to explain herself. The enemy has been accusing you for a long time but that stops now.