Another Ephramite story, this time we read about Elkanah and Hannah. Elkanah truly loved Hannah. Even though she was barren, he gave her extra portions of food and spoke kindly to her, “Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8).
One day, in Hannah’s misery, she began to pray to the Lord silently, weeping bitterly. Eli (the chief priest) saw her lips moving and assumed she was drunk! “Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, ‘How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.'” (1 Samuel 1:13-14). She assured Eli she was not drunk and he blessed her, assuring Hannah that her prayers would be answered. In short order, Hannah became pregnant.
She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:20
Hannah fulfilled her promise to the Lord after he was weaned, very young. She gave “him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” (1 Samuel 1:11).
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.1 Samuel 1:27-28
Hannah’s Prayer. The first half of chapter 2 contains Hannah’s prayer. 1 Samuel 2:1-11 Later on, she would have 3 more sons and 2 daughters. Truly blessed!
Eli’s Wicked Sons. The narrative takes a sudden change in verse 12: “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord.” It’s interesting to know that the “preacher’s kids” are not honorable like the preacher. Depressing as well. Eli rebuked them, but they ignored him as a stereotypical teenager in modern times. “His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.” (1 Samuel 2:25)
But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 1 Samuel 2:30
The wickedness of the sons cannot be ignored by God. The promise is this: And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.” (1 Samuel 2:34)