“And why don’t you have any children, Hannah? Why is it that God doesn’t like you? What did you do to annoy God? I have sons and daughters. What do you have?
With words like these, perhaps, Penninah would upset Hannah, both wives of Elkanah.
Her rival wife used to upset her and make her worry, for the Lord had not enabled her to have children. Peninnah would behave this way year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the Lord’s house, Peninnah would upset her so that she would weep and refuse to eat.
1 Samuel 1.6-7 NET
The world does not lack for people who upset and provoke others. Possessing some advantage, they incessantly proclaim their privilege. When they find themselves at a disadvantage, the persecute who, in their eyes, has a better position.
In spite of her sadness and in spite of being the focus of Penninah’s provocations, Hannah reacted correctly by letting God have his way in her life.
- Hannah did not fail to go to the temple and worship God. She did not let her problem keep her from the Lord.
- Hannah prayed that God would change her situation. She asked of him who could solve her problem.
- After praying, she ate and chose to put away her sadness. She left her problem in God’s hands.
- Hannah fulfilled her promise to dedicate her son to God’s service. And God gave her three more sons and two daughters.
What is a problem for us and a motive of provocation for others is, for God, an opportunity. What saddens us God turns into joy. Our lack is God’s work to fulfill the lack of others — Samuel, Hannah’s son, became a prophet who guided the people of Israel for many years.
And the one who provokes disappears from the story.