by Tony Nester

A Mother's Gift
Pastor Tony R. Nester
1 Samuel 1

On this Mother's Day I want to turn our attention to
one of the mothers that the Bible holds up for special
admiration. Her name is Hannah. Her great
disappointment in life was that she had not been able
to conceive a child. Her great joy came when she gave
birth to a son, Samuel, who became one of the great
leaders of God's people, Israel.

Her story is told in our Old Testament scripture we
call 1 Samuel, Chapter 1. This reading is going to
sound different to you because I'm reading from a
modern paraphrase of the Bible composed by Eugene
Peterson: THE MESSAGE. [1]

"There once was a man who lived in Ramathaim. He was
descended from the old Zuph family in the Ephraim
hills. His name was Elkanah. (He was connected with
the Zuphs from Ephraim through his father Jeroham, his
grandfather Elihu, and his great-grandfather Tohu.) He
had two wives. The first was Hannah; the second was
Peninnah. Peninnah had children; Hannah did not.

"Every year this man went from his hometown up to
Shiloh to worship and offer a sacrifice to GOD-of-the-
Angel-Armies. Eli and his two sons, Hophni and
Phinehas, served as the priests of GOD there. When
Elkanah sacrificed, he passed helpings from the.
sacrificial meal around to his wife Peninnah and all
her children, but he always gave an especially
generous helping to Hannah because he loved her so
much, and because GOD had not given her children.

"But her rival wife taunted her cruelly, rubbing it in
and never letting her forget that GOD had not given
her children. This went on year after year. Every time
she went to the sanctuary of God she could expect to
be taunted. Hannah was reduced to tears and had no

"Her husband Elkanah said, 'Oh, Hannah, why are you
crying? Why aren't you eating? And why are you so
upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?'

"So Hannah ate. Then she pu ...

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