Meaning “Grace”

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” But Hannah answered and said, “No, my Lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” Then Eli answered and said, “go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.  1 Samuel 1:9-18

What a beautiful story in the Old Testament is Hannah’s whole-hearted plea for the Lord to show her mercy. If any men think today that they can’t understand their wives or women today? Just know that it has been going on for a long time. Earlier in chapter 1, we read that Hannah is the wife of Elkanah, who had two wives: Hannah, and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children (1:2). Although polygamy was not God’s intention for mankind (Genesis 2:24), it was tolerated , but never endorsed in Israel. Elkanah  probably married Peninnah because Hannah was barren. The name “Hannah” means “Grace” and she was shown kindness by her husband, but he still was not very comforting nor protecting of his first wife Hannah by keeping Peninnah with him who provoked Hannah because she was barren. Now there are many times when we pray and we wonder why our prayers are not answered immediately. There are times when God delays the answer to our prayers. Here is our example of someone who no doubt had been praying about a son for a long time. Why hadn’t God answered her? Hannah is a portrait of a love that is longsuffering, and waiting upon God. The psalmist wrote: Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22) The word for “burden” implies one’s circumstances, one’s lot. God’s promise: The Lord will uphold the believer in the struggles of life.

Now with Hannah there was a reason why God delayed the answer, and with so it is with us also. If God delays the answer of our prayers there’s a reason for His delay. In the Old Testament, the Bible says: “The eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are completely towards Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9) And we read in the New Testament: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)  So you can see Hannah’s character in both of these Scriptures. God is always working, we just don’t always see Him at work in ourselves or in others. God is bringing Hannah to the place where He can work in her and through her. In her, is when she is completely whole-hearted towards God, and through her, God was needing a man to lead Israel during these desperate days of transition. He needed a man He could speak to, and who would speak to the people for Him. During this period of time the Word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation (1 Samuel 3:1). God was speaking, and there was no one who was aligned with Him to listen.

So with a heart of a woman who only wanted the privilege of knowing what other women in her life knew, that is the love from God in conceiving then giving birth to a baby. In this case a son. So Hannah finally out of desperation of her soul said, “Lord, If You will just give me a son, I will give him back to You all the days of his life.” (v.11) This is where baby dedication derives from. And now we know why God had delayed. This is what God was desiring, this what God was looking for. So when God was working out the details to give Hannah this son, Hannah was getting her heart whole-heartedly committed to Him. This is her answered prayer. Today, there are so many women, mothers who are in constant prayer to the Lord for their wayward son, or daughter, or even her own husband who has no desire for the things of God. Just remember this, The Lord many times delays giving, in order to bring more, more of the spirit filled virtues that will be used for God’s purposes. Many times when we are praying, the Bible says, “We don’t always know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26), and this is very true. We often pray for things that we look back on, and are glad we never got what we were asking God for. James said in his epistle, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3) Much of our praying is liken to a Christmas list of things we are asking God as a Santa Claus kind of “I want this, and I want that.” We’re not really thinking of what God might want for us, rather if were honest, It’s what I want, rather than what does God want for me.

Now the Bible says, “If we ask anything according to His will He hears us, and if He hears us, then we have received the petitions that we have asked of Him.”  (1 John 5:14-15) Hannah no doubt for a long time was thinking, “Lord, I want a son so that other wife can keep her mouth shut!” “I’m tired of her snide remarks.” She was thinking of herself, but now God through the process begins working in her life. Hannah is a godly woman, it is expressed in Chapter 2, when we read of her beautiful prayer as she was rejoicing at the Lord’s answering her long awaited son, Samuel. Now she is brought into harmony with the purposes of God, who all along wanted to bless Hannah’s request by using him to serve Him in Israel. Now we can understand the delay, now we can see how much higher is God’s ways more than ours.

Beloved friend, the Bible says, ” Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)  Let us give thanks to God for all those examples He put for us in the Scriptures of people just like us, men and women who prayed and kept on praying until they heard from God. And let us give thanks to God for our own godly mothers, and grandmothers  who demonstrated their faith and trust in God for us. Leaving us a godly example for our children, and children’s children to follow.

May the Lord bless Your Walk with Him!



Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

2 thoughts on “Meaning “Grace””

  1. The Meaning “Grace”. Wow brother, you touched on so many points….It was answered prayer for Hannah when she finally had her son…..but it must’ve been so hard for her to give him back when he was wheened….but she kept her promise…she would visit him once a year & bring him clothing & things she had made….And she rested in knowing her son was safe in God’s hands. Just as we mothers & wives, must rest assured, knowing our children & husbands are also,in God’s Loving hands. Yes! He does hear our prayers, He cares for the cries of our hearts! Thank You Jesus!

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