Scripture reading for March 16th: 1st Samuel 1-3
Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something wicked? How about a false accusation coming from a man or woman of God? How would you feel about that person who represented God? The temptation would be strong to get angry at the person or worse yet, to get angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen!
Hannah was barren and sought God for a child . Her husband, Elkanah, had two wives. His other wife had children but Hannah cried out to God for a child. The Scripture specifically states that “the Lord had closed her womb”. (1st Samuel 1:6) There are several issues here that can cause us to question. First, why did this Israelite have two wives? We do notice that there was rivalry and strife between the wives. Think about Abraham and Sarah and her concubine Hagar! God allows certain behavior, but does not say it is right. Jesus pointed his followers to Genesis and the pattern of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:5-9)
Another issue is the Lord closing Hannah’s womb. Why would God do that? I thought that God was a life-giver and wanted to bless His people? It seems that in several instances, the people God used faced difficulties that forced them to deal with the only one who had an answer–God! Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebbecca faced a similar difficulty. They had to go to God for an answer and God opened their wombs and brought forth a special child!
Another accusation in this passage comes from Eli the priest. As Hannah was praying desperately for a child, weeping and crying out to the Lord, Eli told her not to come drunk and to give up wine! (1st Samuel 1:12-16) To her credit, she did not become angry or disrespect him. She patiently explained her dilemma and Eli blessed her. God answered her prayer and she got her child! Not only that, she had three additional sons and two daughters!
Our reading today should help us deal with false accusations. We must not make snap judgments or respond in anger to those who may accuse us falsely. We must also rightly divide the Word of God. May the Lord grant us all grace today to operate on the facts, not on speculation or false assumptions!