Likewise, the book of 1 Samuel is a story of heroes and villains, trickery and bravery, fear and hope. It tells of the beginnings of one of the greatest kings and kingdoms of history, but it starts in chapter one with a simple woman named Hannah from the hill country of Ephraim who longs to have a child.
It might seem that Hannah wants a child to compete with her husband’s other wife, Peninnah. But that’s not the case, since Hannah had only one child and Peninnah had many.
It might also seem as if Hannah wants a child to win her husband’s favor. But that’s not the case, since v.5 tells us that she already had her husband’s favor.
So what was Hannah’s desire for a child all about?
In Hannah’s time, the inability to have children was believed to be a sign of God’s disfavor or abandonment. Hannah’s desire for a child was a longing for God’s favor. That’s why, when God answers Hanna’s longing for a child, Hannah gives the child back to God in gratitude.
All the wonderful stories found in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel…the forming of a mighty kingdom for God and the regal splendor of the golden age of the Children of Israel…are all founded on a simple woman from the hill country of Ephraim who prayed and asked God to be merciful to her and show her that He cared.
This is how you start a great story, a great book, a great movie, or a great life.