SATURDAY September 1, 2018
And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.
1 Samuel 1:6-7
Elkanah had two wives. One of them, Peninnah, was blessed with children, and in having them, she became Hannah’s rival. She made Hannah cry because she could not have a child. I believe Hannah’s heart was being tested. Could it be that Hannah was being covetous for children? Would she be content to have a child for God’s glory alone?
The cruel harassment Hannah received from Peninnah drew her to her knees. She did not get bitter, curse at her rival, or act in her flesh–– lashing out in anger. Hannah came to God to worship. She did not walk away from the Lord in her sorrow; instead, she pursued Him.
Let us use Peninnah’s character as an illustration of Satan. This woman tormented Hannah, as if to say, “Look at me. I have children and you have none!” Notice, once again it is mentioned that it was God who had closed her womb. Did Hannah know this was the Lord’s doing? I wonder if Satan used this to torment Hannah. Did the enemy whisper words of condemnation in her ears and make her think she had done something awful, and the Lord was punishing her by denying her children?
Sometimes this is how Satan harasses women. He provokes them in their minds, as if to say, “You cannot have children because of what you did in the past.” Understand, Satan always brings up our past to try and discourage us and make us turn from the Lord. At times, he will place doubt in your heart, especially when you have prayed, and it seems you have not received an answer from the Lord.
When we get harassed or condemned by Satan, we have to be like Hannah and come before the Lord in prayer.
Satan, the hinderer, may build a barrier about us, but he can never roof us in, so that we cannot look up.
~J. Hudson Taylor~