Real People and the Bible

Tuesday is for Thinking

Hannah 11  Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

On the surface, one of those boring verses that most of us skip over without thinking about, . . . well, anything. But these are real people with a real history, a real lineage, a real geography and a real part in the plan of God.

In other words, people just like us.  

As the story unfolds, the opening words of verse 2 tell us that the family described is dysfunctional in a dysfunctional society not unlike ours. Families are falling apart. Men are impulsive and irreligious. Religious leaders are less than admirable. Women are stabbing one another in the back. Suffering people like the heroine Hannah, who we meet in verse 2, seem to be unable to get an ounce of solace in a mean and desperate situation.

But something wonderful happens.

With all of the sorrow surrounding her, Hannah pours out her soul to God.

15  But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord.  16  “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” (NASB)

This remarkable woman is bloodied but unbowed. She continues to pursue God. She continues to pour out her soul not to everyone who will listen but to God. I want to learn to pour out my soul to God. Not just my requests, but my soul. Not just the surface of my needs and wants, that’s easy, but to pour out my soul.

Maybe you can join me. Maybe together we can become like Hannah and make a difference for God with our prayer.


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