There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. (1 Sam 1:1-10)
Some people are mean. Plain and simple. They boast. They’re arrogant and rude. They enjoy rivalry. They try to irritate. They’re skillful at crushing the spirits of others. They walk in the footsteps of Peninnah, who used to provoke Hannah grievously to irritate her.
If you find yourself in the place of Hannah today, could I encourage you to ask a question? To what (or whom) is this mean person driving me?Some women in Hannah’s position are driven to bitterness, slander, and depression.
Some men in Hannah’s position are driven to deep-seated wrath, retaliatory anger, and revenge.
Take a moment to admire and learn from Hannah today. Her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her. It went on, year after year after year.
And it drove Hannah to the LORD.
To what (or whom) are mean people driving you?