He Remembered ...

Dot McGinnis
Reproduced with Permission

"Rest at Shiloh"

I Samuel 1:1-28

The LORD closed Hannah's womb; not because he didn't love her or because he wanted to see her suffer like she did. No, it was because Hannah's life was going to be blessed by Him in a unique and special way, and used to bring glory to His Holy name. But, before Hannah could be blessed by Him, she had to first be broken.

The trip to Shiloh was 30 miles, round trip. Year after year Hannah, Peninnah, and Elkanah made that journey to worship their God. Thoughts of Shiloh should have brought Hannah joy, in her heart, and peace of mind. One of the Hebrew definitions for Shiloh is "a place of rest." But, rest isn't what Hannah found on her journey there. Instead, she found only shame and sorrow. For, she was constantly belittled and degraded by Peninnah; who took great pleasure in flaunting, in front of her, what Hannah feared fate would never bless her with -- a child.

It isn't recorded, anywhere else in scripture, about Peninnah's constant badgering of Hannah, except for on the road to Shiloh; the place of worship, the place of rest. 

If Hannah hadn't gone to the house of the Lord with the others, to worship, she would never have had all of the added pain and heartache to deal with that she had. Still, Hannah went. And, if Hannah hadn't gone to Shiloh, she might never have received her "Samuel" from the Lord.

It seems that the irritation, from Hannah's rival, was all a part of God's divine plan. For, He allowed Hannah to be tortured by Peninnah, year after year. 

He had to get Hannah to the point of brokenness, to where she was willing to sacrifice her heart's desire to Him so that He could then give it back to her.

It had been God's intention to bless Hannah all along. But, Hannah's sacrifice had to come first. Year after year, Elkanah sacrificed unto the Lord. Now, it was Hannah's turn.

Hannah was a woman with a broken spirit. But, this year, something different happened that would change the course of history forever. It all happened because of a sacrifice that was made that day, at Shiloh, by Hannah - to a God who listens, hears, understands, sees, knows, cares, and remembers!

He listens to her weeping.
He hears her mournful sighs.
He understands her sorrow.
He sees her downcast eyes.

He knows her heart is breaking.
He cares about her pain.
She lays her Isaac at His feet.
She chooses Him to reign.

She stands no longer broken.
She turns to walk away,
Her sacrificial journey made.
She's forever changed, today.

He gave her "rest" at Shiloh.
She gave her heart's desire.
He remembered, in due season.
His will would soon transpire.

"... Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her."

I Samuel 1:19