As we begin our study of this Old Testament book, we need to get our bearings. At this point in history, life in Israel is characterized by chaos and darkness, with “everyone doing as they saw fit.” This is where this story picks up, introducing us to a family headed by a godly and faithful worshipper of the Lord, a man named Elkanah. As we read the story, we encounter Elkanah’s wife Hannah who is filled with grief and desperation. She is barren and unable to have a child. Without a son, she has no future . . . or so it would seem.
As readers of this story, we find ourselves invited into the story alongside Hannah, sharing her pain and longing. We have all found ourselves in similar situations, situation that have left us filled us with grief and despair. And then, with Hannah, we encounter the central actor in this story, the Lord God, who reveals himself to be both present and faithful.