1 Samuel 1:5 “But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb.”

Observation: Though Hannah was much loved by her husband, she was barren.  Her husband’s response, because of his deep love, was not critical of her. He did not heap further condemnation on her. Rather, he gave even more of himself to her—a “double portion.”

Application: How like the Lord, who says to the poor and downtrodden and meek of the earth that He will bless them. In fact, the meek are to inherit the earth (see Matt. 5:5, NIV), which shows intent of physical blessing now as well as the spiritual blessing that comes to all who accept His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. 

Hannah’s story is a wonderful picture of God’s love for the afflicted of the earth.  But it also conveys a hard-to-accept truth about the afflicted. It says that God Himself had closed her womb. We should pay special attention to that. He blesses whom He will, often in ways and for purposes we cannot imagine. God had a special calling planned for the son she would one day bear, although she could not know that at the time. Instead, she was “greatly distressed” and “wept bitterly” (1 Sam. 1:10). 

Today, it’s very easy  to live with little personal contact with the poor of the earth. When God places poor people in my view, do I respond like Hannah’s husband, heaping a double portion on them?

Prayer: Lord, sensitize my heart to the poor of the earth, and to the poor in our midst. Cause my heart to be softened, that I might approach them with a heart of compassion. Let me have Your heart for the poor, that it might affect how I spend the time and money You have allotted to me.