Elkanah and Hannah’s Prayer (1 Samuel 1)
Elkanah was married to Hannah, and he was an Ephramite and a Levite which qualified him to be a priest. He lived at a very difficult time in the history of Israel. Many priests did not follow God’s decree for worshipping at the temple. But Elkanah was obedient to God. He went up regularly to the temple in Jerusalem as God demanded and offered his services and sacrifices. Although other priests abandoned God’s commandments, he was faithful to Jehovah. To Elkanah, God was Jehovah Sabbaoth (the Lord of Hosts) and he worshipped him earnestly. Jehovah Sabbaoth is one of the most revered names of God, and was mentioned in conjunction with Elkanah’s life in 1 Samuel for the first time.
Elkanah had a major problem in his own household: his wife Hannah was unable to bear a child. In that culture, not having a child was considered a major misfortune and a curse, and could be a justifiable reason for divorce. But Elkanah being a good man supported his wife. He sympathized with her when she was ridiculed by others. He continued to worship and sacrifice under the leadership of non-obedient priests, and did not conform to the disobedient people and pressure around him. Notably, his example in obedience was infectious to Hannah. ….More