Some people carry around a burden that is unbearable.
We saw a program the other day of a girl whose mother had forced her to help in the murder of one of the many men who came in and out of their families life. The girl carried the horrible secret into middle age, when she couldn't bear it any more, and it all came out.
Today's story is about a woman with a terrible burden.
She was a second wife.
And the other wife had children, but she did not.
1 Samuel 1:1 "There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph[a] in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not."
Year after year she was mistreated and mocked. It was a burden she could not carry.
"3 Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the Lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. 4 On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. 5 And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion[b] because the Lord had given her no children. 6 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. 7 Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle.[c] Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat."
Like men down through the ages, her tears made him very nervous and distraught.
Like men down through the ages, he offered "man logic" and was befuddled when it didn't seem to help...
8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
This was, indeed, a broken family.
Two wives. The wives at each other's throats.
The husband powerless to solve the situation (that he had created)
Hannah was living a tortured life...