Tuesday: January 14, 2020
Reference: 1 Samuel 1:9-20
1 Samuel 1:13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
When Hannah stood before the Lord to pray, her lips moved rapidly but no sound was heard. Upon making this observation, Eli mistook this for a drunken fit hence rebuked her – that was clearly a misunderstanding. Against this backdrop, two alternatives could have been presented as a response by Hannah or any other person in her shoes.
‘How dare you judge me Sir? On what grounds did you come to such a conclusion about me? Have you even the slightest idea the torment I am going through and do you think I wouldn’t mind getting drunk if that helped? Don’t speak if you don’t have your facts straight. I am clearly disappointed that someone in your position would say something like that about me when you don’t even know me!
Those words are harsh and a straight out lashing out. In fact, they would probably have moved Eli to apologise for his error and stepped away, lost for words. But on closer observation, don’t they sound rather familiar to us? They do because we hear and also use them ever so often whenever there is a wrong judgement call made about us.
The alternative approach, which was evident in Hannah’s response, produced an encouragement from Eli that changed her demeanour: ‘No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD’ (vs 15). Those simple words, which neither accorded blame nor launched a staunch defence, made Eli acknowledge his error and stand in agreement with Hannah in her prayer. Thus, Samuel was conceived.
So sweetheart, moderate your words.