Life Applications and Lessons from I Samuel Chapter One

Saturday Morning Life Applications (Vol. 86)

How fitting is it that tomorrow is Mothers’ Day, and this week’s life applications and lessons from I Samuel are about Hannah? Hannah wanted to be a mother more than just about anything, but she was barren.

Open book on a table displaying two pages; the left page features a life applications quote saying "they have not rejected you, they have rejected me" and the right page begins the book of 1 Samuel.


As we look at chapter 1 in the book of First Samuel, we find so many life applications and lessons about how to treat people. Let’s take a look at some of these lessons as we read this old testament story of Hannah.

Brief Summary of Hannah’s Story

Hannah’s husband Elkanah was an Ephramite in the hill country of Ephraim. Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife, but he also had a second wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had children for Elkanah, but Hannah was barren. In the ancient world, social shame came along with being a barren woman.

Although Hannah had not been able to have children for her husband Elkanah, he loved her more than Peninnah. This caused some friction between the two women as you can imagine.

On one occasion, Hannah went up to the house of the Lord in Shiloh with her husband for the yearly sacrifice, and she prayed fervently for a child. Hannah wanted a child so badly that she committed to give him back to the Lord if He would grant her the honor of having a son.

While she was praying a silent prayer, the high priest thought she was drunk and confronted her. After she explained that she was desperately praying for a child, he blessed her and asked that the Lord would answer her prayer.

In due time, the Lord did grant her this favor, and she had a son, Samuel. After he was weaned, she kept her vow and took him back to the priest Eli. Samuel served the Lord all the days of his life.

Life Applications and Lessons 

  • I can’t help but think about Rachel and Leah. Although they were sisters, Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and it caused issues. They were also in the same situation. Leah had children, but Rachel was barren (for a time).
  • Anytime two people are competing for someone’s love and affection and there is ANY favoritism, there is sure to be conflict.
  • This double portion made his favoritism obvious to Peninnah as well as others.
  • Be careful how you make people feel – don’t show favoritism.
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  • I think Elkanah had a great concern for Hannah, but he was blind to Hannah’s problem and what was really going on in his own house.
  • He just assumed that not having a child was Hannah’s only problem.
  • Sometimes it is easier to see what is going on in someone else’s life. You can see better from the outside looking in.
  • We always need to stop and observe what is really happening in our own lives and in the lives of our families.

  • Eli automatically jumped to a conclusion without having any of the facts.
  • He made an assumption without knowing anything about Hannah’s situation or her good character.
  • Everyone goes through things at times, and we usually don’t have a clue about what they are carrying around with them.
  • Why do we tend to jump to negative conclusions about people without knowing anything or very little about what is going on in their lives?

Talk about pouring salt in a wound! She was broken-hearted because:

  • She didn’t have children.
  • Peninnah taunted her every chance she got.
  • Her husband was clueless to the depth of her sadness and thought she should be happy because she had him.
  • Now the priest was accusing her of being a drunken woman because she was praying with her whole heart!

Similar to the lessons above –

  • We don’t always know what is going on in the background of people’s lives.
  • We have to be intentional to be kind and compassionate to everyone, especially in the “hard to love” situations.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions (as easy as it is) about people or their motives.

After Eli saw Hannah’s faith and heard her story, he knew she was a Godly woman. He then blessed her and asked that the Lord would answer her prayer. This little amount of encouragement was enough to change her whole countenance. Then Hannah left feeling better and went and ate.

  • Listen to people’s stories.
  • Let your words encourage the people God puts in your path.
  • A little encouragement can completely change someone’s day!

I see this situation at school a lot! Being a counselor, I tend to know the hard things people are dealing with, but it is all confidential. It is always a challenge to get students and teachers to see each other in a different light without giving the details.

We never know if the person sitting right in front of us is hurting or what they have been dealing with. Handle with Care!

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The Lord heard Hannah’s prayer and answered her by giving her a son, Samuel. She was happy, and in the course of time Hannah fulfilled her vow to the Lord by giving Samuel back to Him once he was weaned. As hard as this would be to do, it was the right thing. She trusted in the sovereignty of God and knew her child would be in God’s hands.

“Her husband Elkanah replied, ‘Do what you think is best, and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the Lord confirm your word.’ So Hannah stayed there.”
I Samuel 1:23

Don’t get discouraged if others don’t understand your plans from the Lord right away. They may need confirmation because they didn’t hear the message from Him like you did. Be patient.

I love to read Hannah’s story of encouragement, faith, love, and motherhood. As we go throughout this week, let’s think of the stories from Hannah’s life. May we be aware of the people around us and what they may be going through.

When we are faced with hard or rude situations, it can be really difficult to keep these lessons in mind. However, with the Lord’s help each day, we can try our best to treat everyone as if they are facing a challenge, because they just might be.

Life Applications and Lessons in Bible Study

Please join us as we read God’s Word each week to see how we can apply His lessons to our own lives.

Life Applications and Lessons Resources

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If you have joined me recently, these daily life applications from the Bible are examples of some of the comments I am writing in the Bibles I am giving to my grandchildren when they graduate from high school. Click here to see the post where I explain this eternal gift idea. I want to give them all the resources I can to use in today’s world!

Related Posts to Hannah’s Story

Beauty in the Cotton Patch – Encouraging and Kind Words
Hannah’s Prayer, I Samuel 1:1-20

I hope these life applications and lessons from First Samuel chapter one will help you in some way. Please join me as we read the rest of the book of First Samuel in the coming weeks as we get to see the life of Samuel and his time in the house of Eli. Samuel’s life was a life lived doing great things for his Heavenly Father.

Please share any encouragement and lessons you have learned this week as you read God’s Word. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next week…

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“When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
I Samuel 1:25-28

(Old Testament)

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  1. This is such a great reminder, you just never know! I hadn’t read this chapter in awhile but will today. Thanks for sharing.

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