1 Samuel 1:2, 7
"And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat."
In everyone's life time, they can name at least one person who did something to hurt them. I'm not talking about an incident that was merely a misunderstanding or unintentional. I'm speaking about a deliberate act, or an attack of some sort.
Usually, the first response to such treatment meets with anger, contempt and perhaps an argument or retaliation follows. It's not easy to handle situations that are clearly unwarranted or unjustifiable.
Here we have the story of two women, Hannah and Penninah. Although they were both married to the same man, Elkanah, the main source of the problem they were experiencing was simply due to one woman's inner struggle.
In my book, To Be Called, "Girlfriend", is a Privilege, I go into detail about the awfulness that occurred between these two wives.
Penninah was fruitful and had babies, while Hannah was barren. Penninah, the Scripture calls, 'An Adversary' of Hannah. She was constantly taunting Hannah with the fact that she was barren and childless. This oppression caused Hannah to become depressed.
When people are attacking others on the regular, it becomes a health hazard. It's a serious thing.
Hannah tried telling their husband what was eating her, but he, like most men, couldn't enter into her pain. He couldn't relate and as a result, he added insult to injury. He meant well, but it added to her pain.
Yes, Hannah, by God's divine decision, was barren. This gave Penninah no right to cause her grief and offense. There are a lot of 'Penninah's ' in the "Family of God'. Too many, in my opinion.
So what was the 'Real Problem' here? Was this about Hannah being barren? I THINK NOT! This was not Hannah's problem. It was Penninah's problem projected onto Hannah, every time they were around each other.
First of all, it is enough for one man to be able to handle one woman, let alone two. Somebody in the equation ain't gonna be happy or satisfied! Two women aren't going to receive 'Love' in the same way or to the same magnitude, and that's a fact!
Penninah saw how much Hannah was loved compared to what she was getting. She was having the babies for the man, but his heart was with Hannah. This lack of emotional love was driving Penninah to do the things she was doing against Hannah.
Jealousy is, "I want what you have", while Envy is, "I not only want what you have, but I will do everything in my power to keep you from having it, whatever it takes." Envy can result in someone's demise.
We know how the story ends. God steps in based on Hannah pouring out her heart and He allows her to become pregnant. What a way to shut Penninah's mouth and stop her dead in her tracks! I love when God shows up and steps in to protect, vindicate or deliver his people! Nobody can do it like God can! That's why we should never take matters into our own hands when we are being oppressed by others.
The world is filled with 'Hurting People'! They are in great pain. Much of their pain has to do with their childhood. Yes, their childhood, and past issues that were never resolved. Many of them have legitimate complaints, but they never sought out counseling, so, they become adults who keep spilling out on others. It's a serious problem.
When you encounter needy persons such as these, think twice about how you handle them. Don't make their problem, your problem. By all means, let them know how you feel about what they are doing, but don't get in the pig pen with them. They are a mess! Pray for them, but don't spar with them. Set boundaries for them. Walk away from altercations that are unwarranted. Don't add fuel to the fire. Commit them to God.
Hannah learned where to take her anguish and pain and it paid off! God is a compassionate God and when we cry to Him, He hears and He sets His plan in motion. He allows situations for our benefit, but He never approves of ill treatment, disrespect or unwarranted situations. He is able to avenge you and I in such a way where our integrity remains in tact and He gets all the glory and honor.
So, if, or the next time you find yourself in a similar situation, remember, "HURTING PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE"! Bow your head, say a prayer, and keep it moving!