( The following story was inspired by a study of 1 Samuel 1-8 ... )
Elkanah was Hannah’s husband and he loved her greatly. He loved Hannah so much that he always gave her a double portion to offer to the Lord every year, despite her failure to produce any children for him. He loved her so much that he did that openly even when Peninnah, his other wife who did bore him children was there to witness it. When Hannah wept and did not eat, he noticed and always tried to cheer her up, reminding her that he was not concerned with her inability to produce a child for him; In fact, all he wanted was for her to be contented and happy to be with him, as if she had already bore him ten sons.
Elkanah was truly and deeply in love with Hannah but she just could not find it in herself to accept it. Not when the culture she lived in looked down on women who cannot bear, and not when her rival kept taunting her for being selfish and contributing nothing to the family. The most painful truth though, is that Hannah was truly in love with Elkanah as well, and to be able to bear him a son would be the greatest expression of her love for him. All that however had eluded her, despite her sacrifices, all she could do was to step aside and stay out of the way of Peninnah who could do what she could not, and hoped secretly that Elkanah would stop doting on her in front of his other wife and children, but Elkanah just would not stop.
God Was Greatly In Love With Israel
When Israel asked for a king later on in the Book of Samuel, God was not pleased. Samuel thought the people were unhappy with Samuel’s misbehaving children, but God knew it was because Israel has been influenced by the culture around her. Everyone had a king so why not Israel? Except they had forgotten that from the time of the Exodus up to then, God has been Israel’s King for was not the purpose of a king to protect and lead his people? But as usual, people preferred the form rather than the substance, and in trying to be great like everyone else, they gave up on the Great and Mighty God who truly have their interest at heart.
However, like Elkanah, God did not stop loving Israel because of their weakness. In fact He gave Israel what they wanted, first a tall handsome leader named Saul (that Israel chose) who did not quite fill the shoes, followed by a shepherd boy call David (who God chose) that will lead Israel to become the greatest nation in the world. God showed Israel that His love is greater than their ability to appreciate it, and one day, that great love will not only save Israel but the entire world.
“Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever…” – 1 King 10:9