So what’s in a name? Names are a celebration not only of our humanity, but also a reminder of our individuality – that we are uniquely made in the image of God. –Dorothy Astoria
I recently read 1 Samuel Chapter 1 and suggest you read it as well.
For me this time I was really struck with Peninnah’s story. She is only mentioned briefly. And let’s just say it is not a glowing report.
I love finding the meaning of words and names, so I looked up her name and Peninnah means pearl, coral or gem. Jewels are much sought after and valuable. And yet her life’s legacy was not a gem. She did not live up to her name.
She seemed to live in the shadow of Hannah. It is suggested that Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife and because she was barren he took Peninnah as a second wife. He was dutiful to Peninnah and their children but I think Pen was well aware that Hannah was his favourite, his true love (see verse 5).
It is harder to keep my heart right when I am aware of the favour of the Lord on someone else and don’t feel it is on me. You probably know what I am talking about- times in life when you are crying out for more and you see it showered on the person next to you… sometimes we handle that well and rejoice with them but…
What do we do when we feel overlooked?
We can turn to God and deal with it, or let it fester in our hearts and become bitter and jealous. This will come out in our action. Instead of Pen fulfilling her destiny, being a pearl and encouraging Hannah, she was her antagonist.
Isn’t it sad that this would happen right in the house of worship? This should have been her place of comfort and sanctuary but when Pen felt Hannah’s favour and vulnerability she would attack her.
Sadder still is the reality that this happens today in the church. God forgive us.
I do not want to be a wet blanket but a waving flag!
Oh God, when we have moments of weakness, may we quickly go to You to get our hearts right. Forgive me Jesus for the times I have cursed what You have blessed. My desire is to live up to my name and follow You. May we be ones who do not slander others, but build up and encourage one another to draw closer to You. We want to see others bear fruit and fulfill their destinies! Amen.