I have just posted over on Political Theology Today, on Hannah’s prayer in the temple at the start of 1 Samuel and her prayer of rejoicing after the birth of her son.
They are also stories of unrecognized turning points in the tide of history, not least because God is a God who remembers and who attends to the people that others may ignore. God answers the prayers provoked by the personal struggles of faithful women such as Hannah in a manner that effects more public and radical social turnarounds through them. The many biblical accounts of women struggling to give birth and being answered by God casts childbearing as a profoundly active calling requiring stubborn and persevering faith. The frequency and prominence of such accounts—and their priority in books such as Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, 1 Samuel, and Luke—also makes clear that, despite the hiddenness of their labour, God regards and honours these women as prominent actors on the stage of his history and never disconnects the dramatic socio-political harvest of his purpose from their unseen work in sowing and nurturing its seeds.
Read the whole piece here.
Nice piece, as always! Question: Do you believe Hannah was in idolatry begging for a kid? I do not believe that, but I tend to think that if she were in certain segments of conservative Evangelicalism today, she would be told that her distress betrays discontentment and idolatry.