Have you ever been scorned?
It is the experience of being looked down on with contempt. A mocking judgement imposed from someone who has the attitude of “look at poor pitiful you. Too bad that your life isn’t as good as mine.”
Can you just picture the smirk? The scoffing?
This is how Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel is treated by her husbands other wife (no time to address the two party system here!) when she is unable to conceive a child but her antagonist is.
Hannah goes to the temple and cries out to God in her distress.
In my opinion, God could have had a lot of fun by zapping the other wife and putting her in her place (heaven knows it is a good thing that I am not God!) but in his mercy, he instead provides Hannah with a son.
With great gratitude, (chapter 2 includes her beautiful praise!) Hannah commits her son, Samuel to service in God’s temple under Eli the priest.
However, Eli has a huge parenting issue on his hands and it isn’t Samuel.
He is a typical permissive parent. He has two evil boys who are committing all kinds of sins as they serve in God’s house. Eli scolds them but does nothing else.
If you have ever been in the store and heard a parent repeatedly tell their child to stop whining for things or else but there is never any follow through, then you know what I am talking about.
The problem with permissive parents is that they unleash rebellious children into the rest of the culture around them.
This system does not go over with a God who has trusted the priests to oversee the spiritual life of the people.
God lets Eli know that he is in trouble for permitting sin in his house and that his sons will be dealt with. He is done. God’s discipline of Eli’s household would include among other things, the early death of his rebellious sons and that there would not be an old man in his family’s line.
As usual, God doesn’t wring His hands and lament on what to do now that this priest thing is going south.
He always has a plan. He had a plan before Hannah ever prayed her prayer. Samuel is a part of the plan.
“The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 3:19,20