Welcome back! Here is the Bible Project overview of 1 Samuel.
As I read these chapters, I wondered what could be found between the two groups of people in these stories. A question came to mind: what are they doing with their God-given gifts and positions?
Peninnah was able to bear children and not Hannah, because the Lord has opened one womb and closed the other.
Hophni and Phinehas were priests because they were born Levites, not because they had chosen to serve the LORD.
Naturally, their lack of fear or respect toward God lured them into using this position of power for their own pleasure. For these men, it was first picks of meat and exploitation of women. Peninnah chose the timeless provoking of female rivalries.
The contrast comes in Hannah when she begs the LORD for a son and He responds. She dedicates Samuel to the LORD, because she recognizes where he came from.
Today, let’s take an inventory of the things in life that are gifts from God. (If you’re new to this, get ready, because we push to practice thankfulness a lot around here). Then ask yourself what you are currently doing with those gifts. Are they points of pride? Potential idols? Do you judge others who don’t have them? How do you dedicate them to the LORD?
A huge theme in Samuel (pointed out by the Bible Project guys) is God’s exaltation of the humble and opposition to the proud. A great first step in humility is recognizing the source of all good things.