Bitterness of Soul

I’m so glad the Bible blatantly portrays people as they were, thousands of years ago, learning to walk with Him. It turns out they were not so different from us. When it comes to disappointment, one lady seems to have been on the same page as me after my lifestyle of non-dates. Her name was Hannah.


She wasn’t single. But she was infertile, and she desperately wanted a child. So did her husband, and that’s why he married Peninnah—Peninnah, the other wife, the epitome of Mother (with a capital M) with her abundance of children. Peninnah, the one who enjoyed rubbing it in Hannah’s face.


Every year the family traveled to Shiloh for a celebration of sacrifices and feasting. Every year Peninnah chose this occasion to publicly humiliate Hannah to the point of tears.


But one year, Hannah had had enough. She’d been a victim of unkindness, of barrenness, of circumstances, long enough. Or rather, she’d been living as a victim for long enough. It was time to do something with her pain—pain that one version of the Bible calls bitterness of soul.


In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about what Hannah did with that bitterness of soul, first looking more deeply at what it is.


Has bitterness of soul ever described your feelings toward your unchanging circumstance of singleness?



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