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One of my all-time favorite Bible characters is the woman called Hannah. Looking on the surface of the scriptures, many may not understand certain things about the story of Hannah until they dig deep. (1 Samuel 1-3) The Bible says that Hannah was barren because the Lord shut her womb. This is one area where I have issues with the Old Testament folks. Does God shut wombs? The answer is an emphatic no. The Old Testament folks did not have many revelations about the devil, so whatever happened, whether good or bad, they said it was God that did it. Imagine what Amos said about the Almighty God in Amos 3:6 "...shall there be evil in a city and the Lord has not done it?" Does God do evil? Of course not. God may permit it because of spiritual laws and principles, but that does not mean that He did it. We know who the culprit is- the devil. A careful study through scriptures will reveal that all the barren women in the Bible that finally had children gave birth to special children. Satan gets to know the wombs that are destined to birth special babies and shuts them. So, it was the devil that shut Hannah's womb. Hannah went every year to the House of God to pray to God for a baby, but to no avail, until she discovered something that changed everything. She noticed that Eli, the priest and prophet of the Lord, was sitting at a post in the temple. Eli, now an old man, was not supposed to be there at that time because he had handed over the priestly and prophetic duties to his sons. But the Bible says that they were sons of Belial who did not know the Lord and did many wicked things (1 Samuel 2:12-17). He was forced to go back to the post because his sons were not performing their duties, so there was no one to perform the duties in the House of God. The Bible says Hannah vowed a vow. (1 Samuel 1:11). She said to God [in modern terms], "Now God here's the deal. You and I both have needs. You need a prophet [because the Bible says in those days the Rhema of God was scarce and there were no open visions-1 Samuel 3:1], and I need a son. Give me a son, and I will give him to you to be a priest and a prophet." God was pleased with the deal and endorsed it with a word of blessing from Eli (v:17). He commanded the enemy to take his filthy hands from off her womb, and he did. The Bible says that immediately they got home after the deal, her husband met with her, and she became pregnant! It was that fast. (v:19) Now you know the rest of the story of how she took him to the temple after she weaned him to fulfill her vow, and God blessed her with five more children. About Samuel, the Bible says that he grew before the Lord. In other words, since He was God's personal property, He was always watching him. He ministered before the Lord as a priest, with a linen ephod (even though his biological father was not a Levite) because of the deal. When it was time to start his prophetic ministry, the Bible says that the Lord stood beside his bed and called him. God did not even consult Eli before calling Samuel, why? Because he (Eli) was not there when God made a deal with Hannah. It was a matter between God and Hannah, so He had come to take what rightfully belonged to Him. What are you going through today? Is there barrenness in any area of your life? Has your financial womb, marital womb, academic womb, or physical womb been shut? Maybe you should do what Hannah did. Look out for a need in the Kingdom of God and strike a deal with God. He said about Himself, "I am JEHOVAH, and I do not change..." (Malachi 3:6). If He did it with Hannah, He would surely do it with you.

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