There are some truly nasty people in this world; people who’ll take advantage of another person’s misfortune, people who will go out of their way to rub salt into another’s wound. It’s sad, but true.

Over the last few days we’ve been spending some time with Hannah, whose inability to bear children in a society where the number of children you had was seen as a measure of God’s blessing on your life, was causing her a great deal of pain.

But Hannah, as we’ve seen so far, was one of two wives to her husband Elkanah. And his other wife, Peninnah, was … well, let’s be perfectly honest about this … a nasty piece of work:

1 Samuel 1:6,7 Peninnah always upset Hannah and made her feel bad because the LORD had not made her able to have children. This happened every year when their family went to the LORD’s house at Shiloh. Peninnah would upset Hannah so much that she would begin to cry and would not eat anything.

Can you just imagine? Yep, this Peninnah was an opportunist of the worst order. But what amazes me even more is that this story is actually in the Bible at all. It’s not what you’d expect to find – but then, God’s Word is all about life, real life. And this is … real life. This stuff happens.

So why did God choose to include this particular detail in His Word thousands of years ago? I’m sure there are a lot of reasons, but the one that leaps most readily to my mind is this: don’t be like Peninnah.

How easy is it, when there’s someone you don’t like in your life, to take advantage of their misfortune – to rub salt in their wound. It’s tempting, so listen up: don’t be like Peninnah.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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