Peninnah is only mentioned at the beginning of 1 Samuel chapter 1. She was the second wife of Elkanah who was also married to Hannah. At first, Hannah was unable to have children while the Bible tells us that Peninnah had both sons and daughters. Peninnah loved to make fun of Hannah because of her childlessness and probably flaunted her kids in her face to make her miserable. Verse 6 reads: “And her rival (Peninnah) also provoked her (Hannah) severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.”
We don’t know much about Peninnah’s background except the fact that she was negative towards Hannah. That is one not-to-be thing we can learn from her.
1. Peninnah was a mean girl. Because Elkanah loved Hannah more than he loved her, Peninnah took her jealousy out on Hannah’s childlessness. Hannah deserves a lot of credit for continuing in prayer instead of allowing herself to become bitter at Peninnah’s taunts. When God has blessed us with something that He may not have blessed others with, He does not want us to boast about it.
Our glory should not be someone else’s grief. We should not have to make other people feel bad about themselves in order to feel good about ourselves. Every chance we get, we should use the gifts God has given us to help others – not tear them down.
Also, if the love someone has for us is less than the love they have for another; we should not let that make us jealous or angry. It is important to live our lives based on the love of God and not on the love of a human.
The love God has for you is the same love He has for me and the same love He has for everyone in the world. God has no favorites. His love is not based on what we can do for Him or give to Him. He loves us regardless.