Dear Peninnah

Your story has been told countless times, through the years.

Usually, the highlight of it is your treatment of Hannah, your husband’s other wife.

It is true that you were unkind to her – because that’s what the Bible says.

But today, I’m wondering why….

Was it just your character to be like that, or were you just a woman affected and impacted by her circumstance?

You were a woman whose husband loved his other wife. Again, we know that this is true because that’s what the Bible says.

So year after year, you watched him give portions to you and your children, while he gave a worthy portion to Hannah.

It must have been hard, just like Leah’s situation must have been too.

Were you a woman so taken by her pain that you couldn’t stop for even a little while to see that in spite of everything, God was still good to you?

He blessed you with children – sons and daughters.

And then you used your blessing to cause pain to someone else.

What if you had taken your pain to God and left it there? How different might your story have been?

I was just wondering, because there are many people – men and women – in situations similar to yours, today.

How much difference would it make if they’d stop a while, consider your story and learn from it?

You were after all, just as human as everyone else. And like we’ve been told, it’s vain to judge people when you’ve never walked in their shoes.

I’m also remembering what they’ve said about experience –

Experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your own experience.

I feel for you, Peninnah.

We may never know why you acted like you did, but we could learn from your experience. And I pray that we do.

Because the Bible also tells us –

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 1 Timothy 3:16-17.

For Sharing

38 thoughts on “Dear Peninnah”

  1. Being the ” other woman ” is never a good place to be, even Hagar, I know why God intended to be sacred. And we do get too wrapped up into other people’s live and often forget His goodness to us.

    • True, Rebecca, it’s never a good place to be. And yes, it’s too easy to get so wrapped up till we forget. God help us! Thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you!

  2. What a great perspective and way to write it. Praying God gives you such deep insight and perspective on all that’s going on in your life and the lives of those around you.
    Much love,
    ~Sherry Stahl

  3. Dear Boma … this is a fascinating perspective, compassionate and wise. We’re too often quick to point fingers. But truth be told, we don’t have a clue as to what others have gone through.

    Thank you for going there today …

  4. What an interesting thought process about Peninnah “the other woman.” Well… I guess they were both “the other woman” actually. I’ve never really given much thought to her position and situation, and that’s just sad. Makes me look at the story in a different light. Thanks! Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  5. Love this thoughtful perspective! I wouldn’t/don’t always think to look at other views (mine is just so perfect! HA!) But it is so valuable to see things from other perspectives

    • Yes!! We usually believe our views are perfect! And yes, there’s value in seeing from other perspectives. Thanks for visiting, Rebecca. Many blessings to you!

  6. Boma, what an insightful post! I love how you take the story of Peninnah and turn it into a meditation on the reasons why some people are hurtful. Was it because they were hurt themselves? Wonderful thoughts!

  7. There’s always so much we don’t see, isn’t there? Insightful piece. May God give each one of us His eyes of faith and heart of love, where we are blinded by what we see in front of us.

  8. What a unique way of meditating on a familiar passage of Scripture! I love this! I have never thought about Peninnah’s story at all. Your perspective here is greatly appreciated! You’ve given me much food for thought.

  9. Boma, this is brilliant and so compassionate.
    I’ve always written Peninnah off as the hissing, whispering adversary who made Hannah cry, but it’s true that hurt people hurt people, and you’ve given me reason to wonder about all the “bad girls” we run into who hurt our feelings or grind our weakness into our faces. Compassion wins.

  10. It is fun to think about her perspective. I wonder if she was the first or second wife. How their relationship played out in daily life. So glad plural marriages are not the norm anymore. It would be so hard to share a husband.

    • It’s definitely not that easy to share a husband! Thanks for visiting, Theresa. Many blessings to you!

  11. Love your thoughts here! My heart often goes out to people like Peninnah. The people who hurt others but who I know are hurting themselves. If we were all a little kinder to those who treat us poorly, I wonder what would happen. Isn’t that what our Heavenly Father does for us. He is merciful and full of grace and I wonder if Peninnah would have acted differently had she been treated with mercy and grace too.

    • I wonder, too! May God help us respond with mercy and grace when we’re treated poorly. Thanks so much for visiting, Crystal. Many blessings to you!

  12. This is a great post, Boma! Peninnah is not a character I have thought much about. It is interesting to think more about what it might have been like for her.

  13. It is always wise to see others through God’s eyes & to think of the other’s perspective. It’s about compassion isn’t it Boma…
    Great post!

    Have a blessed time in celebrating our Risen Lord! 😀

    • It is about compassion, Jennifer! Many blessings to you and your family this Easter! Thanks for visiting.