A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith tells the engaging story of Hannah, a woman who lived in ancient Israel. A descendant of Levi, Hannah had always loved to sing at the Tabernacle during the feasts and festivals. She loved and adored Adonai, her God, and praised Him in all that she did. When she married the love of her life, Elkanah, she thought she had it all. But they soon discovered she was barren. Questioning Adonai’s plan and purpose for her life, Hannah began to learn what it was to give it all to God.
I’ve been a fan of Smith’s book for quite a while now, so I jumped at the chance to review this novel of hers on Netgalley. She has such a way of bringing these Biblical figures to life without taking away from scripture. Of course, we don’t know exactly what these people thought or said exactly back then, but Smith does an excellent job making it all sound as though this is what happened. This is the type of Biblical fiction I enjoy, as opposed to the novel I previously reviewed ‘Joseph, Rachel’s Son’.
I was not completely aware of Hannah’s story, but I was glad I was able to read it now. The beginning of her story is very similar to my own. My husband and I have struggled for a few years conceiving, and continue to struggle, and even though I know God promised me children I so often falter and question his plan for me. Hannah is an amazing role model in her dedication to God, her attitude and graciousness towards others is still something I’m working on. Even towards her husband’s second wife she shows compassion, although her heart breaks.
But it all comes down to Hannah’s vow to God, that she would give her son to Him. A change was needed in the temple, a change was needed to bring Israel back to God, and she promised her son to Him to use for that purpose. For His purpose. And of course, God fulfilled His promise to Hannah. Her son was Samuel, one of the prophets of Israel, and the man who found David, the King of Israel.
Hannah’s story is a good reminder to trust in God, no matter your circumstances. Smith has done an extraordinary job bringing to life these Biblical figures and showing the love of God, and the promise of Jesus.