The Expository Files.


The God of Hannah

(1 Samuel 2:1-10)


She was the mother of the last judge of Israel, for it would be her son who would, by God's direction, appoint Israel's first king. Hannah had long sought for a baby. She was one of two wives of Elkanah who lived in the hill-country of Ephraim. Elkanah's other wife and mother of several children, unmercifully taunted the childless Hannah. Elkanah did his best to console her and confirm his love for her, but Hannah would not be consoled.

She prayed for a son. Finally, she made a vow that if the Lord would bless her with a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord's service. Evidently that was what the Lord had been waiting for. His plan called for such a one, and so within a year Samuel was born to Elkanah and Hannah. Indeed, he would be a mighty prophet at a pivotal time in Israel's history. He would appoint the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David.

When Samuel was weaned, she kept her vow and took Samuel to Shiloh, where the tabernacle was located. This was the center of worship for early Israel in Canaan. Samuel was taken in by the High Priest, Eli, and grew up in Shiloh. Hannah continued to visit her son each year and bring him a new robe. Later, she had other sons and daughters.

Hannah's Prayer of Blessing and Confidence in God
"My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Thy salvation.

There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God.

Boast no more very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are shattered, but the feeble gird on strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes.

The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He sets the world on them.

He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall man prevail.

Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed."
(I Samuel 2:1-10).

Hannah's Faith
"My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Thy salvation." (I Samuel 2:1). An animal with large horns is thought to be powerful and beautiful. Hannah speaks of her strength and confidence in the Lord by using this figure of speech. She had a very childlike, trusting faith; the exact kind of humble faith that Jesus said we all need (Matthew 18:1-4).

She had patiently waited for years, praying for what she desired so very much. It was in the Lord's hands, she knew, and during those bleak years of hope she never gave up. And then, after at long last having received of the Lord's goodness, she remembered Him with gratitude. Her joy was enriched because Samuel was the product of the Lord's power. She spoke boldly in the midst of those who would ridicule her, not being ashamed because the LORD was the God of her salvation. May we also enjoy the same exultation, boldness and joy in the Lord today, for He is also the God of our salvation!

God, the Holy Rock
"There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, Nor is there any rock like our God." (I Samuel 2:2). The Lord is holy, and therefore trustworthy. He is true and just. Even in the darkest of times, even if we must face injustice of the basest sort, we must understand that in the final reckoning the Lord will ensure that all is well for His people of enduring faith (Hebrews 13:5-6; 10:35-39).

Our God is also described as "a rock." God is solid and dependable. He is an anchor of the soul. His words are a rock amid the shifting sands of human philosophy and pagan beliefs (Matthew 7:24-27).

The God of Knowledge, Judgment and Providence
"Boast no more very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are shattered, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes. The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor; for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He sets the world on them. (I Samuel 2:3-9). The arrogant of the world put their trust in themselves as they mock the believer for his or her faith. Hannah warns that such is not a wise thing to do because in addition to being a God of strength, Jehovah is also a God of knowledge and providence. God's wisdom renders the wisdom of men foolishness (Isaiah 55:8,9; I Corinthians 1:18-25).

In addition to making the wise foolish God renders the strong weak. The one who stands against God will fall, and the faithful one who has been the victim of evil men will stand (I Corinthians 1:26-31). Hannah had put her faith in God during her trial. It had been well placed. Let us never forget the lesson to be learned by her example. We know that one day God will exalt those who have humbled themselves before Him, as the mighty fall and the boastful are silenced (Matthew 23:12; James 4:10).

God Directs the Work of His People
He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall man prevail. Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and will exalt the horn of His anointed." (I Samuel 2:1-10). Those who live for God are never alone. There were times when during Hannah's dark hours that there were no discernible signs of what God was going to do for her. But she knew that if there was any hope at all, it was in her God. Those who are on the Lord's side live their lives according to His word, seek His will, do His work, and wait expectantly for His victory.

"He keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall man prevail."

 

 By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 12.7; July 2005  


 

 

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