“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.”
(1 Samuel 2:1)
In all the Bible there is scarcely a more insightful—not to mention beautiful—prayer than that of Hannah’s. Hannah was a godly woman who lived in Israel more than a thousand years before the birth of Christ. The book of 1 Samuel introduces her to us as one who desperately wanted a child and prayed fervently to that end. Her heartfelt cries were answered and God and granted her a baby boy whom she called Samuel. In gratitude, Hannah dedicated him wholly to the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1:21-28). It is fascinating to think that in response to her humble prayers, God not only blessed Hannah with a son, He blessed Israel with a prophet who showed uncommon faithfulness, courage and consistency (cf Jeremiah 15:1). Hannah’s prayer of gratitude reveals remarkable theological and eschatological insight. Today’s verse reminds us that God’s people have always had their enemies. Even so, Hannah knew very well that, given God’s nature and character, this was nothing to be overly stressed or concerned about. “There is none holy as the LORD:” she declared, “for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). She further observed, “the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). In other words, all knowledge is traceable to God. We might say that God is the capital “K” Knower and Pre-interpreter of all things. We are derivative small “k” knowers. We only know because the One in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge has informed us (Job 38:36; Psalm 51:6; 94:9-10; Colossians 2:3). God’s judgments furthermore provide the needed objective rational and moral standards; it is by Him, Hannah informs us, that actions are weighed. She also shows remarkable insight into God’s limitless power, His ability to do the seemingly impossible. “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive” she declared, “He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up” (1 Samuel 2:6). Hannah knew about God’s power to raise the dead, which doctrine would become central to the Lord’s entire religious system and plan for man (1 Corinthians 15). Finally, we marvel at Hannah’s knowledge of eschatology. She knew about the coming of God’s special King who would one day subdue His enemies with irresistible, supernatural power (1 Samuel 2:10). For her humility and faithfulness, God granted her the privilege of being the first to refer to the coming King as God’s anointed one, or, more familiar to us, the Christ. Let us re-read Hannah’s humble, believing prayer with fresh eyes, open hearts, and with teachable spirits today. Who knows what else the Good Father may reveal to us?
God bless you all!