October 25, 2021
Scripture: And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:1-2 ESV
Observation: Scholars identify this prayerful song of Hannah as a precursor to the prayerful song of David toward the end of his reign (2 Samuel 22) and the prayerful song of Mary (when she celebrates with Elizabeth her miraculous conception of the Son of God (Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55). The similarities are striking. All three focus on the strength and salvation of the Lord—particularly as it pertains to the lowly and oppressed. And each identifies an anointed one. Hannah prophesies a coming king who will be God’s “anointed,” exalted with power (verse 10). For David (whose name means “anointed”), God’s anointed refers to himself and his offspring (2 Samuel 22:51). For Mary, while there is no explicit reference to the anointed one, her entire song points to Gabriel’s announcement that she would give birth to the “Son of the Most High” from the line of David (Luke 1:31-33).
Takeaway: Like Hannah, when we experience the blessings of our Lord, we would do well to praise and rejoice in his goodness and salvation with our whole hearts, with all of our strength (horn), and with our mouths. And our praises should declare his incomparable greatness: he is holy and our rock (verse 2). He bears life (verse 6); rescues and raises the poor and needy (verse 8); guards the feet of his faithful ones and brings low their adversaries (verse 9-10); and he strengthens and exalts our King, his Anointed One (verse 10).
Yet, for all we may offer to him, his blessings will far exceed our praises. While Hannah only asked for a son (whom she faithfully dedicated to the service of the Lord), Yahweh would later bless her with three more sons and two daughters. And she would continue to watch from afar as her firstborn “grew in the presence of the Lord” (verse 21).
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for encouraging stories like that of Hannah. We are prone to focus on the negative and lose sight of all the ways you bless us. Would you please enlarge our affection for you and your Son and inspire us to praise you aloud with all our hearts and strength. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling