1 Samuel 2:1-11
2 Then Hannah prayed. She said, “The Lord has filled my heart with joy. He has made me strong. I can laugh at my enemies. I’m so glad he saved me. 2 “There isn’t anyone holy like the Lord. There isn’t anyone except him. There isn’t any Rock like our God. 3 “Don’t keep talking so proudly. Don’t let your mouth say such proud things. The Lord is a God who knows everything. He judges everything people do. 4 “The bows of great heroes are broken. But those who trip and fall are made strong. 5 Those who used to be full have to work for food. But those who used to be hungry aren’t hungry anymore. The woman who couldn’t have children has seven of them now. But the woman who has had many children is sad now because hers have died. 6 “The Lord causes people to die. He also gives people life. He brings people down to the grave. He also brings people up from death. 7 The Lord makes people poor. He also makes people rich. He brings people down. He also lifts people up. 8 He raises poor people up from the trash pile. He lifts needy people out of the ashes. He lets them sit with princes. He gives them places of honor. “The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord. On them he has set the world. 9 He guards the paths of his faithful servants. But evil people will lie silent in their dark graves. “People don’t win just because they are strong. 10 Those who oppose the Lord will be totally destroyed. The Most High God will thunder from heaven. The Lord will judge the earth from one end to the other. “He will give power to his king. He will give honor to his anointed one.” 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. But the boy Samuel served the Lord under the direction of Eli the priest.
As a young person reading the story of Hannah, I was always confused about how Hannah could pray for years for a child, and then gladly hand that same child over to be raised by someone else.
Yet reading Hannah’s prayer, I can see that Hannah has such a real and personal understanding of who God is, and because of this the true depth of her faith is revealed in her actions.
We can see this by how she prays to God – The Lord has filled her heart with joy, The Lord has made her strong, The Lord has saved her. God is not some distant idea to her, He is a very real person in her world who is always working in her life. She knows this as she has proof that God has been good to her, He has given her a son, Samuel.
It is because Hannah knows her God that she can place Samuel in Eli’s care for the service of The Lord. She has faith that God has the best plans for Samuel, that his future is most assured in the hands of God. She knows that it is God who has made it possible for her to have a son, and as such is able to surrender him, even though it means that she will miss out on many aspects of Samuel growing up.
Further on we see that God indeed rewards Hannah’s faith, and she is blessed with several more children.
Faith stems from relationship with God. Lord, may I always know you in a real and personal way, like Hannah, that I too may have faith that puts you first.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko