1 Samuel 2:1-11
2 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. 5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.
This passage of Scripture is a prayer to God from Hannah at the time she presents Samuel to Eli the priest. From this point onwards Samuel would be raised in God’s house and eventually become a priest.
Hannah’s prayer starts with how she is feeling; happy, strong, rescued and rejoicing are the words she uses. This is the woman who is giving up her only child and at this point she doesn’t know that she will go on to have other children. Hannah will only see Samuel once a year when her family visits the tabernacle. What an amazingly selfless and faithful response!
From the rest of the prayer we can see that Hannah truly knows her God – his nature, his character, power and his sovereignty. It’s all down to God not human endeavour.
It’s interesting to note that Hannah did not pray for another child.
As a mum I do wonder how Hannah could keep her promise to God and give Samuel up. How difficult it must have been, heart wrenching I reckon. We know Hannah was a woman of prayer and in those times of prayer she came to know God intimately. This knowing God helped her to give up her son and still genuinely rejoice in her heavenly Father. They had a rich relationship. I am so challenged to know God better so that I am able to step out in faith like Hannah. I wouldn’t mind her attitude either!
Dear Lord, thank you for the example of Hannah. Please help me to know you in a similar way; to have that rich relationship that enables me to step out in faith for you, Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods!