Prepare Ye The Way!

For the Love of the Spirit

Hannah’s Prayer

This is the second part in Bible Stories began in Little Sammy, about Samuel.  Samuel was to anoint the first kings of

Samuel and Eli

Israel — Saul and David.  He is compared to Moses in importance in the continuity of the covenant as he provided the transition from government by the rule of the judges to that of the monarchy itself.

In the first part we see how Samuel’s mother, Hannah, asked God for him. Being childless to that point, she promised God that she would dedicate him to religious service if God would answer her prayer.  She gave birth to Samuel, and keeping her vow, carried the freshly weaned child to Shiloh and turned him over to the chief priest Eli.  That part was given to us in I Samuel Chapter 1.  Chapter 2 begins with the second prayer of Hannah after she turned her son over to the priesthood.

Hannah’s Prayer

My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

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.

The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
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.

The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
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.
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;
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.

Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

I had trouble at first with this passage.  It felt strangely out of context.  Hannah had just turned over her first born child at a very tender age over to religious service and here she was praying about military service and the might of the nation of Israel and kings and the triumph of goodness over evil in absolute terms of victory and defeat.

Then I realized the extreme importance of Samuel entering the world stage at this particular moment.  At the moment that Hannah turned Samuel over, there WERE no kings in Israel.  Israel at that point was strictly a Theocratic state and were ruled over by religious leaders called “Judges.”  There was no monarchy and there were no kings.  The entrance of Samuel into the international arena brought an end to all that even though it was still many years to come before he anointed the first king of Israel — Saul.

Hannah’s prayer foreshadowed all that.  Samuel was to be the next in line of God’s Chosen to further his covenant with Abraham.  In that respect, he deserves a position of divine honor along with Moses.  As will be seen as we proceed in our studies of Samuel, Samuel was against the turn of events that would lead Israel into monarchical government and it would appear from biblical accounts that God wasn’t very keen on the subject either.  But, it can be little doubted that the transition was vital to furthering the process of Israel’s asecendency.

NEXT:

Eli’s Sons

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Bible Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment