“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.” (1 Samuel 2:1)
First Samuel 1 tells the story of a woman who failed to recognize God’s trustworthiness while focusing on her current anguish, uncertainty, and loss. For years, Hannah had endured childlessness and endless torment from Peninnah, the other wife of her husband Elkanah. Hannah’s husband adored her, but contentment evaded her. One day, she prayed with bitter honesty. When Eli the priest questioned her, she explained her situation. As she left, he prayed that God would grant her request. Though Hannah’s situation didn’t change immediately, she walked away with confident hope.
Her prayer in 1 Samuel 2: 1-2 reveals a shift in Hannah’s focus. Even before her circumstances improved, Hannah’s renewed vision changed her perspective and her attitude. She rejoiced in the ongoing presence of God, her Rock and everlasting hope.
- How will focusing on God’s unchanging nature instead of your circumstances give you greater hope?
- Where are you currently struggling with spiritual nearsightedness?
God, please renew our vision so we can focus on Your constant presence and live with an eternal perspective in all circumstance.
1 Samuel 1: 10-18, 2: 1-2
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli though she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
Chapter 2 – Then Hannah prayed and said: “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 holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
As 1 Samuel opens, it’s the end of the time of the judges, but it’s not yet the time of kings. Bridging that gap will be Samuel, the son who would be born to Hannah after her season of prayer at the tabernacle in Shiloh. Samuel’s role in the transition from judges to kings would include the fact that he’s the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. As a prophet, he’d be responsible for anointing Israel’s first two kings: Saul, the kind of king the people wanted; and David, a man after God’s own heart.