1 Samuel 2:1-11 - Hannah’s Prayer

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1.       Thanksgiving & Praise (v.1-2)

1 Samuel 1:28 ended, So they worshipped the LORD there. Here is the worship Hannah offered, and what she offered on the very day she left her little boy at the tabernacle, never for him to live in her home again.

a)        My heart rejoices in the Lord (1a): Note that Hannah is not rejoicing in leaving her son, but her rejoicing is in the Lord.  Remember Paul when he was in prison and the church of Philippi was having a problem with some false teaching?  Yet, how does he tell the believers respond in their walk?  Rejoice in the Lord, continually.

q         Philippians 3:1—Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

q         Philippians 4:4—Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I say rejoice!

q         Matthew 5:12— Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

q         Acts 5:41—The apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Christ

q         Acts 16:25—Paul & Silas rejoiced even though they were beaten and thrown into prison

q         James 1:2—Count it all joy when you fall into various trials

I cannot always rejoice in the circumstances, but I can rejoice in the Lord, that is rejoicing in what Jesus Christ has done for me!  Illustration of Quarterback being beaten by the linemen, but still rejoices because his team is winning!

My horn is exalted in the Lord (1b): The horn is an often used as a picture of strength in the Bible (Psalm 75:4-5; 92:10). This is because the strength of an ox or a steer could be expressed in its horn. Hannah is speaking of her strength and power being exalted in the LORD.

I smile at my enemies (1c): Remember last week when I said that when someone is provoking us to get us angry, we are not to retaliate but let God battle for us?  Here Hannah is smiling at her enemy, not I a prideful way but remember she is rejoicing in the Lord.  When we allow God to take revenge for us, this does not always mean that God is going to strike that person dead, or some kind of drastic measure, but because of mans evil heart when they see someone hurting like Hannah was, they like it & when they see someone getting blessed they hate it.  That I believe is what is being said here.  Peninnah brought Hannah low in a cruel way (1:6-7) but now Hannah can rejoice because the Lord has lifted her up.  

I rejoice in your salvation (1d): Under the judges, the nation went through periods of political and spiritual health. But for the most part, the people turned away from God (Judg. 21:25). Would they do better under the kings?

(a)      No matter who “rules” Israel, whether judge or king, the Lord is Israel’s true King (2:3, 10), salvation is from Him (2:1), and God’s concern is often for the outsiders, the poor—people on the “bottom of the heap” (2:4–9).

q         When the people demanded a king (1 Sam. 8:4–5), the Lord said that it was because they had rejected Him as their King (8:7).

q         When the nation faced crises, it was not their king who delivered them, but the Lord (for example, 1 Sam. 11:13; 17:46; 2 Sam. 5:22–25).

q         It was not Saul, the people’s favorite, who firmly established the monarchy, but David, the eighth and youngest son of Jesse, a shepherd of Bethlehem (1 Sam. 16:7, 9–13).

q         All government is ultimately established by God (Rom. 13:1–7).

b)        There is none Holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God (v.2) Classic form of Hebrew poetry – “repetitive parallelism”.  In Hebrew poetry it does not rhyme words by sound but it rhymes ideas. 

q         When we say the Lord is Holy we are saying He is completely set apart, there is none besides Him. 

q         The Rock is A Metaphor Which Emphasizes His Strength (Deut.32:4; Ps.18:1-2)

Jesus is the Rock, the scripture says in I Corinthians 10:1-5.  In Nebuchadnezzar’s vision interpreted by Daniel, he saw the image until there was, “a rock not cut with hands that smote the great image in the feet.  So that the image crumbled and the rock grew up until it was a mountain that covered the earth.”   That rock was Jesus.  Jesus said that, “Upon this Rock I will build my church.”   What rock?  The confession of Peter that, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

2.       A Warning to the arrogant & proud (v.3)

a)        Talk no more so very proudly: I am sure Hannah has her rival Penninah in mind.  Nevertheless, this is a warning to all who talk proudly.  Remember our speech is a barometer of our heart (Matt.15:18).

q         Psalm 94:4 says “They (the wicked) utter speech, and speak insolent things; All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves”

q         Jude 15-16 says “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” 

For the Lord is the God of knowledge & by Him actions are weighed: God knows everything & compared to God we know nothing & this is a good reason for us to forsake our pride.

q         1 Samuel 16:7, 9-13 when choosing a man God looks at the heart, the inward not the outward

q         1 Chronicles 28:9 David said to his son Solomon know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.  1 Kings 8:39 says for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men

q         Prov.16:1-2 The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.  All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the Lord weighs the motives.

q         Jeremiah 17:10 says I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways According to the fruit of his doings.

q         Hebrews 4:12-13 says For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

                      On Judgment Day It’s Not Going To Be What We Did Inasmuch As Why We Did It:

q         2 Corinthians 5:9-10 Paul said we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad

q         Jesus said in Revelation 2:23 all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

q         Paul said in Acts 17:31 that God now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

q         Romans 14:10 & 1 Corinthians 4:5 says But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…   Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.

q         The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Showed God’s Approval of Him, and Qualified Him as Judge. There are no excuses now—the proof of the Word of the Lord is all in. Sinners will be judged by what they do with that truth – Hebrews 9:27

3.       God Humiliates the Strong & Exalts the Weak (v.4-8)

a)        The bows of the mighty men are broken (v.4): we must walk humbly before our God, He knows how to humble the strong (Daniel 4:34-37; 5:17-30)

Those who stumbled are girded with strength—if we are weak now or in a low place, we should wait humbly before God and He will lift us up

In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus said when we have the opportunity to set ourselves high; we should take a low place instead.  Then, when someone sets us in a higher place, it will be a pleasant experience. But if we put ourselves in a high place, someone may come and set us in a lower place, and then we will be embarrassed. Jesus concluded by saying, For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

b)        Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven,      And she who has many children has become feeble (v.5)—Hannah knew all of this truth intimately in her life because it was the Lord who had closed her womb.  God is the one who had set her low & then lifted her up.  She could see God’s hand in it all!

c)         The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up (v.6)—The whole thought in this passage is that God gives life. As Job said, “the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job. 1:21).

q         Only the Lord God Almighty has the power to create & give life, therefore, only He has the right to take it away. Until you and I have the power to give life, we have no right to take life away. Because this is His universe; we are His creatures; He is running the universe His way.

q         “If you do not like the way God has worked out His plan of salvation, and you don’t like the things He is doing, you can go off somewhere and make your own universe, set up your own rules, and run it your own way. But as long as you are in God’s universe, you are going to have to do things His way.” J. Vernon McGee.

d)        The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up (v.7)—even though we cannot understand why God has allowed some to be wealthy & others to be needy, we know that God is good and our life is in His hands.  However the Scriptures do say some important things to note about this:

q         God will allow us to be needy because we as humans have a tendency to forget that it is God who have given us all that we have (Deut.8:11-20; Job 1:21 see above for verse).

q         Paul was afflicted for the purpose of being prideful (2Cor.12:7-10)

q         Remember God is working all things according to the council of His will (Eph.1:11)

q         We are not to judge, God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another (Ps.75:7)

q         This is why we are not to pursue riches because the rich will fade away in his pursuits (James 1:9-10; 4:10).

e)         He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory.  For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them (v.8)—(see Job 38:4-6; Heb.1:3)

4.       Hannah’s assurance is in the Lord (v.9-10)

a)        He will guard the feet of His saints (v.9a)

1)        From What Will The Lord Keep Our Feet From?

q         From straying away (Psalm 37:23) The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.  When we are living in fellowship with the Lord & are ways are pleasing to Him, even though we may fall into trials we will not be overtaken by them (see 1Pet.1:3-5; Jude 24).

2)        How Does He Do This?

q         Through His Word (Psalm 119:105) Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

q         By His Spirit

But the wicked shall be silent in darkness (v.9b)—Psalm 1:4-6 describes the contrast of the wicked & the righteous.  “The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,        But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

               For by strength no man shall prevail—it is not our strength but God’s (Zech.4:6; Acts 1:8)

b)        The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them.  The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.  He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed (v.10)

q         The word anointed is the Hebrew word Messiah. It is translated Christos in the Greek New Testament and comes to us as “Christ” in English. It is the title of the Lord Jesus.

q         Matthew 25:31-34

5.       The child Ministered Before the Lord (v.11)

a)        Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah—Hannah did it, she kept her vow to God.

But the child ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest—Samuel, the child, has a ministry to the Lord.  There are ways in which even children can serve God & minister to Him.

q         1 Samuel 2:18; 3:1, 15 The doors of the tabernacle compound

q         (Matthew 4:11) Angels ministered to the Lord; (Mark 15:41; Luke 8:1-3) Women ministered to the Lord; (Acts 13:1-3) Prophets & Teachers ministered to the Lord; (Christian’s) believers are said to be the slaves of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:22; Eph. 6:6; Col. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:24)  

Who Are You Going to Serve (Joshua 24:14-28)?

q         Joshua knew they were just saying empty words, you cannot serve two masters “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt.6:24)

q         Luke 14:25-33

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