Hannah’s prayer for a son (1 Sa. 1:7-13)
She prayed to the LORD (1 Sa. 1:10). She didn’t pray to God as Elohim or Adonai; she prayed to God as Jehovah, as the merciful, covenant-keeping Creator who made man and has continued to demonstrate His love to man even in the fall. Jehovah is the Redeemer, the Father, the Shepherd.
She prayed to the LORD of hosts (1 Sa. 1:11). This name emphasizes God’s omnipotent power. He can do anything. Hannah knew God and knew His character and prayed to Him on the basis of His love and faithfulness and power.
She prayed with fasting (1 Sa. 1:7). This is one of the many examples of fasting in the Bible. God’s people fasted for many different purposes. (See the study on “Fasting” in the Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity or the Believer’s Bible Dictionary, available from Way of Life Literature.)
She prayed with fervency and tears (1 Sa. 1:10).
She prayed by reasoning with God (1 Sa. 1:11).
She prayed by honoring God (1 Sa. 1:11). She wanted something for herself, but she was not praying selfishly. She wanted a child very badly, but she was devoted to God’s will and glory. She was not consumed with herself. She didn’t want a child who would be her “life,” as in idolatrous affection.
Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving (1 Sa. 2:1-10)
Hannah’s intimate personal relationship with God and knowledge of God is evident in her prayer (1 Sa. 2:1-10). This is one of the great prayers of Scripture, and it is the prayer of a woman. Few men have had the wisdom to pray such a prayer. We can compare it to Mary’s prayer after the conception of Jesus (Lu. 1:46-55). Hannah did not have much Scripture. By then Israel would have had the Pentateuch, plus Joshua.
We can see that Hannah meditated on God and the great things of God and the deep things of life. She was not a shallow woman whose heart was filled with the empty things of this present world.
Again, she calls God “Jehovah.” Nine times she speaks of “the LORD.” It is God’s personal name, His name as the faithful covenant-keeping God, His name as Saviour and Father and Shepherd. It was the highest revelatory name for God until Jesus came.
She rejoices in God and in His salvation (1 Sa. 2:1).
Her prayer is filled with joy. “Rejoice” is mentioned twice. It is translated from two different Hebrew words. The first rejoice is translated from Alats, which means “to jump for joy, to exult.” It is translated “triumph” in Psalm 25:2. The second rejoice is translated from Samach, which means “to brighten up.” It is elsewhere translated “glad” (Ex. 4:14), “cheer” (Jg. 9:13), “joyful” (Ezr. 6:22).
Hannah had double joy: joy in God Himself and joy in God’s salvation.
True “religion” is not the path of sadness and drudgery. It is joyful. “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). God is a joyful God, and He gives joy to His people (“in thy presence is fulness of joy,” Ps. 16:11). The very thought of the wonderful God and His great and eternal salvation brings joy to the believer’s heart.
She speaks of her “horn” (1 Sa. 2:1). A horn signifies power and authority. The woman is physically weaker than the man and the woman’s authority in this world is limited, but the woman of God is not lacking in power and authority if she walks with and trusts in God. Hannah’s horn was the infinite, almighty God! Women who have power with God have power in this world and the next.
She has great knowledge of the Lord.
She speaks of Jehovah as only Saviour (1 Sa. 2:1), as all holy (1 Sa. 2:2), as the only God (1 Sa. 2:2), as a rock of defense and security (1 Sa. 2:2), as a God of knowledge who knows every word man speaks (1 Sa. 2:3), as every man’s Judge (1 Sa. 2:3), as the God of life and death (1 Sa. 2:6), and as the God of resurrection (1 Sa. 2:6). The Old Testament saints knew of the bodily resurrection. Compare Job 19:25-27.=
She warns her adversary not to speak proudly (1 Sa. 2:3).
Peninnah had mercilessly provoked Hannah and persecuted her, and all such will answer to God.
She speaks of Christ’s coming kingdom (1 Sa. 2:4-5, 8-9).
Then the bows of the mighty men of this present world will be broken, and the weak and persecuted and needy in Christ will be blessed.
This is the same teaching as Christ gave in Matthew 5:3-12. When Christ comes, the present world system will be overthrown and the righteous will reign. The saved are called the “poor in spirit” and “they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness” and “the pure in heart” (Mt. 5:3, 6, 8). In this present world, they are usually powerless and often poor; they are persecuted; but in Christ’s kingdom they will own everything.
Then the saved will inherit the throne of glory (1 Sa. 2:8). They will rule and reign with Christ (Da. 7:18; Re. 5:10; 20:6; 22:5).
The wicked will sit in darkness (1 Sa. 2:9). The wicked who do not repent and submit to Christ will be cast into hell, which is described as a place of darkness (Mt. 22:13; Jude 13).
It will be impossible to escape God’s judgment by any human effort or mechanism (“by strength shall no man prevail,” 1 Sa. 2:9). The only way of salvation is by faith in Christ.
She speaks of Gods sovereignty over men’s lives (“the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,” 1 Sa. 2:6-7).
Man makes choices, but God has the final Word. He determines the bounds of every nation and every individual (Ac. 17:26).
God has the power of life and death (“The LORD killeth, and maketh alive”).
God has the power of resurrection (“he bringeth up”), and every man will be resurrected, some to eternal life and some to eternal judgment (Da. 12:2).
God has power over poverty and wealth, high and low. He determines the conditions of every individual’s birth. He gives intelligence and strength to get riches. He gives opportunities or withholds them.
She speaks of God’s preservation of his saints (1 Sa. 2:9).
She is referring to God as a Shepherd who watches over His people.
The Hebrew word for saint is chaciyd (khaw-seed) and it is also translated “holy” (De. 33:8). It means to be set apart for God, and that happens when the individual puts his faith in God’s Word. Abraham was justified when he believed God’s Word (Ge. 15:6; Ro. 4:3).
The saints belong to God (“his saints”). They are His purchased possession. They are His jewels (Mal. 3:16-17).
God keeps the feet of his saints. Every footstep is under His watchcare.
She speaks of the day of the Lord when God will thunder from heaven and destroy His adversaries throughout the earth (1 Sa. 2:10).
Compare Isa. 26:21; Mic. 1:2-4.
The adversaries of the LORD are all sinners who do not submit to Him. The simple act of “living my own life” is idolatry and is a great sin against the Creator.
They will be broken into pieces. Presently God is giving all men an opportunity to be saved, but those who refuse His salvation will be destroyed. The only place of refuge from God’s righteous judgment against sin is Christ the Saviour, and those who reject Christ can find no other refuge.
The LORD will come out of heaven. Compare Mt. 24:29-30.
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. His kingdom will be over every nation. His law will be the law of the entire earth. His governors will rule the nations.
She speaks of the Messiah, who is Jehovah’s anointed and Jehovah’s chosen king (1 Sa. 2:10).
The Hebrew word for “anointed” is mashiyach, elsewhere translated Messiah. The Greek equivalent is “Christ.” This is the first reference to the “anointed” in Scripture.
God will give strength unto his king and exalt his horn. Christ has been given all power in heaven and in earth (Mt. 28:19). He has been exalted above “all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:21).
Note that Christ is referred to as king before Israel had a king and before God made a promise to David that a son of his seed would sit on his eternal throne. Hannah is speaking by the spirit of prophecy.
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