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Mary Elizabeth Baxter :: Hannah’s Song—1 Samuel 2.

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Communion with God looses the tongue for praise. Perhaps Hannah had no idea she was a prophetess, until God had, in so wonderful and miraculous a way, answered her prayer. Human probabilities had been so against it. Physically, she could not have been a mother, and she must have regarded with awe the body on which the hand of God had come, and have understood as none can understand without experience the revelation of her God: "I am the Lord that healeth thee." (Exd 15:26.) And Hannah prayed no longer "silently in her heart," no longer with moving, but dumb lips; the Lord Himself was the subject of her song: "My heart exulteth in the Lord." A worldly woman might have said: "My heart exults in the defeat of Peninnah," or, "My heart rejoices that I am no longer reproached;" but "the Lord" was the refrain of Hannah's song."

"My heart exulteth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord." "Mine horn," i.e., "My strength." Hannah saw in herself no strength. Neither in soul, nor body, nor circumstances was she strong; but the deep and personal experience she had had of God made her heart glory within her that He was ever at hand as her Strength and Power for the present, and in the time to come. And now, having let out her heart in praise to God, she can without bitterness speak of her enemies:

"My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation."

It is safe to speak of our enemies when we think of the salvation of God; bitterness and malice, the works of the flesh, cannot flourish in the heart of him who rejoices in God's salvation. Hannah's eye rests not upon her enemies; she looks again unto her God.

"There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside Thee: neither is there any rock like our God."

She is bearing upon her heart the words of the song taught by Moses:

"Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. The Rock, His work is perfect." "For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges." (Deu 32:3-4; 32:31., R. V.)

Once more alluding to Peninnah, she says:

"Talk no more so exceeding proudly: let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed."

In the balances of her God, Peninnah weighed very light, the misunderstanding of Eli was a feather's weight, the reproaches of all the women around her were as nothing; Hannah had suffered under the proud talking, the strife of tongues (Psa 31:20) had out her to the heart; but now that she had an eye for God, the balances were adjusted-man and God took their true position.

"The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength."

Hannah received the lesson which the apostle Paul learnt slowly (2Cr 12:9-11), and she saw, even in the dimness of Old Testament light, that the strength of the flesh went for nothing, and that all real power belonged unto God. (Psa 62:11.)

"They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry have ceased." That is to say, they have ceased to hunger, because God has become responsible to provide for them.

Hannah sees God in everything that occurs. "The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, He also lifteth up."

With Hannah, chance was an unknown thing. She saw God making all things work together for good to them that love Him. It was not the oppression of the rich that made poor, it was not the talent or diligence of the rich which gave them their possessions; she saw the Lord's hand in all. Circumstances had no power to humble, it is God that bringeth low; man had no power to exalt, it is God that lifteth up.

And then she saw in God's exaltation a glory so beyond what the eye of man can see, that she could almost have joined with John in his vision in the Isle of Patmos, when he said: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev 1:5-6), and Hannah sings from the depth of her own blessed experience:

"He lifteth up the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory."

Again she sees what many are learning in these days-the keeping power of God. "He will keep the feet of His saints." He had kept Hannah's spirit under reproach; she had seen it was God's habit to do so, and she would trust Him still. She would not deal with the wicked; God should put them to silence in darkness. "For by strength shall no man prevail."

One other truth she learnt was the uselessness of striving with the Lord.

"They that strive with the Lord shall be broken to pieces."

Hannah had learnt to submit before she had learnt to trust, and now her soul was filled with glory; and this woman, true to God, true to her husband, true to her child, becomes a teacher whose lessons are made of use for generations after she has passed away from this world.

God raise up mothers such as Hannah!

Hannah—1 Samuel 1. ← Prior Section
Michal, Saul’s Daughter—1 Samuel 18:20-30 Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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