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Basic Bible: Hannah Commits Her Son to God

I Samuel 1:20, 26-28; 2:1-10

The text before us captures the actions and words of Hannah. Hannah dedicated her firstborn son to serve God. This action speaks loudly. The adage that actions speak louder than words, however, does not strictly apply in this instance because the words which Hannah would speak were given to her by God.

Let us first consider Hannah’s action. Hannah named her son Samuel (v. 20) because Samuel means “requested from God.” Samuel was God’s answer to the prayer which Hannah had lifted up. Hannah had prayed, asking that she might bear a man child. She vowed to give her future son to the Lord. Hannah held nothing back. The Lord gave her the requested son and she returned her son to the Lord as soon as he no longer required mother’s milk. All of her works stemmed from that which the Lord had done.

If one reads the first ten verses of chapter 2 closely, one will note that Hannah first declares her joy directly to the Lord (v. 1), followed by a declaration of God’s perfect holiness and His unfailing defense of His people. This is followed by words of correction which are directed to them who speak with pride and arrogance (v. 3), followed by declarations of God’s knowledge and His ways. Hannah closes with a declaration of that which the Lord shall cause to come to pass (v. 9-10).
Let us now consider her words.

“Mine heart rejoiceth in the Lord” (v. 1). Hannah rejoiced because the Lord had given her the means to fulfill her vow. “. . . my horn is exalted in the Lord” (v. 1). Again, Hannah is rejoicing because of what the Lord has done. In this instance, her strength and vitality was increased by the Lord. The Lord replaced her years of emptiness (manifested by barren womb) with a fullness that was beyond measure.

Continuing — “. . . my mouth is enlarged over my enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation” (v. 1). For the third time in this verse, Hannah rejoices in that which the Lord has done. The salvation which the Lord supplied has enlarged Hannah’s mouth. She is able to speak things which she formerly could not.

Her mouth has been enabled to speak out against her enemies. Hannah had suffered greatly because of the words of Peninnah (see I Sam. 1:6). That said, the words which now proceed from her empowered lips speak to a greater audience. It is an audience which does not realize that the holiness of God is beyond comparison. His holiness is the standard by which perfection is established. It is an audience which does not know Him as the all sufficient rock of refuge (v. 2).

In verse 3, the mouth which the Lord enlarged speaks words of warning. The proud need consider their words in the light of God’s perfection. The Lord is a God of knowledge. God knows that all fall short of His standard. The actions of all shall be judged by Him.

“The bows of the mighty . . .” (v. 4). All that is recorded in verses 4 through 8 are declarations of that which the Lord has done and of happenings which He continues to do. The fall of mighty men and the lifting up of them who have stumbled is the work of the Lord. Hannah’s words are God’s words. The Lord uses Hannah to reach out to the proud and presumptuous. The Lord would have all men know that He is a God who reverses the fortunes of both the full and the empty, makes the wombs of the barren fruitful and the mothers of many to grow feeble. God causes men to perish and men who have perished to come to life.

The things which Hannah declares are much like words which the Father would speak through the Son more than one thousand years to the future. The first shall become last and the last first (Matt. 19:30). Those who seek to save their lives shall lose them while those who willingly lose their lives shall gain life (Lk. 9:24). The words of the Son are the words of the Father (Jn. 12:50). Hannah speaks to all who have the ears to hear. New Testament believers are blessed by words which God provided to Hannah because the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, teaches us all things (Jn. 14:26).

In verse 8, the Lord reveals that the power by which He lifts up the poor and beggars and places them on thrones of glory is the same power as by which He caused the world to come into existence. The great I AM would have all men to know Him and be lifted up by Him.

In verses 9 and 10, the verb tense shifts from present to future. Hannah’s words speak loudly to New Testament believers because we are preserved by the Son (see I Jn. 5:12). The Lord declares through the mouth that He has enlarged that the wicked shall be silent and dwell in the dark, that the strength of men shall fail. The Lord’s judgment upon the earth is certain. The Lord shall give strength to His king.

When Hannah was given these words, there was no king in Israel. The king of which Hannah speaks shall be strengthened and exalted by God the Father at a future time in which the wicked are made silent and men are unable to stand in opposition to the Lord. New Testament believers know and follow the Son to whom the Lord said, “Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Matt. 22:44, Ps. 110:1). God has revealed through His word that the Son shall rule from the throne of David in Jerusalem at a time in which Satan is bound (Rev. 20:1-4). The words which God gave to Hannah speak of a time which is more fully revealed in New Testament scripture.

God reveals Himself through Hannah’s works and words to be a rewarder of them who lend themselves for His purposes. May we let the Comforter direct our ways such that we, too, may be enlarged for His purposes.

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