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Saturday, 16 March 2019

1 Samuel 2 : 1-11

“There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 2:2

Our reading is Hannah’s prayer of gratitude to the LORD who hears and answers prayer. Hannah was barren for a while and suffered shame and mocking at the hands of her adversary, Peninnah. This caused her great anguish and grief which she poured out to the Lord as she came to the LORD’s house to pray.  Her prayer to God was misunderstood by Eli, the priest, for drunkenness but he soon realised that she was sharing her sorrow with God. Eli comforted her and assured her that God would answer her prayer.  She went back home with increased faith that God would bless her with a child.

The Lord answered Hannah’s prayer! She bore a son and named him Samuel, whose name means “Asked of God.” When the child was old enough, she kept her promise to the Lord, taking him to Eli and giving him to the Lord to serve in the tabernacle. There, Eli worshiped God along with Hannah. And then Hannah spoke a beautiful prayer, recorded here.

Hannah’s prayer reveals her faith in God and God’s saving power.  She knew for sure that God was able to fulfill her desire.  She was weak but she knew that her God was strong.  The world is full of Hannahs and Peninnahs, representing the weak and the strong. Hannah’s life teaches us of the one true God who hears and answers the weak of the world. “My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord; the bows of the mighty are broken but the feeble bind on strength”, she prayed. Hannah acknowledged that she was weak and had no strength of her own. She proclaimed that her strength came from God and rejoiced greatly in God’s saving power.  God uses human weakness, grief and distress to accomplish great things. May we be encouraged today to have faith in God, through His Son Jesus Christ and be assured of His deliverance at the right time.

Hannah’s prayer reveals her heart and the heart of God. God never spurns human desire.  Hannah’s longing for a child could not be quenched even after her husband tried to comfort her.  Peninnah mocked her and she was misunderstood by the priest but God was on her side. God did not chastise her. The world around us may mock and despise us for various reasons but just as Hannah trusted in God and poured out her heart to Him, we are not to be disheartened when life hits us hard. We are to come to God and pour out our heart to Him. He understands us, our very being!

The Word of God assures us that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, when we trust in Him.  Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We have a God who assures us rest. All we need to do is “Come to Him.”  We are not to be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present our requests to God. We experience desires that are not satisfied and circumstances that cause pain. Many times, we simply do not understand these things. But from the life of Hannah, we come to understand that God knows our story from beginning to end, that everything has a purpose, and that trust in Him is never misplaced. 

When blessed by the Lord, may we learn to look beyond the blessing and gift; unto Him, the Giver of life!


Loving Heavenly Father, we pray today that all through the distresses of life,

we will hold on to You, knowing that You are our refuge and shelter,

our very help, and the true giver of life, a life of abundance.

We pray that Your name is glorified in and through our lives.


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