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By: Larry Shaffer
Ryker in Vienna!
Things I have learned from Amazing Women
The beauty of a godly woman
Then Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. For the Lord is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.” I Samuel 2:1-3
Don’t miss the opening three words of our passage today. Then Hannah prayed…and what a prayer it is. Hannah didn’t just wake up one morning and have within her soul the capacity to pray such a prayer. No doubt, she has been seeking the truth of God and pouring her heart out to God for many years. This is one of the many reasons I believe she is an amazing woman from whom I can learn much. She is a woman of spiritual substance. This doesn’t come easy and suddenly. Her heart for God has been developed over many years of both adversity and joy and in all situations, Hannah prays.
Adversity and Joy
Samuel is born through one of those times of adversity for Hannah. Because she was barren, she pleaded from the bottom of her heart for God to give her a son. And she committed to dedicate her son to lifetime ministry should God answer her prayers for a son.
Samuel is born and Hannah praises God with an amazing song of thanksgiving in 2:1-11. Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah and Elkanah took him to the temple and left him with the priest, Eli, to be trained in ministry and leadership.
He stayed with Eli in what we would describe as a boarding school. In this case, a boarding school for future priests. His parents left him and went home and would visit him periodically throughout the year. So, when Hannah made her original prayer of “give me a son and I’ll dedicate Him to You.”, it meant physical separation from her young son. It was a high commitment from Hannah. But God had prepared Hannah through trials, and she was now stronger than ever. God had a plan for her son Samuel. We can see the Sovereignty of God in the formation of Samuel’s character, and he becomes an agent of the formation of God’s mighty nation, Israel.
Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving, as she surrenders Samuel to the Lord in the temple, is exultant praise. But it also turns into this amazing song of deep theological truth; prophetic words of what God is going to do in Israel during Samuel’s time of leadership and beyond.
Hannah may not be a “Prophet” like Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc., but God uses her to articulate some deep and profound truth. Consider this; Hannah’s prayer is so profound that God chose to include it in the Bible. These 11 verses are well worth reading. You don’t have to be powerful, charismatic or have an elevated position to be used by God. God uses the humble servant, male and female, who devote their hearts to prayer with praise and thanksgiving.
Hannah is my hero!
The theme of Hannah’s prayer is that God blesses the humble and weak and exalts them while crushing those who spurn God and trust in their own power and wealth. Hannah is prophesying what will be the state of the small nation of Israel throughout history among the powerful and fierce nations that surround them. Even today, powerful nations and religions vow to destroy Israel, just like Goliath vowed to destroy the shepherd boy, David. But they are destined to fail.
Here’s a few samples of Hannah’s prophetic prayer. She may be a simple, Hebrew woman but when she prayers, she becomes a prophetic power house of power and grace, through the Spirit of God. She prays:
How then should I live?
There’s much we can learn from Hannah, both from her example and her prophetic teaching. She is well grounded in Her understanding of God, His attributes and how He deals with people. In short, God blesses the humble and stands against the proud. This firm foundation of truth helped her rise above the criticism and mocking of her rival, the second wife of Elkanah. Let’s follow Hannah’s example and often consider the awesome and great attributes of God. A strong view of God will affect how you live.
Lord, may I reject the ways of this world to glory in one’s position of power and wealth. May I forsake the pursuit of earthly gain, the praise of others and the desire to be “someone special in this world.” Instead, may I humble myself before You and surrender all to You. Amen!