Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hannah's song

Hannah's song of praise to God became one of the first psalms. Before the "book" of Psalms was written, there were very few psalms available. Moses' song and Miriam's praise were perhaps the first. The word psalm means "a sacred song or hymn, notably used in worship and praise."

Let's look at Hannah's song:
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.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.The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.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, and lifteth up.He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. (I Samuel 2:1-10)
This is an amazing song of praise! From a woman who did not take the "usual" way out of her troubles....the human, fleshly way. She did not do as Sarah, nor as Rachel, but she very simply poured out her heart to God, and in His timing, He heard and changed her life.

A worldly woman might have added to her song that she rejoiced in the "defeat" of her rival (Peninnah), or that she was no longer under any supposed reproach from God.

But no! Hannah points again and again to the Lord as her reason for exultation.
In verse one, we can see that she doesn't see strength in her own body -- but the deep, personal touch she had experienced from God made her heart sing within her. He was always at hand for her; He was her strength and her power.
After speaking of her joy in praise to God, she can speak of those who persecuted her, but without bitterness. Check out the end of verse one; it's OK to talk about our "enemies" when we are thinking about God's salvation, for the works of the flesh can't stay in our hearts when we are rejoicing in His salvation. There's no room there for bitterness or malice. Our eyes may glance at our enemies, but they rest and stay and focus on our God. The sarcasm of Peninnah, the misunderstanding from Eli, all of that was of no distress to Hannah -- God had taken His rightful position in Her life, and was her strength and her rock of refuge.

In the next few verses, she says that she sees God in everything that happens -- there is no chance or coincidence. She saw His hand in all that she viewed. Hannah had learned to submit to God, and then she learned to trust Him; now her soul was filled with rejoicing and glory. No wonder she sang this lovely song!

It may not seem so, when we are undergoing trials or persecution or sorrow, but God is eager to meet us and comfort us, just like He did Hannah. There is no one else who can support and encourage us as He can:
My comfort in my suffering is this:    Your promise preserves my life. (Psalm 119:50)
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)
I saw a suggestion in one of the books that I consulted, that I thought was a good one: do you journal? Do you write down verses that inspire or comfort you, and do you note answers to prayer?

Whether we call it a "Praise book" or a "Remembrance Book" or a journal of some kind, it is a wonderful idea to find a pretty scrapbook or notebook and write down ways that God has answered our prayers. If you have a photo or a memento that reminds you of the person or situation that you have prayed about, tuck it inside. This is a wonderful way to build our faith in Him, and to form a habit of gratitude to Him. Instead of forgetting these blessings, have a tangible way to recall them! What an encouragement to us, to leaf through those pages and add to them.
What a wonderful way to glorify His name!
Just as Hannah did, let's praise Him for His faithfulness and His answers to prayer!


Belinda said...

This study has been uplifting to me, especially this week. My niece delivered by C-Section at 26 weeks last Saturday. We have seen God's hand in every single thing that has happened. We have witnessed His mercy, His leading, His protection, and His love in the whole experience. Mother and child are doing as well as can be expected at this point. As a matter of fact, the nurses are often surprised at how well the little one is doing.

My family has experienced the protection, mercy and grace of our loving Father,as well as answered prayer time and time again. And we are so very thankful for it.

We should all strive to have the heart of Hannah.

Cathy said...

It has stuck me, yet again, how hugely BIG and powerful is our God. I was sitting here thinking about and praying for that little baby and mother Belinda mentioned. I knew the baby’s name, but couldn’t remember the mother’s, but that’s not a problem, because God knows who she is. And that’s when it overwhelmed me.... the thought that God knows who she is, that God knows who everyone is, all our needs and hopes and fears. Every single person this planet, God knows who they are. Billions of people, and He knows who each and everyone is, and yet He can reach down and care for one single tiny baby and her Mom. Praise and thanks to God oh my soul........