There is great praise when a barren woman receives a miracle of God and conceives. And that indeed happened to Hannah. She starts out with rejoicing and thanksgiving to God:
My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is lifted up by the Lord.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord.
There is no one besides You!
And there is no rock like our God.
Next Hannah remembers those who have hurt her, said words against her and perhaps even said God was not with her. To this she responded:
Do not boast so proudly,
or let arrogant words come out of your mouth,
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and actions are weighed by Him.
God is the one who knows the heart. It’s arrogant and boastful to put others down and accuse them of not having the same favor of the Lord.
And then Hannah expounds on the mysterious ways of God, where the Lord reverses what is obvious and points out that actually the have-nots become the haves when in the Lord:
The bows of the warriors are broken,
but the feeble are clothed with strength.
Those who are full hire themselves out for food,
but those who are starving hunger no more.
The woman who is childless gives birth to seven,
but the woman with many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and gives life;
He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.
This is similar to what we see in other places in Scripture, that the strong are weak, and in the Lord the weak are strong. It’s a juxtaposition of the ways of the Lord. What we see with our eyes is not necessarily the truth of the situation.
Consider Jesus. He had no wealth yet was rich beyond what we understand. He was the most influential man in all of history but he had nothing in the eyes of the world–no positions of power, no great wealth, no higher education, etc…
He humbles and He exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
He has set the world on them.
He guards the steps of His faithful ones,
but the wicked perish in darkness,
for a man does not prevail by his own strength.
The Lord is the one who lifts the faithful up. In fact I think the key line here is this: “a man does not prevail by his own strength.” It is the Lord.
And then the prayer moves to one of judgment against those who oppose the Lord.
Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;
He will thunder in the heavens against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
Lastly we see oddly enough, a Messianic verse very reminiscent of Psalm 2:
He will give power to His king;
He will lift up the horn of His anointed.
This is actually the first place that the word “messiah” as in the anointed one. Clearly there is this growing sense of the Messiah’s coming that will set all things right in a world that honors what is external and seen yet fail to see the ultimate victory of that which is unseen. He is also one who will be powerful. And lastly, those who reject him will face a judgment.
Earlier this week I had something happen that was good. I was super happy about it but it wasn’t until about 30 minutes later that I remembered to thank the Lord. Hannah not only thanked the Lord, but she wrote out a prayer and a poem of God’s great faithfulness and goodness.
But through this prayer we see the ways of God. The way where righteousness is honored and arrogance is cast aside. Where God’s goodness prevails and the suffering find hope. Where ultimately all hope is found in Jesus Christ.