I Samuel 2:1-8, New American Standard Version (NASB)
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.
2 “There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
3 “Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
4 “The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
5 “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.
6 “The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 “The Lord makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
8 “He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He set the world on them.
Reading this prayer of Hannah’s is like looking at your friends’ Facebook page. Her life is perfect and easy and blessed. Her heart is exulted (triumphant elation) and her horn (strength) is exalted in the Lord. Chapter Two is her Instagram post. She can’t stop bragging about her new-found favor.
But the only reason Chapter Two is so sweet is because Chapter One is so bitter. In the first Chapter, we learn:
- Hannah is married to Elkanah but has not been able to conceive because “the Lord had closed her womb.” (1:6)
- To add insult to injury, she is mocked ruthlessly by her sister wife, Peninnah, for her barren state. This bullying lasted for years (1:7)
- Her desire to be a Mom has been tortuously delayed causing her to be “greatly distressed and wept bitterly.” (1:7)
- If that’s not enough, while she is sincerely praying to God about her lowly state, her very own Priest accuses her of being a drunk. (1:14)
So, how does she go from continual weeping, lack of appetite & a “sad heart” (1:8) to “there is no one holy like the Lord”? (2:2)
Verse 19 reveals the answer:
“The Lord remembered Hannah”.
And where… WHERE did Lord remember her?
In Chapter One.
Are you living in your own chapter one?
Are you depressed?
Does your Pastor think you’re a drunk? (just kidding)
God sees you.
He hears you.
He remembers you.
And that gives us all hope for Chapter Two.