Call to Worship March 21 2021

Expository Thoughts on 1 Samuel 1:20-2:10

Hannah gave birth to a son and this gift from God reminds us of His power and grace. After Hannah weaned her son she returned to Shiloh to offer sacrificial worship unto the LORD. Her son’s name was in reference to Hannah’s prayer. Samuel refers to the idea of asking, or a petition (Davis, pg. 21).  She dedicated Samuel to the LORD and prayed unto Him in thanksgiving. Hannah’s prayer recognized three important concepts of worship and practice in life.

God is worthy of our spiritual and physical worship (2:1-3). She speaks of exalting in the Lord with her mouth. She honors the Lord by going to worship Him in person at a prescribed place and time. She warns that those who boast against God with their minds and tongues will be measured and “weighed.” This speaks of the omniscience of God and how he will be able to measure all activity of mind and body according to His holiness. It reminds us that God will weigh the heart of man and will rightly judge each person according to His righteousness, even the words in our minds and mouths. God alone deserves our complete devotion.

God possesses all power to properly govern the universe He created (2:4-8). All mighty nations and armies are eventually defeated. Yes, this is due to the depraved downgrade of these countries, but ultimately it is God who ordered the time and means of their demise. Hannah recognized that God had power over the universe in total and the lives of those who lived in it. It is “the Lord who kills and makes alive…He lifts the needy from the ash heap.” All that had come her way was by God alone, so she thanked Him alone and praised His power.

Others may look to their ability or possessions and not recognize that God gave those assets to them. Such was the plight of Peninnah. If she had understood God as all powerful, she would not have treated Hannah with such mockery. If she had known mercy and grace she would have responded in mercy and grace. So, when Hannah sees what God has done she praises God and shifts her focus from Peninnah. God has the power to aid His people according to His purpose and their ultimate good. Those matters, which Hannah did not understand, God knew in perfect plan.    

God alone will raise His people up from the mire of this world (2:9-10). Here was lowly Hannah who had no children. She was mocked and provoked to sad distress. Yet God answered her prayer in His time and gave her a child. This was a seemingly small blessing in the scope of the whole world. He did not give her many children, but the one He gave her would be mightily used in the cause of God’s covenant people. God’s sustaining power not only includes physical matters of the world, but the covenantal matters of His people. Those He chooses to save will not be left to fend for themselves in this world. God has anointed the true King for His chosen people (10d). His coming captured the world and ransomed His elect from before the foundation of the world. Jesus is the one true King of all the ages. Promised by the Father, He came in time to give glory to God the Father for all His eternal work. The person and work of Christ comforts us that God will lift His people out of the sinful morass in this universe. Soli Deo Gloria!

“What Yahweh does for Hannah simply reflects the tendency of his ways…That is what Hannah is saying here. I was ready to fall and Yahweh gave me strength…But that is not really surprising, for that is just the way Yahweh is (vv. 4-8)!…The saving help Yahweh gave to Hannah is a foretaste, a scale model demonstration of how Yahweh will do it when he does it in grand style…Every time God lifts you out of the miry bog and sets your feet upon a rock is a sample of the coming of the kingdom of God…these little clues he gives, these clear but small evidences he leaves that he is king and that he has this strange way of raising up the poor from the dust and lifting the needy from the ash heap to make them sit in heavenly realms with Jesus Christ. Ponder every episode of Yahweh’s saving help to you; it will help you believe Luke 12:32.” (Dale Ralph Davis, I Samuel: Looking on the Heart, [Christian Focus Pub., 2014], pg. 23-25)