FRIDAY, JANUARY 24
SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 2
BY: Josh Boles
Today’s chapter picks up right where we left off yesterday. In chapter one we know that Hannah spends a good deal of time praying. Today, we get to examine one of her prayers. Before we get into this, we have to remember the context of her prayer. She had just dropped her son of to live in service to the Lord, apart from her. I don’t know about any of you, but if I had to go today to drop Lawson off to live with somebody else, I might have a hard time dealing with that. Hannah did not go off to grieve, or sulk, she praised the Lord.
Not only did Hannah go pray, she burst into song celebrating. Doesn’t this sound a little crazy? At first glance it does, but lets think about it for a second. Hannah was so thrilled that the Lord had answered her prayers, but perhaps even more thrilled that her son would be a faithful servant to the Lord and a leader of the faith that would go down in the history books. Obedience to the Lord always requires a sacrifice, Hannah understood that.
Just think for a minute where we have been spending our time over the last several months. We have been talking a lot about the Law, and sacrifices. In order for a burnt offering to be acceptable worship, it would have had to been the best they had to offer. It would have been a great sacrifice to make because whatever they were sacrificing would have given them the most return for their labor, but they understood what was required. Think back to Abraham, who was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, his Son.
I think this song can teach us a lot about obedience and sacrifice to the Lord, because although we do not have to give burnt offerings to the Lord, there are still sacrifices involved in following Jesus in our current context. I want you to think back to a time when you had to sacrifice something big. Was your first response celebration, or sorrow? Now, go read 2 Chronicles 29:27. “Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel.” The songs of celebration began after the sacrifice was made.
You see, Hannah was not concerned with personal matters. She was concerned with the Kingdom of God. We see this in verse 1 and 2. I think this is key, because when we are more focused on the Kingdom of God than we are on ourselves, those sacrifices have greater meaning. We are able to lay aside our personal preferences and willingly sacrifice our time, energy, pride, resources, or whatever it may be to the Lord.
Hannah not only found Joy in her sacrifice. But she truly praised the majesty of the Lord. It was not just lip service to things she knew she was supposed to do. Just look at verses 2-3. Like Hannah does here, it is always good to start our prayers off praising the Lord because everything we do is for His glory, even in times of trials and sacrifice.
Hannah’s prayer is just chalk full of incredible words. I would ask you to read it several times and see what you can full out of it. Hannah talked about the grace of God in verse 4-8, and the protection of the Lord in verse 8-10, and how the Lord reigns at the end of verse 10. Hannah not only knew these thing but got to see them happen in her son’s life and her own. Just skip over to verse 21. Isn't that cool!
Finding joy in sacrifice. Funny thing isn't it? Chapters like yesterday and today really make you think about perspective. They should make us think of the way we do things, and the way we react to circumstances in our lives. I think one key thing we can learn from Hannah before we get into the narrative of Samuel’s calling is to pray over every detail of our lives. It is revealed to us in the New Testament that this is actually God’s will for our lives, to remain in constant communication with Him, even when we don't feel like it. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Hannah did just that. She prayed, and rejoiced in the Lord in ALL circumstances. We should do the same!