Wednesday 28 November 2018

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

'There is no Holy One like the Lord.' (v 2)

1 Samuel 2:1-10 Wednesday 28 November 2018

Psalm: Psalm 43


It is difficult not to hear the echoes of Mary’s song of praise or Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55 when today’s verses in 1 Samuel are read. Hannah’s Song sets the life of Samuel in context in the overall narrative of God’s ongoing involvement with the people of Israel; Mary’s Song, in a similar way, does the same for the life and ministry of Jesus. Hymns such as Singing the Faith 60 and 186, based on the Magnificat, bring out themes such as the need for human humility faced with the greatness of God.

Hannah’s song of praise to God could also read like a manifesto for Samuel’s life. I wonder what parents wish for their children, or expect of their offspring, as soon as they are born? Words attributed to Hannah, inevitably written some time later, set the bar very high for her son! Israel’s enemies would be defeated and God’s anointed agent would deliver Israel. The words in today’s reading, taken literally, mean that Hannah was sure that Samuel, under God’s guidance, would be instrumental in securing Israel’s salvation (vs 9-10).

At the heart of Hannah’s Song is a steadfast faith in God:
“There is no Holy One like the Lord;
no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.” (v 2)

For Hannah, all else flows from such a faith. Those of us who attend services of worship will usually begin the time together in praise and adoration; the main reason we meet is surely to worship God together. The focus of worship is on Almighty God, expressed in the Christian tradition through the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If this emphasis on praise is well expressed then worshippers will be in a better position to understand, in humility, what God might be saying to individuals concerning daily living.

Hannah’s Prayer could be something of a blueprint for all of our prayers. Start with God; acknowledge God in the everyday ups and downs; realise that God’s goodness will ultimately prevail. It proved good enough for Samuel. It is a good example for all of us.


To Ponder:

  • Write a simple prayer of praise to God. It need not be a long prayer, perhaps just 10 words that describe God for you. Having written it, is it something you feel that you could share with someone else?
  • Do you feel part of the ongoing narrative of God wanting to reconcile the world back to himself?
  • Be affirmed that, however small, your daily contribution to the mercy, grace and love of God is significant.
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