Hannah's Prayer

1 Samuel 2:1‑10  •  11 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The Spirit of God says that this is Hannah's "prayer," so it is something addressed to the Lord, but here it is recorded in God's blessed Word, so it is spoken back to us again. It is a most remarkable scripture!
The first thing we notice is, "And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted, in the LORD; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in Thy salvation."
No one can rejoice in the Lord who is not able to rejoice in God's salvation. Men ordinarily rejoice in the work of their own hands. But one who can really rejoice in the Lord knows something about God's salvation. The only person in this world who has a moral right, a divine right and title, to be glad is the one who knows Jesus as his Savior.
You see, if we are not saved, if we do not know Jesus as our Savior, there are ten thousand sins behind our back, there is the wrath of God over our heads, and the blackness of darkness forever before our faces. Who will dare be glad with that accumulation?
Here Hannah says, "My heart rejoiceth in the LORD." It is a wonderful thing to be brought to that point of triumph. There was a time when she wept. There was a time when her soul and heart were heavy, but the Lord came in and delivered her, and instead of her being occupied just with her deliverance, she is occupied with her Deliverer.
A large percent of teaching in this day, even where it is very earnest and accompanied with a great deal that presents a body of devotion, is calculated to engage us with ourselves and the work of the Spirit in us, rather than with Christ and His work for us.
What you find characterizing Hannah is, she is not looking within; she is not engaged with herself; she is occupied with the Lord. If we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior we should be, as to the state of our souls, where we can squeeze the very juice of praise out of the most knotty circumstances.
Even at this moment there was a great deal of trial for Hannah's heart. I have no doubt that there was quite a tug there, but she rejoiced in the Lord, gloried in the Lord, and was glad in the Lord. There is a lesson in that for us.
One reason we go through the world, even we who know the Lord's salvation, so languidly, so lazily, so haltingly, is because we are not glad in the Lord. I sometimes think that we are a very poor advertisement for what we profess. The happiest, the most joyous people in this world should be those who know Jesus as their
Savior and have owned that blessed One as their Lord. I do not mean they will not have sorrows; they will, but just as the Apostle says, if we do have the trouble and sorrow, "yet always rejoicing"; sorrows at the bottom, joys on top.
How blessedly this is illustrated in Paul and Silas at Philippi. Everything was discouraging. There they were with their feet fast in the stocks and their backs bleeding. They prayed and sang praises to God at midnight. They were not looking on the dark side of things. They were where the light always shines and they rejoiced in the Lord just as Hannah did here.
When the children of Israel were in battle array, their order was, the singers went before—not the bowman—not the spearman—but the singers, in recognition of this principle: "The joy of the LORD is your strength." It is a practical thing to rejoice in the Lord. It is the fruit of the Spirit. In Gal. 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22) "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy," etc. When it is a question of what the flesh produces, it is called "works."
There are some people who can only be real glad when a big meeting is going on. The joy, perhaps, is more in the meeting than in the Lord. The exhortation is to "Rejoice in the Lord always"—not only when everything goes smoothly. The Lord gives us to know what it is to boast somewhat after the fashion of Hannah in this prayer.
She says, "My heart rejoiceth in the LORD"; you see it was from within, out, and that _is always God's way. "Mine horn is exalted in the LORD."
"My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies." Who are your enemies? Satan is one; is your mouth enlarged over him? It has a right to be. He is not a vanquished foe but he is a defeated one.
Then what about sin? That is another foe of yours which has been dealt with and all put away so that you have "no more conscience of sins." Blessed fact! Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. That is another foe disposed of and positive blessing brought.
What about death? He has annulled death and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel.
What about judgment? The Judge Himself says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life." Is not that wonderful? Our mouths may well be enlarged over our enemies.
What about wrath? We read in the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, " Which delivered us from the wrath to come." The whole field is cleared; every bit of it; everything now and everything then. There is no reason why you and I should not be glad and have a song in our mouth all the day long. There was a time when our mouth was stopped according to the third of Romans, 19th verse: "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
So you see Satan, sin, death, judgment, and wrath have all been disposed of. Do you know what Jesus said on the resurrection morning when He entered behind those doors that were closed for fear of the Jews? He said, "Peace be unto you." It was divinely imparted and they had a divine right to it. The One that made peace pronounced it. He made it by the blood of the cross and conveyed it by His own words. Have you a right to be glad? You have—a real right.
Now I notice another thing: "Because I rejoice in Thy salvation." There is something striking in that expression. You hear lots of people rejoicing in my salvation, but here it is "Because I rejoice in Thy salvation." It is viewing salvation from His side instead of ours. If you think of salvation as your salvation (to be sure you are the subject of it), you measure it by your need; but when it is Thy salvation, you measure it by His need, so it is just as big as God Himself. He is revealed in that character as Savior.
In Hebrews we have salvation spoken of as "great salvation." It is not great because of what it saves us from, or what it saves us to, but great because of the One who has wrought it, who has effected it, and accomplished it. It cannot be an ordinary salvation, because it has not been provided by an ordinary one, but by the One who made the world.
When you go out at night and see the stars and moon, just remember that the One who put them there and gave them their place, and the One who maintains them there, became your Savior.
Then Hannah says, "There is none holy as the LORD." That is a very salutary truth. You hear people constantly speaking about the love, pity, and compassion of God, and it is blessed to make lost and guilty ones feel that God is such, but do not be led to believe that God is love in such a way as not to be righteous. People are saying everyone will be saved and none will be lost. It is just like this: if sin is a thing of such enormity that it required the death of the Son of God, can it be any wonder that a sinner will be judged if he rejects that Son?
You remember the devil's early lie to Eve in the garden of Eden. "Ye shall not surely die"; as much as to say, God is too good to carry into execution His threat. He is saying now, Death is all; God is too good to punish man. He does not want you to believe that story in the 16th of Luke: "In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." Nor does he want you to believe "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
"There is none holy as the LORD." His holiness required the sacrifice of his Son and it will require the punishment of the sinner who rejects that Son.
"For there is none besides Thee." Has Christ so filled up the range of your soul's vision that all other persons and things are lost to you? See Col. 3:1111Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11) in connection with this: " Christ is everything " (N. Trans.).
"Neither is there any rock like our God." It is very beautiful to see how the Spirit of God brings God in as the Rock. You get the expression in Genesis and very frequently in Deuteronomy. God recognized very early in man's history that he needed something solid to rest upon. Everything is going to give way some day, and you want to be standing on the Rock at that time. Are you on the Rock? Are you there? Can you say, because you know it, "There is no rock like our Rock, neither any rock like our God?"
Luke 6:4646And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).48: "And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid
the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it; for it was founded upon a rock." Have you ever answered in the obedience of faith what He tells you to do? The first thing He tells you to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. That is where you are to begin as a sinner.
In Isaiah this Rock is called the rock of ages; or, the rock of eternity. That is where you want to build and be, for everything is going to pieces and you want to be on that which abides.
"Neither is there any rock like our God." Is it not wonderful that Hannah learned this? She was near the Lord and got into some of the secrets. Science has its rocks but they usually splinter to pieces.
"Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed." It is surprising how loquacious we are outside of God's presence, but when in the presence of God a hush takes place. You very often find men talking about what they have done, what they purpose doing, and so on. Sometimes they speak of what others do not do, and so on. We will not think much about ourselves when we get into God's presence. I used to see a Christian doing this, that, and the other thing, and I would say, "I am just as consistent as he. If he goes to heaven, I will." I found I had to have it out with God myself.
Why are we not to talk so proudly or arrogantly? "For the LORD is a God of knowledge." He knows what motive prompts what you say; He knows all about it. It is a very solemn thing to know He knows me altogether.
"0 LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising; Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, 0 LORD, Thou knowest it altogether." Psalm 139:1-41<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. (Psalm 139:1‑4). He is a God of knowledge and by Him actions are weighed. God does two things with man; He weighs him and measures him.
When He measures man what does He say? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Sometimes people think,
"If I were to stand before God, I might hold out." You might say that when a long way off.
How about being weighed? Let us notice the 62nd Psalm, 9th verse (a very precious word to those who know grace, and very searching to those who do not): "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity."
Let us remember, if nothing else, that "The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed."