Today you should read: 1 Samuel 2:1-11
Hannah’s prayer in the early verses of chapter 2 is a powerful one. As Hannah knows well, there is no reason for any of us to be anything but humble. Yet, the warnings in this prayer were prudent to the prideful character of Peninnah in Chapter 1, and are wise to us as well.
Immediately in her prayer, Hannah places her trust in and contributes her blessings to the right person: the LORD (v. 1). What once were desperate mumbles mistaken for drunkenness became a clear surety in the Rock, to whom no one compares (v. 2).
It is on this foundation that Hannah can offer these cautions against pride. Being once hopeless, she can declare that “those who stumbled are armed with strength… those who were hungry hunger no more” (vv. 4-5). She understands that from the LORD comes blessing and hardship (vv. 6-7).
This is where humility comes in. She could have been frustrated at God. She could have become angry with him. She could have adopted the same attitude as Peninnah. She could have ignored God completely and somehow convinced herself that she deserved to have children.
Isn’t that like us to cry out to God when we’re in need only to ignore him when he answers our prayers? But thankfully, this was not her response. Instead, she focuses on who God is. She praises him (vv.1-2), she rests in his promises (vv. 9-10), and she accepts all situations, knowing that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). If we are to take seriously this promise found in Romans and other popular verses such as Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you…”), then the only appropriate response to any situation, good or bad, is humility. Pride can do a lot of things, but it will never lead you to a place where you acknowledge and submit to a God who loves you and knows what is best for you.
What situations are you facing right now that are difficult? How have you shown humility? Maybe right now, life is going really well for you. What is your reaction to the good times? Do you bow before the LORD in praise and delight, or do you talk proudly, forgetting that “the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed” (v. 3)?
Posted by: J. Adam Mabe, Student Ministry Intern, Richmond Campus