Monday after the Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:1-21 (NKJV)
1 And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 “No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.
3 “Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength.”
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, and the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, and she who has many children has become feeble.
6 “The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.”
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.
8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He has set the world upon them.”
9 He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.”
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. 13 And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. 14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.”
16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. 19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD.” Then they would go to their own home.
21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
After being barren for so long, and God graciously giving her the son she’d prayed for, Hannah burst forth in praise: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.” She goes on to boast that the Lord humbles the proud and exalts the lowly. Close is the connection between her song and that of Mary’s in Luke 1: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant…He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly” (verses 46-52).
In spite of Hannah’s great words, however, the young Samuel would find himself in the midst of turmoil, as did His Savior many years later. It was the latter period of the Judges, where “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Samuel was immediately put in the service of Eli, the High Priest, who had two wicked sons. Their abominations were well known, as their father, now advanced in years, did not discipline his sons. Nevertheless, Hannah and her husband Elkanah continued to support their young son and his calling, and, as the text reveals, the salutary nature of Samuel’s upbringing.
Prayer: Dear God, may we always heed the warning and encouragement from Proverbs: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (22:6). Amen.