1 Samuel 2:1-10
1Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.
2“There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 5Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. 8He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.
9“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail. 10The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.”
Hannah sings a song when she finds out she is pregnant with Samuel. Samuel will become a great prophet in Israel and someone critical to the office of king (he anoints both Saul and David). But here Hannah is the prophet, announcing God’s word, prefiguring Mary’s own song in the Gospel of Luke. What will the reign of God look like? The bows of the might broken, the hungry fat with spoil, the barren fruitful, the needy raised from the ash heap to sit with princes. It’s a vision of the kingdom of God and the reign of Christ—and, it’s a promise “The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” Hannah sings of the result of God’s power. The vision reminds us why we work for the kingdom, and why we wait on its Lord.
Holy God, we pray that it would be done according to Hannah, on earth as it is in heaven. Break the bow, feed the hungry, let the barren bloom, and raise the downtrodden. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name, in hope that Christ prays just the same, at your right hand. Amen.
Art: Christ the King of Kings, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55319 [retrieved May 18, 2020]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christ_King_of_Kings_(Greece,_c._1600).jpg.