Monday Reflection – September 23, 2019
The God Who Humbles and Lifts Up
The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 1 Samuel 2:4
What do we do when we face life’s crises? When our world has turned upside down and everything is falling apart? When pain, anguish and sorrow is our everyday experience? When we are confused and everything seems so complicated? When hope is fading and we feel that God has failed us? When our hearts desires are not being fulfilled? When life is not going the way we have planned or dreamed about? When people laugh at us and we have become the center of gossip and street side talk? For some of us, we turn to the Lord in fervent prayer. And sometimes in this time we make promises to God that if he comes through for us, we commit to do certain things.
This was the case for Hannah who carried deep pain because she was barren. She was the laughingstock of her husband’s other wife, her rival, Peninnah. Her deepest desire, like that of every Jewish woman, was to have a male child. She placed the matter squarely before the Lord and promised to give her son back to the Lord. God answered her prayer by giving her a son. Hannah fulfilled her promise by bringing him back to the temple, dedicated him to the Lord, and left him there in the care of Eli the priest.
Amazingly, having left her son in the temple, Hannah offers a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. In chapter 2, she begins by declaring, “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.” (vs 1-2) Hannah offers this song on the very day she left her little boy – her only child – at the temple, never for him to live in her home again. This shows a depth of commitment and love for God that may humble us. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the Lord. We note she could not rejoice in leaving her son, but she could rejoice in the Lord. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the Lord.
In today’s Watchword, Hannah glorifies God who humbles the strong and exalts the weak. God breaks the bow of the mighty and gives strength to the feeble. This is such a serious warning to us that we should be humble before God because he has the power to humble the strong. If we are strong or exalted now, we should keep humble because the Lord can change our place in the twinkling of an eye. Yet, a word of hope that if we are weak or in a low place now we should wait humbly before God and let him lift us up.
Till next week, let’s not forget to lift a song of praise in the good and bad times, and remain humble before the Lord.