VICTORY WITHOUT VITRIOL
1. Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
2. No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
1 Samuel 2:1–2 NLT
Today’s Passage begins something new in The Story of Samuel; Hannah’s Prayer of Thanksgiving to God for His Providence in Answering her heartfelt and desperate prayer. Over the next few days, we’ll cover what she said and her emotional state and try to find a few Lessons along the way.
Let’s begin with a brief review of Chapter One and what Hannah has faced that initially elicited her request. Hannah was a woman who lived in Israel before the time of the Kings, in an era when The Judges ruled God’s people. She was in a polygamous marriage in which the other woman tormented her relentlessly over her inability to bear children.
The abuse became so intolerable that Hannah prayed a desperate prayer to God. She told Him that if He gave her a son, she’d dedicate the child back to God, “lending” him back to the Lord. As she prayed, her soul was so desolate and burdened that she made her petition silently, though her lips still moved with the words.
The High Priest, Eli, accused her of drunkenness, but when he discovered the real reason for her despair, he sent her away with his blessing. He apparently perceived Hannah’s desire and knew that she needed intervention.
God answered Hannah’s prayer, bestowing the barren woman with the son she so desperately desired and providing her peace in her home. So, the song of Praise and Thanksgiving she sang or prayed (however it was delivered) was an exuberant explosion of her soul. Hannah was presenting her acknowledgment and appreciation to God for His undeserved Providence.
God changed Hannah’s prospects; now she’s giving God back more than she said she would. She promised to give her son to God, but now she is giving Him spontaneous adulation for His Miraculous Efforts, something God Loves. Let’s take a brief look at how she begins.
Hannah starts off her Praise Report by stating her emotional status. This is significant considering the converse condition initially spurring her prayer of deliverance. Her opening statement is quickly followed by Hannah’s declaration of strength derived from God’s Power to alter Fate. Where once she was despondent and dejected, now she finds comfort and enthusiasm in the Love God has provided.
But what she says next in Verse One is the most telling. Before Hannah even concludes her first thought in her exuberant Praise to God, she has already alluded to her conflict with Peninnah, the other wife who tormented her so callously. But it is what she says that caught my eye.
Hannah didn’t gloat over her son or God’s Providence. All she said was, “Now, I have an answer when my enemies speak ill against me.” Hannah could easily have become petty in her response, but she remained graceful in her reaction, bringing me to Today’s Lesson.
Often when God answers our desperate prayers of deliverance, it’s for a request to Him for victory over a specific and distinctive foe we have not been able to overcome. And when we receive the triumph we requested, we may be tempted to rub our God-ordained attainment in their faces. That is not healthy, even if it is satisfying.
God doesn’t answer our prayers in order to cause injury to other people. He does it to Bless us! Therefore, the way Hannah did it here is the appropriate way to proceed after God’s miraculous intervention. So, to illustrate her approach, let’s look at what she said in Verse Two.
Hannah didn’t run with her justified exultation of her enemy’s defeat. Instead, she praised God all the more, directly attributing her jubilation to His intervention. She unequivocally states that no one else could have done what God did and that He is the Foundation of all her Blessings.
Now that is how you Praise God in the face of your enemy’s defeat! It’s not about their ruin; it’s about your victory! God can Bless you without your becoming arrogant about His Blessings, or at least, you should. Why? Because God hates pride! It’s what got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven. So, gloating over His Grace in the wrong way could lead to the removal of His Blessing, and trust me, you don’t want that!
Have a Fantastic Friday And Remember, Grace In Victory Is Better Than Gloating. You’ll Never Win An Enemy Over With Arrogance!