I Samuel 2:6-10
At this point in our study, we are halfway through Hannah’s prayer of praise to God. Though she has just completely turned over her son to God and physically left him with Eli, she is praising God for all He has done and is going to do. One of my children started kindergarten this year and I wanted to sit on the couch all day the first day with a tissue box and tub of Starbucks ice cream, looking through her baby book. She was only gone for 2 and ½ hours! Please, follow Hannah’s example and not mine.
Verse 6 talks about the control of life and death that God has. Psalm 139 is an amazing psalm of David that provides a picture of how individually God creates each of us, which in turn helps us to understand that we serve a God of details. God has not just the immediate future, but our God has the distant future under His control. The physical application of verse 6 is evident, but we have a great spiritual application as well. We are made alive in Christ upon being born into our spiritual family. (Ephesians 2:1) He has raised us again to walk in newness of life. Hallelujah!
In verse 7, we find Hannah exclaiming about the areas of life in which God has the ultimate control. He controls the financial and economical status of man; “The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich.” He controls the economical and political status of man; “he bringeth low, and lifteth up.” My seven-year-old son has recently conversed with me about what heaven will be like. In his little “superman” frame of mind, he asked if we would have “special powers.” It is difficult for our finite minds to comprehend the power of God the same as my son has difficulty understanding that Superman is not real (which he gets) and neither are his powers (which he doesn’t get.) But whether or not we understand it, we can be a witness for it, just as Hannah. She didn’t claim to have a grasp on the totality of God; she was testifying as to her own experience and witness of others’ experiences in this chapter. Verse eight outlines God’s amazing power to take the worst and use it for the best. Let’s look at a few examples of this power!
First, take a look at Joseph. Hated by his brothers, he was sold into slavery. In a strange land, he is imprisoned injustly. The situation got much worse before it got better in Joseph’s life. However, in Genesis 50:20, Joseph sums up everything he went through, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Definitely an example of taking the worst and using it for the best!
Then there is Esther. Her people have been ordered by law to be killed and her own life is on the line if she appears before the king unrequested. Her cousin, Mordecai, asks a critical question, “who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) The odds were against Esther, but God prevailed. The worst was taken and used for the best.
Lastly who could forget Job? Losing all that he had, his family, friends, and personal wealth, he refused to curse God. Job praises God in spite of his situation. He recognizes who holds the keys to life and death. Job 42:10, “Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Further down in the chapter is the Lord’s answer to Job, “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before…. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.” The worst was taken and used for the best.
So what’s your “worst?” God has the ultimate power to use it for the best. In Hannah’s case, she had been “lifted up as a beggar” and refurbished into a beautiful princess. Give it to Him. “His love has no limit, His grace has no measure, and His power has no boundary known unto man.”- Annie Flint
-Spoken from a mom with a heart for God.