1 SAMUEL 2
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My heart rejoiceth in Yahweh
Verses 1-10 of the second chapter are Hannah's prophetic psalm.
There are several similar songs in Scripture-prophetic inspired praises on special occasions of joy and deliverance. The first is that of Moses and Miriam on the shore of the Red Sea, when God had destroyed the Egyptian army and Israel was, at last, free. And again Moses' solemn song of witness just before he died, as he left for Israel (Deut. 32). And then there is the wonderful victory song of the brave Deborah, who rallied a dispirited Israel against the oppressor.
And then this marvelous song of Hannah, as she dedicated her tiny son Samuel to the work of the LORD and the deliverance of her people. David is next with many songs-the whole Book of Psalms. Psalms 9, 18, and 89 are especially of this personal, prophetic, rejoicing character. Solomon's songs were 1005, of which the choicest of all songs was the Song of Songs. Then Isaiah's sad song of the beloved and lovingly cared for vineyard, but fruitless, which was Israel. And Hezekiah's joyful song of praise at his redemption from the gates of the grave.
Coming to the New Testament, we have three: Zacharias' tongue-loosed hymn of thanksgiving at the birth of John and at the prospective birth of him whom John came to announce. And then Mary's thankful song, when greeted by Elizabeth; so similar to this one of Hannah's. And finally, the glorious triumphant song of Moses and the Lamb, rising like silver thunder to the throne of God from the vast multitude of the redeemed in Revelations *.
1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in Yahweh, mine horn is exalted in Yahweh: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
"My mouth is enlarged." Paul says somewhat similarly to the Corinthians (2 Cor 6),
"O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, our heart is enlarged...ye are straitened in your bowels."
That is, ye strain in your affections. "Be ye also enlarged." Enlargement of mouth is expansion and freedom of expression.
In her sorrow, she spoke silently within herself. But God's answer had given her great boldness and joy to cry aloud.
"Enlarged over mine enemies." The plural enemies and the whole majestic tone of the song shows that it relates to the broad purpose of God at which she rejoiced at being part and not to any small feeling of triumph against Peninnah, who was inconsequential. This is further shown by her continuing, "because I rejoice in thy salvation."
Her mind is on the vast purpose and the mighty attributes of God.*
I Rejoice In Thy Salvation
SALVATION is so wonderful and marvelous and glorious a thing that-if the whole mind is set on it, and the whole life directed toward it, and everything else is put resolutely aside-there can be no unhappiness.
Unhappiness is vision-failure.
Bro Growcott - Search Me O God
2 There is none holy as Yahweh: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our Elohim.
This is the first of the attributes that she extols, and it must come first. It is fundamental-holiness. It was because of God's immutable and inviolable holiness that Christ must die the dreadful death that he did, and nail the sin-body to the tree. All other religions-man-made religions-have no such conception even as holiness-a pure spotless God calling upon all His children to purity and holiness.
Most so-called Christian religions today have forgotten this. They've lost it, and they pander to the corruptions in the name of what they call love. But the divine decree still stands-
"Without holiness, no man shall see the LORD."
"There is none beside thee."
This is God's great theme through Isaiah-one alone, unique and incomparable, eternal and supreme over all. We must keep bringing ourselves back to God's infinite supremacy and our own utter nothingness. We must walk continually in awe and fear and reverence. This is the very opposite of the spirit of the flesh and of the world. Let us never for a moment relax our awareness of it.
"Neither is there any Rock like our God."
This is the first use of this term for God, except in the song of Moses, which of course Hannah would be familiar with. It is a favourite term with David in the Psalms, but it appears very little elsewhere. The primary idea is strength, permanence, immutability-the basic foundation of everything. And secondarily, it is shelter and protection, safety and security-something on which to build with assurance for eternity.*
3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for Yahweh is an El of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The fourth attribute-wisdom, understanding, limitless infinity of knowledge and observance, even to the fall of a sparrow.
Finally, "By him actions are weighed." Justice and judgment, reward and punishment, discernment even to the deepest hidden thoughts and intents of the heart.*
7 Yahweh maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
God's total control of human affairs and how quickly they can be reversed-the mighty brought down, the low exalted. We see it in the fortunes of nations and individuals. It is illustrated in miniature in Hannah's own case. As we first see her, she is in abject misery, and could have lived and died in total obscurity-a mere passing object of local pity and reproach. But one fervent prayer and she is raised to heights of joy and divine prominence that few women, or men, ever attain to.*
9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
Here again is holiness.
"It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps."
But those who walk by the lamp of the Word will be divinely kept from stumbling or wandering or slipping.
"The path of the just is as shining light; it shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Let us be sure that as we grow older (we all do inevitably-daily), our path shines more and more by ever growing deeper and wiser in the Word. We can never just drift into the Kingdom of God. It's an upward, constant, joyful effort-more and more.*
10 The adversaries of Yahweh shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: Yahweh shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
Here is the final and inevitable culmination of the purpose. ..All the prophets point to this great day, and Hannah was among the first to do so.
...Hannah was the first to apply the title anointed, or Messiah as it is in the Hebrew, to Christ. The only occurrences of the word before are in the regulations of the Law of Moses concerning the priesthood. But it was the very prominent essence of Israel's hope thereafter.
Again, David picks it up in the Psalms, joyfully, as in Psalm 2, where the kings of the earth strangely unite against Yahweh and His anointed. And apart from the mystic prophecies that Balaam was forced to utter against his will and beyond his understanding,
"Israel's king shall be higher than Agag,"
and the voice of a king is among them.
... "He shall give strength to his king." This was fulfilled in Christ in a much deeper sense than the mere conferring of power and authority. We see it beautifully unfolded in the divinely assisted perfection of his life and character that he might accomplish what weak unaided man could never do, and therefore offer a powerful and acceptable sacrifice of perfect holiness and purity, as a foundation of redemption for the whole race.
...And now ever involved in his obedience and victory, he is made eternally strong in immortal strength and able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him. Here is real inner strength for eternal kingship-far beyond mere external power and authority, because ourselves are nothing.*
18 But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
An ephod was a sleeveless jacket-the outer garment of the high priest's attire, to which was attached the breastplate of judgment. In the Mosaic regulations the ephod is specified only for the high priest. But in referring to Saul's slaughter of the priests of Nob, we are told they all wore linen ephods. It was a mark of priesthood. Here we find Samuel, as a child ministering before God in this priestly garment, though he was not of the priesthood. He was a Levite, but not of the family of Aaron to which the priesthood was restricted. The only other occasion of non-priestly wearing of an ephod is when David wore one as he danced before the Ark.*
19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
This word coat should be robe, as it is in the Revised Version. Notice the little-he was still a small child. The term is not exclusively applied to the priestly garment, as ephod is, but it is the term that is always applied to the robes of the ephod-the long garment that the high priest wore under the ephod and which was related to it.
The mention of these two garments together seems to have a special significance. We find later that Samuel offered sacrifices, which activity is by the Law restricted to the priesthood. In fact, he rebuked Saul from presuming to offer sacrifices himself and not wait for Samuel, as he had been instructed. From all this, it would appear that Samuel had an especially appointed priesthood from God.
This emphasizes the specialness of his work and position, and its typical nature-a faithful, non-Aaronic priest, who had served God all his life from his earliest youth, taking over the rulership of the land from a corrupt Aaronic priesthood and delivering it from its oppressors.*
34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
Yahweh's judgement on the house of Eli
God's judgment on the house of Eli-one of the most terrible denunciations in Scripture. Eli himself was not wicked, and he raised his voice against the wickedness, but his sin before God was that he did not go beyond just denouncing it. He did not take the proper action to keep the priesthood sound and the worship unadulterated. He vainly hoped that just talking against it would be acceptable to God. How terribly mistaken he was! There is a great lesson here. Many today will denounce error, but they see no need of separating themselvs from it and taking the proper action to keep the body sound.
Eli was of the line of Ithamar-the youngest of Aaron's two surviving sons. We remember two died, because they offered strange fire. The high priesthood had started out in the line of Eleazer, the older son, but somehow, not recorded, during the period of the judges it had been transferred to the house of Ithamar. Now, it was to go back, and the line of Ithamar was to be cursed for ever, because of Eli's sons' wickedness.
Saul also annihilated the line, killing 85 priests in cold blood. Only Abiathar escaped. He served during David's reign, but at its end, he joined the Adonijah conspiracy against Solomon, whom God had chosen to follow David. Solomon banished him, and the priesthood returned to the line of Eleazer in Zadok, completing the curse on Eli's house.
There is much of deep prophetic significance in the closing words of this curse on Eli in verse 35 of chapter 2,
"And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed (My Messiah) for ever."
It is our desire and hope and lifelong effort to be a part of that faithful, eternal, Zadok priesthood to serve before Christ for ever.*