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December 18 | 1 Samuel 2:1-10

 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Two Songs a Millennium Apart

by Pr. Dave Mann


There are many similarities between the songs that Hannah and Mary sang. Hannah’s prayer is recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Mary’s is found in Luke 1:46-55. Amazingly, the two songs, though separated by more than 1,000 years, have numerous themes in common. Both songs are in response to miraculous pregnancies that resulted in the birthing of two sons (Samuel and Jesus) who would follow the Lord's way.


The two prayers begin similarly with gratitude to the Lord.

Hannah prays: "My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord, my horn is lifted high." (1 Samuel 2:1)

Mary prays: "My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:46-47)

Both women acknowledge that their pregnancies would only be possible through the intervention of the Lord himself. Have you ever experienced a blessing in your life that was made possible only through the hand of God?


God is holy!

1 Samuel 2:2—"There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

Luke 1:49—"For the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name."


Both women recognize that the Lord cares for the humble but casts away the proud.

1 Samuel 2:3, 7-8—"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance. ... He humbles, and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap."

Luke 1:48, 51–"[The Lord] has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. ... [The Lord] has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thought. ... [he] has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thought."

This reminds me of the proverb quoted by James and Peter: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." (James 4:6 & 1 Peter 5:5)


Hannah and Mary both understand that part of the Lord’s salvation happens in this age, and in the age to come.

1 Samuel 2:1b—"My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance."

Luke 1:51, 52—"He has performed mighty deeds with his arm. ... He has brought down rulers from their thrones."


And the hungry will be fed.

1 Samuel 2:5—"Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more."

Luke 1:53—"He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty."


PRAYER

Lord, let my prayer be informed by Hannah’s and Mary’s. I am indeed grateful for your gifts that I do not deserve. You are indeed holy. You care for the humble; may I be numbered among them. Please allow me to taste your salvation in this age before we experience it in its fulfillment in the life to come. And feed the hungry; allow me to be your hands and feet, in Jesus’ name, Amen.



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1 Comment


dceppley
Dec 19, 2023

Pastor Dave, as always a devtional that prompts reflection. Also, I hope that though you may be retired as a pastor, that you will continue to bless us with your wonderful writing. Merry Christmas!

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