Hannah’s Prayer 02

Continuing the interest triggered by Hannah’s prayer, I read some commentaries on it and here are interesting insights.

We start with Charles Spurgeon:

Her deliverance seemed to her to be a type and symbol of the way in which God delivers all his people, so she rejoiced in that great salvation which he works out for his people as a whole.

Charles H. Spurgeon, vol. 57, Spurgeon’s Sermons: Volume 57, electronic ed., Logos Library System; Spurgeon’s Sermons (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998).

The theme of reversal is also emphasized in Hannah’s prayer.

The birth stories of John and Jesus belong to the long tradition of birth stories in the OT and in Jewish literature… Prominent among these stories is the motif of barrenness. This appears in the stories of Sarah (Gen. 18), Rebekah (Gen. 25), Rachel (Gen. 30), the mother of Samson (Judg. 13), and Hannah (1 Sam. 1–2). Not only are these stories concerned with the reversal of the fortune of the individual barren women, but also the births of the heroes are linked with the fulfillment of God’s covenantal promises to Israel. The presence of God for his people is therefore the underlying theme behind these narratives.

G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, 255 (Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, UK: Baker Academic; Apollos, 2007).

Davis in his commentary on Samuel gave this insight.

What Yahweh has done for Hannah simply reflects the tendency of his ways. When John Calvin had suffered the death of his wife Idelette, he wrote his friend William Farel: “May the Lord Jesus … support me … under this heavy affliction, which would certainly have overcome me, had not He, who raises up the prostrate, strengthens the weak, and refreshes the weary, stretched forth His hand from heaven to me.” Calvin was saying he would surely have been crushed but he knew a Lord who raises up the prostrate, strengthens the weak, and refreshes the weary—and that Lord had again acted in character in Calvin’s grief. That is what Hannah is saying here. I was ready to fall and Yahweh gave me strength; I was barren and he made me fruitful; I was poor and he made me rich. But that is not really surprising, for that is just the way Yahweh is (vv. 4–8)!

Dale Ralph Davis, 1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart, Focus on the Bible Commentary, 23 (Scotland: Christian Focus

Publications, 2000).

And finally, the Lutheran study Bible brings this to the fore:
Hannah exults that God has fulfilled His Word. Her prayer stands as a warning to us when we are tempted to trust in our own strength, beauty, wealth, or intelligence. Her prayer also gives us encouragement to look to God for every good thing that we need in life, confident that He will fulfill our deepest desires in eternity through His Anointed One, Jesus Christ.

God’s People in the Furnace

On commenting on “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10, Charles Spurgeon shares comfort to those who have been elected.

Here is the August 12 Reading excerpt from the book, 365 Days with C H Spurgeon, Volume 1: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His New Park Street Pulpit

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God’s People in the Furnace

“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
Isaiah 48:10
suggested further reading: Isaiah 43:1–7

Beloved, the first thing I will give you is the comfort of the text itself—election. Comfort yourself with this thought: God says, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” “The fire is hot, but he has chosen me; the furnace burns, but he has chosen me; these coals are hot, I do not love the place, but he has chosen me.” Ah! It comes like a soft gale assuaging the fury of the flame. It is like some gentle wind fanning the cheeks; yes, this one thought arrays us in fireproof armour, against which the heat has no power. “Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, you may come in at the door—God is in the house already, and he has chosen me. Sickness, you may come, but I will have this by my side for a balsam—God has chosen me. Whatever it is, I know that he has chosen me.” The next comfort is that you have the Son of man with you in the furnace. In that silent bedchamber of yours, there sits by your side one whom you have not seen, but whom you love; and often when you know it not, he makes your bed in your affliction, and smooths your pillow for you. You are in poverty; but in that lonely house of yours that has nothing to cover its bare walls, where you sleep on a miserable straw mattress, you know that the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor; he often treads those bare floors, and putting his hands upon those walls he consecrates them! If you were in a palace he might not come there. He loves to come into these desolate places that he may visit you. The Son of man is with you, Christian.