THE PRAYER OF HANNAH (3)
In our last article we considered the fallibility of man’s strength and the importance of trusting in God’s strength. We saw how David who trusted in God’s strength, was eventually lifted up from the dunghill to inherit the throne of glory and above all how the Lord Jesus Christ who was poor and needy has been exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high and given “the name which is above every name” and is destined to reign on the throne of glory in Jerusalem.
Hannah continues her prayer in verse 9, again showing the fallibility of Man’s strength:
“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail”.
We find similar words in the song of David in 11 Samuel 22:
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. . . Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. . . And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued (caused to bow) under me”. (v.34, 37, 39-40).
David trod his enemies under his feet, because Yahweh girded him with strength, “for by strength shall no man prevail”. Man cannot prevail with his own strength (cp. V.4). Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ, in his death trode the serpent power of sin under foot and when he comes again will tread his enemies under foot as we read in Isaiah 63:3:
“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury”.
Verse 10 of the prayer contains very similar words to those found in 11 Samuel 22 and in Psalm 2. We read in 11 Samuel 22: 14-18:
“Yahweh thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of Yahweh, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me”.
The Hebrew for channel is rendered mighty in Job 12:21. These very graphic words can no doubt be applied to the deliverance of David from his enemies, the mighty. But we believe they can also be applied to the resurrection of Christ who at his death, like Jeremiah sunk into deep waters (Ps.69: 1-2), but at his resurrection was drawn “out of many waters” (2 Sam.22: 17).
The words in 11 Samuel 2:10, “he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed”, are similar to those in Psalm 2 which speaks of Yahweh’s anointed (Christ, see Acts 4:25-27). So we read in Psalm 2:6-7:
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: Yahweh hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”.
These words in Samuel would have a primary application to David and then apply in their fullest sense to the Lord Jesus Christ, as we see from Psalm 2.
As we said at the beginning, at the time of the prayer of Hannah, great changes were impending. The kingdom was about to dawn in the person of David through whom Israel would have salvation from their enemies. I would like to draw my thoughts to a conclusion by considering Psalm 78:60-72 which covers the whole background of these early chapters of Samuel. Let us firstly consider verses 60-64:
“So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And he delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. He gave his people also over unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given in marriage. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation”.
It is possible that the tabernacle was positioned in Shiloh in Mount Ephraim because Joshua was of this tribe. But his was not its final dwelling place. It was forsaken in the time of Samuel as we have been considering and the wicked priests, Hophni and Phinehas fell by the sword and the shock of the tabernacle being taken into captivity and of their death caused their father, Eli, to die. Phinehas’s wife was unable to mourn, for she died in childbirth and memorialised what had happened in the name she gave to her son, I-chabod, The glory is departed.
We then read in Psalm 78:65-66:
“Then the Lord awaked as one out of a sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach”.
These words must be speaking of the exaltation of David, Yahweh’s Anointed and his smiting of Goliath. Let us note that the psalmist speaks as though it is Yahweh who is doing this. Yahweh smote Goliath through David as we see from David’s words to Goliath:
“I come to thee in the name of Yahweh of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. . .this assembly shall know that Yahweh saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is Yahweh’s and he will give you into our hands” (1 Sam.17: 45-47).
David always saw the true issues. It was not what he did, but what Yahweh did through him. How important it is that we look at things in this way:
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (11 Cor.4: 16-18).
We need to be aware of what God is doing and what our heavenly Father may be doing through us.
Returning to Psalm 78, it was David who conquered Mount Zion from the Jebusites (1 Sam. 5: 6-9). As we know, after Shiloh was forsaken, the ark firstly went into captivity in the land of the Philistines, then they returned it and it abode in the house of Abinadab in Kirjath-jearim. It was David, because of his love for Yahweh, who desired to bring the ark to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6), thus fulfilling Psalm 78:68. It was his son Solomon who fulfilled verse 69 in building the temple in Jerusalem. Finally in Psalm 78:70-72 we read of David as the shepherd of Israel. He was a shepherd in saving Israel from Goliath. As the shepherd went before his flock so David went out before Israel and went in before them (Num.27: 17) and “fed them (or ruled over them) according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands”.
David is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. He firstly had to overcome the weaknesses in himself through his experiences as a shepherd before he overcame Goliath. So Jesus, at his first coming, overcame the flesh in himself and when he comes again as Yahweh’s Anointed, he will overcome the latter day Goliath, the kingdoms of men, as represented by that great image in the prophecy of Daniel which is to stand upon the earth in the latter days. We see these things in type in the prayer of Hannah. Samuel was born before the glory departed from Israel. The glory returned in the reign of. David with Zadok as priest. The glory of God was manifested at the birth of Christ. It departed when he ascended to the right hand of the Father. The glory will return when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. May that time soon come :
“If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above. . .Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY” (Col.3: 1-4).