1 Samuel 2:1-10 (NIV)

1 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.  4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.  5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.  7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”   

1 Samuel 2:8 (NIV)

8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world.   

DEVOTION -Eleanor Shepherd (Quebec, Canada)

Three songs that are recorded in the Bible tell of God’s great reversal.  Hannah rejoiced, liberated from her barrenness.  Moses and Miriam led the singing when the Israelites escaped from Egypt (Exod. 15:20-21).  Mary, the mother of Jesus, celebrated the deliverance her son would bring (Luke 1:46-55).

From these songs, we can learn much about God’s nature and will for us.  Hannah sang about God’s exalting the poor, whom we regard as helpless and unworthy of honor.  We find new purpose as we learn to value people who are not considered important.

Moses saw the great reversal in the way the Lord leads with love (Exod. 15:13).  No longer was power found in brute strength, but in the love of God.  We find new purpose in discovering that no good comes from violence and retaliation, but only from love.

Mary described the great reversal in terms of God’s mercy (Luke 1:50).  God exalts the lowly, who recognize their need for God.  Our purpose does not depend on our own power, but on the strength of a love that comes from the Lord and in community with one another.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What is the theme of my song of praise to God today?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, attune our lives to your great reversal, established in your grace and justice.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: FEMALE CLERGY

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