Mon, 8 January 2018
(1Sm.1:9-20; 1Sm.2:1,4-8; Mk.1:21-28)
“May the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.”
For He holds all authority. “He gives orders to unclean spirits and they obey.” “The Lord puts to death and gives life; He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.” All He wills, He does – nothing is beyond His reach and power. And His desire is to answer your prayer. If you are faithful as is Hannah, if you come before Him in such sincerity and truth, then what you ask shall be yours; for He Himself is sincerity and truth and goodness, and when you join yourself to Him, you join yourself to His authority… and find the answer to your prayer by His presence in your heart.
And so your heart shall exult with Hannah’s. And so you shall see how “He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap He lifts up the poor.” Indeed the prayer of the poor touches His heart and He “seat[s] them with nobles and make[s] a glorious throne their heritage.” To heaven do they come, for heaven is their love.
How evident is the Lord’s will and favor to those lowly ones who seek Him in the birth of Samuel – whose very name means “asked of the Lord” – to the barren wife Hannah. None could be poorer in blessing than she; ridiculed by the world is she for the Lord’s lack of favor toward her. But as bitter as the fruit she must taste, she does not rebel against her God, but comes to Him in all humility and with a heart full of prayer and eyes filled with tears. And He loves His child. And one of the greatest men of the Old Testament becomes her son. And her song in praise of the Lord foreshadows Mary’s own.
“Jesus entered the synagogue on the sabbath and began to teach.” He comes to us now with His Word, His authority. Where Hannah sought Him, He now comes to us, offering freely the wisdom and power and grace which are His alone. And there is nothing which stands in the way of that Word. There is nothing to prevent its coming to our hearts and healing our souls of all injury, if we but listen, if we but seek His presence in our lives – if we but promise to give all to Him, He will give all we ask to us.
O LORD, you have granted what we have asked of you
in Jesus your Son.
YHWH, the needy you lift up from the dust; the barren wife bears seven sons and the poor man you seat with nobles. For you hear the prayer of those who cry to you, who believe in you despite their misery and come with a sincere heart – you cannot resist our tears. You have all authority and that authority you wield to heal those in need and teach us your way of holiness.
And so our hearts exult in you, O LORD. You give us victory over all our enemies. Sin you cast far from our souls; all unclean spirits vanish at your Word. The holy One you have sent to us, and He is our LORD and Savior.
And so we are rich in Jesus, your Son. And so a glorious throne you make our heritage. Though a moment before we may have been in the throes of evil, though so long we may have dwelt in sorrow, you give us new life and raise us to your side. In Jesus let us make our home.