If there was anyone who might have been justified in cashing things in, perhaps it was Hannah. Yeah, she was married to a good man . . . but there was always that other woman. Not that the multi-wife plan was all that unusual in those days . . . but it could make for some tense times. And that other woman wouldn’t have been such an issue if weren’t for the matter of children . . . as in, the other woman had them and Hannah didn’t. The Lord had closed Hannah’s womb . . . and the other woman wouldn’t let Hannah forget it (1Sam. 1:6). It became a competition for this other woman . . . and a source of continued grief, anxiety, and vexation to Hannah (1:16). If Hannah’s sorrow had turned to bitterness, it might not have been a surprise. Had it caused her to withdraw from her husband . . . and even from her God . . . others would have understood. But at the end of day . . . every bitter day . . . she heard God’s voice, “I got your feet!”
The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them He has set the world. He will guard the feet of His faithful ones . . . (1Samuel 2:7-9a ESV)
In her anguish of soul . . . the grief of a closed womb . . . the incessant provocation of one who equated children with worth . . . the nagging, recurring thoughts of God punishing her for some reason . . . in all this, Hannah remained committed to her husband . . . and remained faithful to worshiping her LORD at Shiloh. Though the annual pilgrimage brought renewed sorrow, she would go. And then, on one occasion, she would draw near. In deep distress . . . weeping bitterly . . . she prayed (1:10) . . . and she continued to pray (1:12) . . . and she poured out her soul before the LORD (1:15). Certainly she did so because her situation was desperate . . . but she also did so because her God was the God who guards the feet of the faithful.
God hears Hannah’s prayer . . . God gives Hannah the delights of her heart in her son, Samuel . . . and, after the boy is weaned, Hannah returns to Shiloh to “lend” her son to the Lord for as long he lives (1:27-28) . . . and to worship the Lord with all her might (2:1-10).
I’m hovering over the first part of 1Samuel 2 . . . Hannah’s second recorded prayer in this book. Anxiety and vexation of soul have given way to rejoicing and exultation of heart . . . her affliction has given way to affection . . . tears of bitterness replaced with tears of joy. And while her situation has changed . . . her God has not.
There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God. (1Samuel 2:2 ESV)
He is the Rock . . . regardless of whether one’s estate is rich or poor . . . low or exalted. He is the One who, in His time and according to His purposes, raises up the poor from the dust . . . and lifts the needy from the ashes. He is the Sovereign Almighty God of all the earth . . . the One who guards the feet of His faithful ones.
For those who persist in turning their hearts towards Him, regardless of the situation, He protects their paths . . . directs them in the way of righteousness . . . sustains them over the rocky roads . . . leads them beside still waters. He watches over our feet . . . though we may get sideways sometimes, yet He will not allow us to take irrevocable detours . . . though we may trip up and stumble, He will not allow us to fall to where we cannot, by His grace, get back up.
Hear Him say this morning, “I got your feet!”
And then, faithful one, worship!
My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD . . . there is no rock like our God. (1Samuel 2:1, 2b ESV)