This is the text of a reading I plan on giving on Sunday at my church.
- The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
One of my favorite worship songs that we sing here is “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us.” The song declares “I will not boast in anything, no gifts no power no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ, his Death and resurrection.” It is a wonderful thing to boast in God, to proclaim his power and decree, to declare that the gates of hell will not prevail against His people. We can boast without sin in our security in Him, to declare His triumph over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15).
What we have here is a boast in God, spoken by Hannah, mother of Samuel, to Eli the priest in the temple of the Lord. Hannah was barren and pleaded with God to give her a son, and in turn was dedicating her son’s life to the service of the Lord. She was rejoicing in God’s abilities and boasting in His sovereign power.
Sarah tells us that the Lord’s adversaries shall be broken to pieces. And it’s true: God’s enemies are no match for Him. All their efforts are for naught and they will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord agrees when he tells Ezekiel in Ezekiel 25, “I will execute great vengeance on the [Philistines and Cherethites] with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” God’s enemies are like dust, or blown chaff (Isaiah 29). God will achieve His greater glory by his own Will and His purposes are greater than any of us could possibly comprehend. Anyone arrogant enough to deny Him or think he could possibly stand in His way is kidding himself.
She declares that God will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed. This could either point to Earthly kings he finds favor in, or the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, but either way, this points to God’s plan to administer justice by way of our authorities mentioned in Romans 13, as we studied a few months ago. God raises up kings and brings them down (Daniel 2), but is eternally righteous and eternally just in the way he works through them.
Today’s Christians often think of God as a means of achieving our selfish ends: Making good financial decisions, achieving material security, enjoying the finer things in life. Christ tells us in Matthew 7:7 that if you ask, it shall be given to you, but He is presupposing that what you ask for is to serve His purposes and not your own as a regenerate man or woman in Christ; someone who denies himself, then picks up his cross and follows Jesus (Matthew 16). There is no better example of this than Hannah, who, despite lacking a normal, healthy womb, wanted a son for nothing more than to glorify her King and to play a part in His eternal purposes, and boasted in His name when it was given to her.