Since arriving in country, I've decided to start studying through 1 & 2 Samuel. I study through a chapter each week so that I have the chance to really meditate on it. Recently, I was reading through Hannah's "song of thanksgiving" and I learned a lot from it. I was convicted because so often I ask things of the Father, but then I forget to follow up with thanksgiving. Sometimes I let my joy stand in the place of my thanksgiving. It's as if I'm saying "Well, because it's obvious that I'm happy about this answered prayer, the Father already knows that I'm thankful." But, both you and I know that isn't enough.
How often were you asked, "Now, what do you say?", after you joyfully jumped up and down, beaming with happiness, after opening up a much-appreciated gift? You turn to your giver and say, "Thank you", even though it was pretty obvious by your actions that you appreciated the gift. It's the least you could do in return.
"Praise is like our rent...we are unjust if we do not pay it." --Matthew HenryA little background on this song. Hannah has been barren for a long time now. Her husband has long since gotten himself a second wife. This wife was able to bare him multiple children and she also taunts Hannah. However, Hannah's husband still favors her far more than the second wife. Hannah is deeply troubled about not having children and lifts up her requests to the Father. He hears her and gives her a baby (Samuel). Thus, she follows up with a song.
There are three things that we see in Hannah's song of thanksgiving (see 1 Samuel 2:1-10):
- Hannah's triumph in the Father and the great things he had done for her. She praises His holiness, power, wisdom and justice. She focuses her joy on the Giver, not the gift.
- She finds comfort in the attributes of the Father. What we give God the glory of we may also take the comfort of.
- Hannah silences those who set themselves up as rivals against God. In chapter one, Hannah was becoming an enemy to herself because she was letting Wife #2's words get to her. "Those that are of a fretful spirit, and are apt to lay provocations too much to heart, are enemies to themselves, and strip themselves very much of the comforts both of life and godliness" (M. Henry). So, she takes a stand against the Enemy and doesn't allow him to have a foothold in her life.
It's my prayer that words of thanksgiving would naturally pour from my mouth whenever I speak to the Father. With each new day that He gives us, we have something to be thankful for. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!