A few days ago I began reading the book of 1 Samuel for my time with the Lord in the mornings. Since, starting I have not been able to get out of my mind the amazing worshiper found in Hannah. As I believe God calls us to be worshipers of Him and that He is seeking such people(Jn. 4:23-24), It is always encouraging to me when I read about people who fit the description of a worshiper of God.
Hannah is a woman who went through a hard time. Hannah was unable to have children, but apart from that, her husband had another wife who had many children. Peninnah, the other wife, would constantly ridicule Hannah for not being able to have children, which left Hannah crying, not eating, and very sad. Her story is better told in 1 Samuel 1-2, and I would encourage you to read it on your own. With this post, I want to highlight what stands out to me concerning Hannah the worshiper.
If you'll notice the picture above, it portrays Hannah crying out to the Lord at the temple in her distress. This scene is seen in 1 Samuel 1:9-18. What first stands out to me about Hannah the worshiper is that her distress and sadness led her to call out to the Lord. She found her hope and her strength in God alone. Psalm 18:6 says, "In my distress I called out to the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears." The true worshiper understands that our "help comes from the LORD; maker of heaven and earth" (Ps. 121:2). And not only that, but God hears His children!
Hannah was a worshiper of spirit and truth. To worship in spirit is to let the Lord in the most inner part of who you are...YOUR SOUL. As Hannah met with the Lord that day, Eli saw her as she prayed and asked, "How long will you go on being drunk?(1 Sam. 1:14). Hannah replied, "No my Lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord,"(1 Sam. 1:15). Just as alcohol has the ability to take over ones actions, her actions were overtaken as she cried out to God! What a powerful picture of a worshiper in need of what only the LORD can give!
1 Samuel 1:19 states, "they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD." Before anything Hannah worshiped the Lord God who is worthy of praise. Yes, she had desires for her life on earth, but none of that came before worshiping her Jehovah God! I love the picture of worshiping the Lord early in the morning before anything. This is a discipline I am currently working greatly towards in my own life. Hannah's prayer in distress contained a vow to God, that if He would bless her with a son, Hannah would "give him to the LORD all the days of his life..."(1Sam. 1:11). Well, before long, God blessed Hannah with a son, whom they named Samuel, meaning "I have asked for Him from the Lord,"(1 Sam. 1:20).
Another aspect of Hannah being a worshiper is that her treasures were stored up in the LORD. Imagine having a son, after being unable to have children, and taking a few years to raise that son. I'd say we would all become pretty attached to him. Well, as Hannah vowed to the LORD, she raised Samuel until he was a young child and took him to the temple to leave Him there with Eli in dedication to the LORD (1 Sam. 1:27-28)! As much as she probably loved and adored Samuel, her love, adoration, and dedication to the God of the universe was far greater. A true worshiper realizes that the blessings here on earth are for God's glory alone, and pale in comparison to God's greatness. Naturally, Hannah had earthly desires, like having a child....who doesn't? But Hannah's true satisfaction was found in the LORD, and her ultimate goal was that he was worshiped.
And finally comes the cream of the crop concerning Hannah the worshiper. Even after dropping off her only son who was but a child, Hannah prays a beautiful prayer of adoration and worship to God! She begins in 1 Samuel chapter 2:
My heart exults in the LORD;
My strength is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
Because I rejoice in my salvation.
There is none holy like the LORD
There is none besides you;
There is no rock like our GOD...1Sam. 2:1-2
Hannah continues and I ask you to please read through this incredible prayer of worship in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Then, read through a second time as a prayer from your own heart. Hannah worshiped in the greatness of our God! She got the vastness of who God was. She recognized that God worked toward every extreme, such as "The LORD kills and brings to life...the Lord brings low and he exalts,"(1Sam. 2:6-7). Hannah recognized that even in a time that was probably difficult for her, God was steadfast and unchanging and worthy of her worship! O how I long to harness this attitude of worship and perfect it in my own life.
Let us strive to respond to every blessing in our lives in worship to our God. When we are in need, may we cry out to God. Psalm 116:2 says, "He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him all the days of my life." May every aspect of life, lead us to our Sovereign King and Loving Father, that we might cry out to Him in adoration, praise, and divine worship. I praise God for the example of Hannah the worshiper. I pray that myself and the Church would follow the example seen in Hannah's worship, that Christ might be lifted higher and God glorified more and more!