Messiah

Hannah’s Prayer

mashiyach [pronounced maw-shee’-akh] noun.

Hebrew. 

1. Anointed one 

2. Messiah  

3. Deliverer 

One of the first prophetic songs about Messiah comes from the mouth of a heartbroken women. Her name is Hannah. Taunted constantly by “the other wife” Hannah was deeply depressed by her infertility. It wasn’t enough that her husband’s wife P’ninah had many children. P’ninah continually rubbed the matter in Hannah’s face only adding to her pain. This went on year after year. Each year the family made the annual visit to the temple to complete the yearly sacrifices. It was on one of these visits that Hannah poured out her heart to God desperate for him to hear her broken cries for a child of her own. God heard her cries and gave her a son, Samuel. She testifies, “I prayed for this child, and Adonai has granted the request I asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1:27). After she dedicates Samuel to the Lord at the temple she prays a powerful prayer. It is the first recorded prophecy where we catch a glimpse of the “anointed one.” 

Hannah’s triumphant declaration of God is recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-2, 6-10.  

“Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
    he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
    and has them inherit a throne of honour.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
    on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
10     those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
    the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of [mashiyach] his anointed.[1]

Hannah encounters a mighty God. Her prayer is a bold proclamation of the power of God. From feeble brokenness Hannah shouts the glory and authority of Yahweh. He is the Giver of Life. He is in complete authority over life itself. And Hannah knew it personally from the gift of life she carried in her womb. She knew this God who lifted her from the dust and raised her to a place of honor. Her worship is bold and declarative: “I can gloat over my enemies because of my joy at your saving me. No one is as holy as Adonai, because there is none to compare with you, no rock like our God.”[2]  Can you hear the exclamation points? P’ninah’s taunting is finally silenced. Hannah’s praise loudly resounds. Now, P’ninah has to stand back and watch Hannah hold the baby she prayed for. What a victorious God we serve!! Hannah boasts in the God of infinite power, who has delivered her from her deepest trial. In the context of this victorious prayer we catch a glimpse of a strong  and mighty Messiah. The same God who shatters his enemies is the one who strengthens the “anointed one.”

“Exalt the Horn” 

Let’s notice the phrase used in the original Hebrew to depict Messiah. God will “exalt the horn” of Messiah. What does that even mean? The horn is a metaphor of strength, just as the horns of a ram or bull are its strongest feature. In scripture horns are both ‘cut off’ and ‘exalted’ by God. (Psalm 75:10, Psalm 89:17-24, Psalm 92:10 )  To exalt means to lift up, advance, raise. Picture the hand of Almighty God lifting Messiah up, emboldening him with POWER. We meet a Messiah whose total strength is increased, advanced and raised up by God.  This Messiah literally “makes his enemies a footstool” (Psalm 110:1). He is STRONG, VICTORIOUS and in other words he is TOTALLY BOSS. Super heroes have nothing on him. Hannah proclaims a mighty God and a mighty Messiah. Her story of deep depression and apparent defeat ends with a victory shout of praise as she proclaims a Messiah who will stand in the power of God and in complete victory over his enemies. Victory is displayed in Hannah’s life, because of her God and His mashiyach


[1]1 Samuel 2 NIV 

[2]1 Samuel 2:1-12 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible) 

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