Advent 2017 Devotional - Dec. 14

1 Samuel 2:1-11 Long before Elizabeth and Mary, a childless Hebrew woman named Hannah prayed for a child. When God heard her prayer and gave her a son, she dedicated him to God’s service. He was the great Israelite leader and prophet Samuel. Then she offered this psalm in honor of God, a poetic prayer much like Mary’s expression of praise when she met Elizabeth.

Hannah’s song said “those who stumbled are armed with strength…those who were hungry are hungry no more….The Lord…raises the poor from the dust.” God came to earth, and was born, not in a palace, but in an animal shelter. How can you,as a Christ-follower, more fully live into God’s attitude toward material wealth and poverty?

1 Samuel 1 says Hannah’s husband had another wife, Peninah (common in that day). She had children, and taunted Hannah, causing her great pain. Do some parts of Hannah’s song carry a tone of triumph over her rival that wasn’t in Mary’s? How do you see the difference between healthy joy in God’s goodness and hurtful gloating?