The Breakthrough Moment
Loving Lord, today may eternal light and Your enduring Word lead me into Your presence, I pray.
Read 1 SAMUEL 2:1–11
Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
3 “Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
4 “The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 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 honor.
“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
9 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 his anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
In the past 12 months, what has been your greatest burden and your greatest joy?
Has God ever solved a big problem in your life? Something that had you paralyzed with worry, grief or despair? I’ve discovered that the moment of breakthrough can trigger unrestrained praise in a way few other things can. That’s where Hannah is in our passage today. We can almost hear her singing in the kitchen, “Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away. Every burden of my heart rolled away.”
A careful examination of this text reveals that Hannah’s praise song has two main parts. The first and most obvious is thanksgiving for the answer to years of praying: God gave her a son (5; 1:20). The name Samuel in Hebrew sounds like “heard by God” and, for the rest of her life, every time Hannah saw her boy she could look to the heavens and smile. The second part shows that God’s intervention had given Hannah a clearer understanding of who he really was. For years he must have seemed distant and unresponsive to her grief (1 Sam. 1:10,15). Now she knows that God is holy (2), all-knowing (3) and able to reverse the most impossible situations (4–8). More, she realizes that God had been there all along. Breakthrough moments don’t happen every day but when they do we need to savor them because it cultivates a deep assurance of God’s presence and love that can last a lifetime.
Did you notice a hint of vindictiveness in Hannah’s song (1,5)? It’s as if she wants Peninnah to hear her prayer, “Look who’s pining away now!” While the Bible instructs us to leave vengeance to God (Rom. 12:19), the good news for us about the presence of people who are irritating is that if we respond to them in a Christlike way the experience strengthens our prayer lives (Matt. 5:44) and helps us to grow in the grace of forgiveness (Matt. 6:12).
Reflect on the breakthrough moments you’ve experienced in your life. How have they shaped your relationship with God? Make them the focus of your prayer now.
Intervening God, I praise You for breakthroughs in my life. You can turn situations around. I rest in You and Your great power.