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Bible Study for 1 Samuel 1 & 2

2:9 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’

2:19 They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’

2:1 Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord;    my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies,    because I rejoice in my victory.

‘There is no Holy One like the Lord,    no one besides you;    there is no Rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly,    let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge,    and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken,    but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,    but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven,    but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life;    he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich;    he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust;    he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes    and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,    and on them he has set the world.

‘He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,    but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;    for not by might does one prevail. The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;    the Most High will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;    he will give strength to his king,    and exalt the power of his anointed.’

Last Sunday, we heard the story of the Israelites making a golden calf in the wilderness (Exodus 32:1-14). Much time has passed, including the whole time period of the judges. Watch this video to get a an overview of 1 Samuel and what happened in between.

As we read Hannah's song in response to Samuel's birth, there are many parallels with the Magnificat, Mary's song before Jesus' birth (Luke 1:46-55). Both of these songs praise God for reversals, bringing down the mighty and lifting up the lowly, bringing death and new life. What other reversals do you see in Scripture or in your own life? How is this good news?

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