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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Savor The Salvations
Clif Johnson
Aired on May 22, 2023
Show Day by Day
May 19, 2023
00:04:23 Minutes


1 Samuel 2:1

“My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies because I rejoice in your salvation.” Hannah speaks of her personal experience of the Lord’s goodness towards her in the opening line of this prayer in 1 Samuel 2:1. You see the personal pronoun “my” used four different times—my heart, my strength, my mouth, my enemies. Hannah is reflecting on the events of the last five or so years and she is rejoicing in what the LORD has done in her life. God saw her, heard her, and was faithful to His word to her. And now she rejoices. Notice her boast and delight. “my heart exults, boasts in the LORD”-the word for “exults,” here, means to triumph. Hannah is boasting, celebrating a victory, but we need to be very careful to notice the object of her boasting. It is in the LORD. The reason we must be careful to notice this is because it would be easy for us to recount all that we know that has taken place in Hannah’s life and just assume that Hannah is boasting in herself over Penninah! That she is gloating, giving it back to Penninah just as good as Penninah gave to Hannah. “What do you have to say now Penninah? Look at who is a prayer warrior! Look at who the priest blessed!” It would be just like us to be boasting and our hearts to be lifted at this point, but we must realize that Hannah’s boast, her triumph, her rejoicing is in the LORD. Her heart is melted before the LORD. She is humbled at the workings of the LORD in her life. HE is the one who makes her heart glad. “my strength/horn is exalted/raised in the LORD.” The horn of an ox is what underlies the metaphor (Deut. 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11; Ps. 92:10), which depicts military strength. So think of a buck with a monster rack of horns, and how that exudes strength and power. Or, picture in your mind a rhinoceros, with that large protruding, intimidating horn on the front of his face, which is his weapon, his strength. The idiom “exalt the horn” signifies military victory (Pss. 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam. 2:17). In the ancient Near East powerful warrior kings would sometimes compare themselves to a goring bull using its horns to kill its enemies. Hannah views herself as having gained the the victory in her struggle with Peninnah, by means of the Lord’s strength. It is God who has strengthened her, or led her to walk with her head held high now, no longer consumed with shame. Chisholm, R. B., Jr. (2013). 1 & 2 Samuel. (M. L. Strauss, J. H. Walton, & R. de Rosset, Eds.) (p. 11). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. “my mouth derides my enemies because I rejoice/delight in your salvation.” What a strange phrase we have here. There is no good way to effectively translate what the first part of this phrase means (my mouth derides my enemies). The word behind “deride” means to enlarge/broaden/widen out. When I was first studying this phrase, I wondered if it couldn’t mean something like, “The smile on my face drives my enemies mad,” because a smile widens out the face. That’s probable here, except the idea behind “the mouth” most likely has to do with words coming out of her mouth. So it is most likely her praise, her loud, full rejoicing, as indicated at the end of the verse. When we savor the salvations and deliverances of the LORD, we use Worship as a weapon against our enemies, which is part of its design.

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