Reversal of Fortunes
Several times in Scripture there are laments about how the rich of the world get richer, more powerful and more successful.
We look at people who have everything in this world and see them living charmed lives. Perhaps we are envious of them, especially when we struggle with things like finances or finding success.
Or having a child – which was Hannah’s problem. She suffered at the hands of Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah, who was able to bear children. As those who feel they’re superior to others can do, Penninah bullied Hannah. But her fortunes were about to change with the birth of Samuel.
Hannah’s prayer in our reading from 1 Samuel 2 focuses on the change in her fortunes, and the promise that for all those who struggle in this world, their fortunes will change too. Look at how she develops the theme starting in verse 4 – “The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.” If you feel feeble in any way, don’t be concerned – one day you will be strengthened, and the mighty in this world will lose their strength.
Hannah continues in the next verse – “Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.” And then, most pertinently for her, “The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.”
Success in this world is meaningless because God is the one who will raise us up if we place our trust in Him.Of course, the key to all this is about placing our trust in God. He is the one who is going to reverse our fortunes. Hannah fully recognizes this and goes on to say in verses 6-7, “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 and he exalts.” It doesn’t matter what your station is in life. Or however low or unsuccessful or lonely or forsaken you feel. Success in this world is meaningless because God is the one who will raise us up if we place our trust in Him.
Hannah continues by saying, “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 honor.” That is our future. We’re going to be exalted to help Christ rule this world.
Don’t be envious of the rich, powerful and successful in this world. They have their reward. We might not obtain what this world has to offer but it doesn’t matter. Just like Hannah we’re going to have our fortunes reversed by God
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