(weekly I write a five minute “doctrine talk” based on the doctrine in the passage of scripture we are studying in “People of the Promised Land 1 – Bible Study Fellowship”)
Hannah’s prayer after dedicating Samuel included prophecy, and God prophesied what would happen to the house of Eli.
The doctrine for 1 Samuel 1-3 is Fulfillment of Prophecy
Hannah prays, first out of her deep anguish in 1 Samuel 1:11 “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servants misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” Then in her prayer of praise in 1 Samuel 2:9-10 “”it is nor by strength that one prevails; those who opposed 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.” In her prayers we see prophecy. I found a definition of prophecy that I like: a message inspired by God, a divine revelation. Has God ever given you a message, a divine revelation, a prophecy?
I love this picture of Hannah and her devotion, love and vulnerability in prayer to God. He honors her and through the prayers you see prophetic truth. This was for her then just as it is for us today. I wonder if she knew what God was revealing to her as she prayed and poured her heart out to God both in need and praise?
It reminded me of a time in my life, perhaps by me telling my story you may remember a time for yourself. But first let’s remember a few things about prophecy. First, only God knows the future therefore forecast of a future event must come from God and not from mere man, (Isaiah 46:10 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.). Secondly, prophecy is not from man but can be spoken through man and today through the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 2:21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
How does God speak to you? Through the Word and His Holy Spirit. Here’s my story. Avery was just 5 years old, starting Kindergarten where I was starting my teaching career. My husband, James just became a fireman and something wasn’t “right” in our marriage. Long, painful story short, he was having an affair. I will never forget the morning after the truth came out and he left us. Like Hannah I too could say in 1 Samuel 1:15 “I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring my soul to the Lord.” As a mourned the loss of my family. In my deep anguish, weeping bitterly as Hannah, I asked the Lord to give me one verse. Just one truth because I felt like I was drowning in sorrow. I opened my Bible and my eyes fell on this verse:
Isaiah 56:1 This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” Throughout the next 7 years I would repeat this verse in my heart, focusing on the first part. “Maintain justice and do what is right”. I would ask, “Lord, what is right?, do I divorce him?, can I kill him?, do I love him, do I take him home? When he wanted to return. Do I accept this child? When she got pregnant. Or encourage her to abort like she was suggesting?
Fulfilled prophecy reveals God’s sovereignty.
Do you believe God is sovereign? That He not only knows the future but He is in control of it? That He works everything out according to His purposes?
I am not sure I could’ve answered with a resounding yes to those questions back then because it wasn’t until the prophecy was fulfilled that I believed.
It was the second part of Isaiah 56:1 that was prophetic “for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness would soon be revealed”. 7 years later, God did restore our family. James fully repented to God and us, we renewed our wedding vows and had an amazing testimony of God’s power and forgiveness. Then just over a year of that restoration God took him home. Did you see the prophecy fulfilled? It was all about salvation of James’ soul and God’s righteousness in power to restore.
So what’s your story? Where have you seen God’s faithfulness? Where have you heard God speak and then fulfill what He has said?
Fulfilled prophecy proves God can see the future, reveals His sovereignty and demonstrates His faithfulness.