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The Lord Delights to Show Favor to the Weak

January 14, 2018 Speaker: Mike McDonald Series: Epiphany - Seeing Christ

Topic: Epiphany Passage: 1 Samuel 2:1–2:11

A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon

Preaching Text: 1 Samuel 2:1-11

All people love cheering for the underdog. This is because we all know the experience of being down and out. Maybe you’re there right now? So we celebrate when the weak contestant comes out on top. I think we also inherently like underdogs because God, who created all things, is on the side of those who are weak.

The Lord delights to show favor to the weak.

In 1 Samuel 2, a faithful woman named Hannah sings the praises of God who “lifts the needy from the ash heap.” Hannah had cried out to God because she was barren and suffering the reproach of others. Her barrenness was personal but also symbolic of the barrenness of Israel and their leaders.   So when God gives her a son, she praises God who favors the weak, not just in her situation, but in all situations. Verses 4-7 give many examples.

Her poem is bookended in verses 2 and 10 with God exalting a “horn,” meaning strength, first of Hannah then finally of his “anointed.” That Hebrew word is “Messiah” and will make those familiar with the Bible immediately think of Jesus. His mother’s famous prayer, the Magnificat, is found in Luke 1:46. Both poems describe God as powerful to save. The ultimate way he saves us is through the weakness of Jesus’ death on the cross to give us his strength. In due time, God will raise the humble up.   To the Apostle Paul, Jesus said, “…my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:11). Cry out to God in your weakness.  

Taking it home: Recall an area of weakness in your life. How are the truths in 1 Samuel 2:2 and 2:8 relevant?   Discuss the difference between a person who is strong in the Lord and one who is trying to be strong in himself.