When Hannah’s prayer was answered with the birth of Samuel, she weaned him, and dedicated him for the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1:24-28). Hannah again shows her character of being poor in spirit by not taking any credit for God’s blessing by worshipping the LORD.
Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. She said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood beside you, praying to the LORD. For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. (1 Samuel 1:24-28, NASB).
In 1 Samuel 2:1-10 we have recorded Hannah’s prayer of praise that is a testimony to a heart that is poor in spirit. Hannah understands that she has been blessed and she is humbled by her gift from God. Hannah contrasts her humbleness before the LORD to the proud of the world who do not understand the ways of being poor in spirit. The following are relevant portions of the passage for our discussion:
No one is holy like the LORD, for there is none besides You, nor is there a rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed. (1Samuel 2:2-3, NKJV, emphasis added)
The contrast is clear in this passage between the holiness of God and the speech of the proud. The proud do not recognize that God holds all the knowledge for He Himself is the God of knowledge. With this knowledge the Lord weighs our actions and the proud are found wanting. The poor in spirit are not like the arrogant. Their speech is full of blessing and grace for they recognize that there is none besides You (our Lord God).
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength. (1 Samuel 2:4, NKJV)
Once again the contrast is clear between the mighty men and those who stumble (those who are poor in spirit). Notice the fate of the two. The mighty men’s bows are broken while those who are poor in spirit are girded with strength from the Lord.
The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and inherit a seat of honor. (1 Samuel 2:7-8, NASB)
Hannah in this passage equates the poor with those who are poor in spirit and the rich as the proud. The contrast is again evident. The Lord brings the rich low and the poor he lifts up. The poor in spirit are elevated and set among the princes and they inherit the throne of glory. This is much like our Beatitude:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3, NKJV)
Whenever we are presented with a contrast in Scripture between the world and the poor in spirit it is an opportunity for self-evaluation. Where are you today? Are you worldly? Is there any worldly ways in you? Pray that the Holy Spirit illuminates any part of your life that is worldly and sacrifice it on God’s altar of mercy and grace today.