1 Samuel 1:24-28; 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
It is only as we enter into the future that we have power to walk firmly in the right path in the present. It is what is beyond the present scene that must take possession of the heart, and must form the basis of our spiritual power, here in the midst of this scene; but it is wonderful what power that gives if the heart is in it.
There are almost similar words used here as in Mary's song in Luke 1. There is the greatest possible human weakness in both these cases, but we have also what gives mighty power, and that is faith. We have need to go on into what is before us, if we are to go rightly in the present. Those who shone in this way were generally those who had a large grasp of God's purposes with His people. This is a remarkable utterance for a woman, such a burst of praise and intelligence. It brings out the full force of that word, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant." The glory was about to depart from Israel; but in the midst of it all we have a woman of faith, and it was her own faith, for neither Elkanah or Eli entered into it. Hannah's faith went far beyond all the ruin. It was not merely the birth of a little child, but it was that God was about to bring in a deliverance for Israel, and the whole creation of God. "My heart rejoiceth in the Lord:" she is outside the immediate circumstances. The last notes of her psalm go on to the extremity of time, and God's purpose as regards His creation. It is important for us not to border our thoughts by the little circumstances with which we are surrounded; God has counsels concerning the church, the world, the creation, and we can take up these things in spirit. There is not a single promise that God has made in His word that is not now fulfilled to us in Jesus Christ. Every promise of God is mine in Christ Jesus. What enables us to keep the word of His patience, but the certainty that all these things are mine already? We are not here merely as those who are hoping for an uncertain thing, we have the confirmation of the promise in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Six or seven times over Samuel is spoken of as the one who is in the house of the Lord, ministering there, and growing there. How few in Israel thought anything about Samuel then, or connected him with the overthrow of the Philistines, or with the establishment of God's counsel. And when Simeon took the Lord up in his arms, who connected the coming day of glory with that little child? Faith only. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and a wonderful secret it is - a wonderful thing to be in His secret counsels; and the Lord give us to know these counsels, and to cherish them. We might be disheartened if we looked at things around us; but look at Hannah's faith and Mary's faith - hearts bursting forth in praise, and looking on to the end of time. Only hold all the simple principles, and let the circumstances be what they may, we have Christ at the right hand of God - the anchor of the soul; and we have the secret of the Lord, His thoughts and counsels. And do not let us get narrowed into our little circumstances, but remember that we are bound up with all the interests of the Lord Jesus Christ. C. Mc A.