TUESDAY: PEACE by Nathan Hurlbert

SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 2:1-10

When we hear the word ‘peace’ most of us think of it as the opposite of war. But it has a much deeper meaning, and through it and in it we can find rest in Christ. This is, ultimately, what true peace is. In today’s reading, we hear Hannah’s prayer to God in response to the birth of Samuel. In her life it was no small thing to say that she was without much peace. Hannah was unable to have children, and this caused her great distress. The longing to be a mother and have that desire out of her reach for many years was truly a painful experience. Compounding the problem was her husband’s other wife, who not only had multiple children, but mocked Hannah relentlessly of her barrenness. She lived with a tormentor, constantly facing anxiety and oppression in her own house. Certainly no peace to be found, and nowhere to go. But God answered her prayer, and it’s important to note that after raising Samuel, the child
she waited years to have, she gave him away, dedicating him to service in the Lord’s house. That is a profound and remarkable part of the story. It is also her key to peace, and a picture of ourselves in the world.

We long for peace, a restoration, a setting things right, a “birth” of goodness and light. And through this aching, this longing that finally comes to fruition in Jesus’ birth, we can have a lasting peace. Hannah’s prayer in today’s reading has an air of defiance, a proclamation against hopelessness and oppression, and against that which seems impossible. But with hope and faith God made the impossible possible. She says “The Lord kills and makes alive, He brings down to the grave and brings up, He brings low and lifts up”. Nothing is impossible with this God we serve! From the “impossible” birth through a virgin to the “bringing down to the grave” of Jesus and the “bringing back up” three days later of the Prince of Peace.

God, we thank You for the example of Hannah’s peace.
Today we join in Hannah’s prayer against hopelessness and declare our hope in You.
We remember that You are the God who sees us.
And we rest in the peace of Your sovereignty today.

Josh Kleinfeld