“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.’”

Hannah’s Prayer, 1 Samuel 2:1 (NRSV)

The Horn of Salvation

In her jubilation, Hannah employed a well-known symbol of triumph of her day—the call of the shofar proclaiming military victory and release from oppression. Hannah lived during the last generation of the time of the judges, a turbulent era for Israel, when the shofar often blew to communicate a call to arms or give news of battles. She knew it was by the almighty power of God that her prayer was answered.

God also appointed the shofar to announce two important festivals.

  • The Festival of Trumpets took place on the first day of the seventh month and was to be a time of complete rest.
  • The Year of Jubilee happened every fiftieth year. On the Day of Atonement, the trumpets would sound to broadcast all debts nullified, all inheritances in the land returned to their original owners, and all those enslaved or serving indentured terms declared free.

Zechariah may have been thinking of these festivals in his prophetic song. In the eternal Jubilee of Messiah, by the almighty power of God, the debts of sin are paid, the prisoners of sin are set free, and our inheritance in the Lord is secured. And when the Lord returns at the shout of archangels, and the sounding of their trumpets, those who find our salvation in Jesus will enter into His rest forever.

Christmas Carol

The shepherds heard the story
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

“Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” German carol (15th century)

Prayer

Almighty God, our hearts rejoice in you, for you have raised up the horn of salvation, you have set us free from oppression and will raise us up on the last day to be with You for all eternity.

“He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his child David.”

Zechariah’s Prophecy, Luke 1:69 (NRSV)
By Alistair YoungCC BY 2.0

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