“He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.”

Hannah’s Prayer, 1 Samuel 2:8 (NRSV)

Prophetic Utterance

It is unclear whether all the tribes had begun observing the three feasts God intended to be celebrated together—Sukkot (Feast of Booths), Pesach (Passover), and Shavuot (Pentecost, celebrating the giving of the Torah to Moses). But, as a godly woman married to a Levite, Hannah would have heard the scriptures read at least once a year during the annual festival at Shiloh. It is likely she knew the prophetic blessing Jacob had spoken over his sons and would have understood God’s royal intentions for the tribe of Judah.  

Decades later, when the now elderly Samuel anointed young David, I wonder if his mother’s words came back to him. Samuel knew it was David’s heart God saw, the spirit of one who would indeed lift up the poor and needy and would one day literally seat Jonathan’s disabled son in a place of honor at David’s own table.

Zechariah praised God for remembering this ancient covenant in a fresh way, for now the true Lion of Judah was about to be born. Messiah’s eternal reign would not only fulfill and complete God’s Covenant of Law, but Jesus would Himself cut a new Covenant of Grace in His own blood.

Christmas Carol

Sinners, wrung with true repentance,
Doomed for guilt to endless pains,
Justice now revokes the sentence,
Mercy calls you; break your chains.

Come and worship, come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King.

“Angels From The Realms Of Glory” James Montgomery (1816)

Prayer

O Lord, You have saved a place for each of Your beloved ones at Your banquet table and given us an inheritance of honor in Your Own household. Thank You that Your Covenant of Grace is sealed with the Spirit in each of those who put their faith in You.

“[God] has remembered his holy covenant.”

Zechariah’s Prophecy, Luke 1:72 (NRSV)
The adoration of the Magi (1746), by Georgios Kastrofylakas. Now kept in the church of Agios Minas and Pantanassa, Heraklion. | By Georgios Kastrofylakas – Photographed by C messier, Public Domain

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