“The Lord! His adversaries will be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven.”

Hannah’s Prayer, 1 Samuel 2:10 (NRSV)

God’s Presence

As Hannah drew to the close of her oracle, a vision of God filled her eyes. Perhaps she was remembering the stories of Exodus, of YHWH overpowering all the formidable gods of Egypt by hurling thunder, hail, and fire down from heaven. When the people gathered in the wilderness to covenant with YHWH, Mount Sinai shook with the thunder of God’s presence in cloud and fire. Later, Hannah’s son Samuel would hear the thunder of God’s voice as he offered up burnt sacrifices in preparation for battle, and when he called upon the Lord to send a thunderstorm of rain to the thirsty ground.

But Hannah was delivering a much farther-reaching prophecy, prefiguring the Day of the Lord, when all would behold God and Christ, seated upon the throne from which will come mighty thunderpeals and flashes of lightning. Centuries after Hannah’s prayer, Isaiah and Ezekiel would also prophecy of God’s Presence and Advent in thunder, earthquake, whirlwind, and flame.

Such a mighty Lord is able to rescue God’s people from the hands of their enemies, as Zechariah testified. God would uphold God’s oath for all eternity to the children of Abraham, who rejoiced when he envisioned Jesus’s day. Later, Paul explained that all who share in Abraham’s faith are his children and receive his inheritance in God’s promises and covenants.

Christmas Carol

Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let Earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

“Joy to the World” Isaac Watts (1719)

Prayer

Lord You are indeed Mighty God, the Most High God, Who commands the heavens and rules the earth. Your promises are trustworthy and Your faithfulness is forever. Keep our hearts steadfast in the confidence that You will indeed rescue Your people.

“The oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we be rescued from the hands of our enemies.”

Zechariah’s Prophecy, Luke 1:73-74 (NRSV)
Kazimierz Sichulski – Adoration of the Shepherds triptych | By Kazimierz SichulskiPublic Domain

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