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Old Testament Believers Are Saved The Same Way We Are

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January 2016
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1 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 2 “There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6 The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. 8 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. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. 9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
(1 Samuel 2:1-10)

Today we conclude our study of Hannah’s prayer. As we’ve studied this prayer over the past few days we’ve learned that as a result of her suffering Hannah came to see and understand God more clearly. She learned that her joy was not in other people, not even her children, but in the Lord. She then authored this prayer to praise God for who He is and what He had done in her life when she could not see what He was doing.

She was also able to pray for the one who was her adversary – her husband’s other wife, Peninnah – admonishing her not to talk proudly and warning her that God will break those who think they are strong.

In this last section of her prayer Hannah has a further warning not only for Peninnah, but for all the adversaries of the Lord. This warning is prophetic – it will come about in the future: God will thunder against such people and they shall be broken to pieces.

Those who are against God are doomed. While they may prosper on this earth, that is, of course only temporary as someday they will die and all they achieved on this earth will be for naught. Someday the Lord will judge everyone who has lived on the earth. And those who were His enemies will be broken.

Furthermore, He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed. What king is Hannah talking about here? At this time Israel did not have a king and didn’t want one. This verse is clearly talking about Jesus. Hannah knew that someday God would provide a ruler over mankind who will set all wrongs right. He would be the one who judges the living and the dead. That, of course, is Jesus.

And it is on Jesus that those who are against Him shall be crushed when they come face-to-face with Him after they die. While those who voluntarily fall on Him before they die shall be broken, like Hannah was, to be raised up by God. Jesus Himself warned of this centuries after Hannah [Matthew 21:42-44].

Notice here that Hannah calls this coming savior God’s “anointed“. The word “anointed” is the English translation of “Christ” in Greek and “Messiah” in Hebrew. This is the first place in the Bible that Jesus is referred to as the “anointed one”.

People often wonder how those who lived before Jesus get saved from their sins so they can go to heaven. The answer is they get saved the same way we do today – by believing that God would provide forgiveness of sins through a coming messiah.

The difference is that those of us living today look back to Jesus. Those who lived before Jesus looked forward to Him.

I’d say we have it easier than they did. We have historical evidence to support our beliefs whereas those who lived during the Old Testament had no such evidence. They didn’t know it would be Jesus. Nor did they know about the cross. They simply knew that they were sinners in need of forgiveness. And they believed that God would forgive them through this messiah who had yet to arrive.

Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.



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