The Lord Your Defender (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by: on Jan 27, 2013 | One Comment

God will see your righteous behavior and defend you.  Unfortunately, some people will see your righteous behavior and accuse you of being unrighteous.

Started as a Whisper

We see an example of that in the Old Testament:

It so happened that as she continued in prayer before God, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, “You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!”

1 Samuel 1:12-14 [AMP]

In the Bible, Hannah (not to be confused with Hannah Montana) was falsely accused by the prophet of being drunk when, in fact, she was praying to the Lord. Let’s take a more in-depth view of this from the Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi commentary:

10. And she was bitter in spirit, and she prayed to the Lord, and wept.

11. And she vowed a vow, and said: to Lord of Hosts, if You will look upon the affliction of Your bondswoman, and You will remember me, and You will not forget Your bondswoman and You will give Your bondswoman a man-child, and I shall give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.

O Lord of Hosts:: Why was this Name designated here? (The answer is as follows:) She said before Him: O Lord of the universe, You created two hosts in Your world. The heavenly beings do not multiply, neither do they die, while the earthly beings both multiply and die. If I am of the earthly beings let me multiply, and if I am of the heavenly beings let me not die. I found this explanation in the Aggadah of Rabbi Jose the Galilean. Our sages in tractate Ber. (31b), however, expounded what they expounded: Until then there was no person who called the Holy One, blessed be He, “Hosts.” (Why then, did Hannah call Him by this Name?) But, so said she before Him: “O Lord of the universe, from all the hosts which You created in Your world, do You find it difficult to grant me one son?”

if You will look:: (Lit., if seeing You will see.) In tractate Ber., our sages expounded what they expounded.

Your bondswoman:: which is stated three times in this verse, corresponds to the three precepts which a woman is commanded to observe.

A man child:: (Lit., seed of men, meaning) righteous men, as it is written (1 Kings 2:32): “Upon two righteous men.” ????? also means important men, as it is written (Deuteronomy 1:13): wise and known men.

and I shall give him to the Lord:: that he be fit to be given to the Lord.

and no razor shall come upon his head:: (translation follows K, however,) Jonathan renders: and the fear of man will not be upon him.

12. And it was, as she prayed long before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth.

watched her mouth:: He waited for her to stop. Jonathan renders thus: and Eli waited for her until she stopped.

watched:: an expression of waiting, as in (Gen. 37:11) “and his father awaited the thing,” and (Job 14:16) “You do not wait for my sin.”

13. But Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, and her voice was not heard, and Eli thought her to be a drunken woman.

and Eli thought her to be a drunken woman:: for they were not accustomed to praying silently.

14. And Eli said to her: Until when will you be drunk? Throw off your wine from upon yourself.

15. And Hannah answered and said: No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, and neither new wine nor old wine have I drunk, and I poured out my soul before the Lord.

Not my lord:: You are not a lord in this instance. You yourself have revealed that the holy spirit is not resting upon you, otherwise you would know that I am not intoxicated from wine.

I am a woman of sorrowful spirit:: like Sarah (who was childless) [old editions of Rashi].

16. Deliver not your bondswoman before the unscrupulous woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and my vexation have I spoken until now.

Deliver not your bondswoman:: Considering the fact that she spoke harshly to him, she returned to appease him so that he deliver her not, unprotected and disgraced, at the mercy of her rival, the unscrupulous woman.

for out of the abundance of my complaint:: have I spoken harshly before you.

my complaint: (lit., my speech.) In some instances, it is an expression of grief of heart. Another explanation is, according to the Targum, as follows: for out of the abundance of my provocation and my vexation, have I prolonged my prayer until now.

and my vexation:: which my rival vexes me.

Deliver not:: (Lit. do not give.) An expression of delivery, like, “deliver me not unto the will of my adversaries” (Psalm 27:12).

1 Samuel 1:10-16 [AMP]

Interesting how her sincere prayer was initially mistaken to be sin.

Even more interesting how this Old Testament faux pas is repeated today in the 21st Century?  

The good news… Hannah had a son. Then other children. Then, she prophesized the birth of the Messiah (1 Samuel 2:5).

Still, just as He did in the olden days, the Lord protects those whose hearts are right in His eyes.


Listen to This Podcast:

The Lord Your Defender Part 3


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  • James Carroll Sanford

    This read is a blessing. Amen

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