The Legacy of Two Songs
Sharon W. Betters
There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2, ESV).
The similarities in Hannah and Mary’s songs are striking and a reminder that writers, moved by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Scriptures. Paul’s words to Timothy about the perfection of Scripture applies to these songs as well:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (1 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).
The Israelites passed down Hannah’s worship song from generation to generation. It’s clear that Mary’s family taught their daughter the eternal value of God’s Word and planted it in her heart from an early age. Remember, she is a teenager. The depth of The Magnificat demonstrates the power of God’s Word to prepare our hearts to worship God when life takes an unexpected turn. Let the similarities of these songs encourage you and help clarify the sovereignty of God over Scripture and to trust the validity of God’s Word:
Hannah’s Song 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. There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:1-2).
Mary’s Song And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:46-48).
Hannah’s Song There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2).
Mary’s Song Behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name (Luke 1:48-49).
Hannah’s Song 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 (1 Samuel 2:3).
Mary’s Song He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; (Luke 1:51).
Hannah’s Song The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength (1 Samuel 2:4, ESV),
Mary’s Song He has scattered the proud in the thought of their hearts; He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate (Luke 1:51-52).
Hannah’s Song He will guard the feet of His faithful ones (1 Samuel 2:9).
Mary’s Song And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation (Luke 1:50).
Hannah’s Song 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. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them He will thunder in heaven (1 Samuel 2:9-10).
Mary’s Song He has brought down the mighty from their thrones…and the rich He has sent away empty (Luke 1:52,53).
Hannah’s Song 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 2:10).
Mary’s Song He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His offspring forever (Luke 1:53-55).
Though we have focused on the stories of Mary and Hannah this week, remember that all of Scripture is about Jesus. Though they never mention the name of Jesus in their songs, their message is clear. Their lives are all about trusting God and the promise of deliverance through the Messiah. Their prayers declare His glory and His trustworthiness. Sometimes we are faced with such deep sorrow or confusion that the only appropriate response is to declare that God is sovereign and we can trust Him, even in that mystifying and sometimes terrifying place. When you experience that turn of events in your own life pilgrimage, remember these songs of worship, each word declaring that God hears, He extends mercy, and He is keeping His promises.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.
Originally published Thursday, 03 March 2022.