Many women have had the experience of praying for a child. If the request is not granted, it can be a source of immense pain and sorrow. If it is granted, it often results in joyful celebration and thanksgiving. Scripture gives us a number of examples: Eve highlighting the promise of God, Sarah laughing, Leah hoping that her fertility will make her husband love her, Rachel exclaiming that her shame has been taken away. But one thing that none of us would likely do, is what Hannah did….. sing a song about animal horns.
“My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:1)
Hannah just had a miracle baby, but what do “horns” have to do with it?!!  Actually, animal horns served as a very common Scriptural symbol for strength.  An animal’s horns were fundamentally weapons.  They fought off predators, defended offspring, and enabled a male to compete for supremacy in the herd, or to win a particular female.  The battles can be fierce; male impalas often fight to the death, two buffalo squaring off shake the ground.  We use the symbolism for our sports teams… Buffaloes, Bulls, Rhinos and Rams (who just won the Super Bowl).  Two horned animals might lift their horns as high as they can prior to battle to intimidate and flaunt their power (like a weigh in for fighters strutting around flexing for the camera).   God’s power is shown off in the prefight. It is God who fights for us. The power is HIS, not ours! In many cases, biblical characters said this from personal experience, having just seen God rout his enemies with a flood, an ambush, a stick, an orchestra, or a slingshot.
Hannah had felt utterly powerless to get pregnant. In her culture this meant more than the deep, emotional sorrow any woman feels who longs to bear a child.  Her life calling was measured in her offspring.  In her case, she had another wife in the house who was prolific in child bearing and mocked Hannah for her barrenness. Feelings of failure, shame, and unproductiveness, were heaped on top of the emotions of sorrow and disappointment.  As a Godly woman who sought to glorify God, she would also feel confusion as to what the heck God was doing and not doing.
Maybe you are very aware of your weakened state.  Emotionally, physically, spiritually, you are spent.  Hannah’s Song reminds us that God is present with us in such seasons.  Hannah waited a very long time for her deepest heart cry to be answered.  But, the mighty God hears, and calls us to wait and trust, and to be unrelenting in our prayers.  Eventually, Hannah gave birth to a Samuel, the prophet who prepared the way for King David.  Zechariah and Elizabeth received a son well after child bearing years (and Zachariah used the “horn” visual about it in His song. Luke 1:69). God gave this humble couple John the Baptist, who prepared  the way for King Jesus.
God is strong.  He lifts up weakened people. In His time.