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R&V In the Word: The Topsy-Turvy Ways of God

Before diving in, read Hannah’s prayer at this link.

Who doesn’t love the story of an underdog? Maybe it’s baked into our DNA, the desire to see good win out over evil, weak triumph over strong, peace to prevail in times of war and conflict. Our soul longs for the world to be made right.

That’s the kind of God we serve, a God who upends societal norms. God’s tendency is to undermine the expected. He does this ultimately through Jesus Christ, who came to Earth to show us exactly what God is made of. God is the Great Equalizer who pronounces the meek, the poor in spirit, the mourners, the peacemakers, the merciful, the pure in heart, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the oppressed, and the persecuted—all those the world snubs—as blessed

The topsy-turvy ways of God show up throughout the Bible, including in Hannah’s song. Hannah sang this song following the gift of her son, Samuel, after so long being barren. After so many years of longing to give her husband a child, finally the longing of her soul came to fruition. Of course she rejoiced! God has made things right.

With all that seems to be going wrong in the world, sometimes we forget to celebrate and sing when something goes right. I want to burst with God-news! I want to dance in my salvation! I want to take Hannah’s example and sing how God is making things right, observe how God has built the very structures of the Earth and laid a firm foundation on which we get to stand. I want to look for, enter into, and celebrate the topsy-turvy ways of God.

Points of Reflection

  1. Can you relate to Hannah’s rejoicing at something finally coming about that you’ve hoped might happen?
  2. In what ways do you see God upending the ways of the world in order to bring about his kingdom?

For the Kids

  1. Have you ever had to wait for something you didn’t think would happen, and then it did? How did you feel? Do you think that’s how Hannah felt?
  2. What good things is God doing in your life?


Write your own “song” about something God has done in your life or the life of those around you. What do you have to rejoice about? If now is a season of longing, pour it out as a sacrifice of praise; write until God turns your mourning into dancing.

Alternatively, look up some of your favorite hymns or praise songs, and before you listen to the song again, read the words separate from the melody. What does the songwriter have to say about God’s character through this song? What do you think draws your heart to this song?


Jody Thomae’s book God’s Creative Gift: Unleashing the Artist in You is a wonderful workbook that guides artists into experiencing God’s love and creativity through their own artistic medium.
Listen or read online through your local library’s Libby app, or buy on or through a local independent bookstore near you.

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