Matthew Poole on 1 Samuel (cont. x2)

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
As it was for Israel of old, so it is with us now. It can be very difficult for us to see our national, corporate sins...the sins of the many.

"'To ask us a king': so horribly were they biassed with their prejudices and passions, that nothing but a miracle could convince them of this particular sin." -Matthew Poole

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
At our Constitutional Congress, we decided not to the follow the Lord, but the "vanities" of our own mind and imagination.

But, in this our hour of need, these "vanities" cannot save, as the living God can and does. Samuel reminds of us this...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Remember, Christian, thou art a covenant servant, and one thing thou art as such bound to do is, to pray to thy God without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17." -William Gurnall

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
'Saul appears here (1 Samuel 13) a very silly prince...[and] the people appear hear a very miserable people.... This they got by casting off God's government, and making themselves like the nations: all their glory departed from them.' -Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
1 Samuel 13:1 has captivated and confounded students of the Hebrew Bible for millennia.

Poole takes a deep dive into the history of interpretation...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Nothing makes the name of Israel odious to those that are without so much as the fraud and dishonesty of those that are called by that worthy name. If professors of religion cheat and overreach, break their word and betray their trust, religion suffers by it, and is had in abomination with the Philistines." --Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
A seasonable lesson for a country trusting in government...

"They were in a strait, notwithstanding their former presumption, that if they had a king they should be free from all such straits. And hereby God intended to teach them the vanity of all carnal confidence in men; and that they did not one jot less need the help and favour of God now than they did before, when they had no king." --Matthew Poole

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Seasonable...

"Here, the people are able to see the vanity of their counsel. They wanted to have a prince, under whom they might live securely and in peace. But no king is able to furnish this." -Peter Martyr

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
'A divine warrant is necessary for every element of doctrine, government and worship in the church; that is, whatsoever in these spheres is not commanded in the Scriptures, either expressly or by good and necessary consequence from their statements, is forbidden.' -John L. Girardeau

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
As it was in Saul, so in us...

Fallen man has a highly developed ability to make excuses and justify the self.

It is so much better to repent and amend...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Those that disobey the commandments of God do foolishly for themselves. Sin is folly, and sinners are the greatest fools." -Matthew Henry

Note: Government officials are not exempt. Let them spin as they will, sin is folly still.

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Consider out national condition...

"Thus were they for their sin diminished and brought low.... If they had not been dispirited, they could not have been disarmed, but it was sin that made them naked to their shame." -Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Even in times of spiritual declension, with wickedness dwelling in high places, God is well able to edify His people, and to rouse them to acts of spiritual valor! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Words for our times...

"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."

Illustrated in Saul and Jonathan...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
A seasonable word, in troubled times...

"There is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few." (1 Sam. 14:6).

"This is a true easily granted in general, that it is all alike to Omnipotence what the instruments are by which it works; and yet it is not so easy to apply it to a particular case; when we are but few and feeble then to believe that God can not only save us, but save by us, this is an instance of faith, which, wherever it is, shall obtain a good report. Let this strengthen the weak and encourage the timid: let it be pleaded with God for the enforcing of our petitions and with ourselves for the silencing of our fears" (Matthew Henry).

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Was it lawful for Jonathan to require a sign of God?

Poole surveys the historic positions...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
In a day when men's hearts fail them for fear at the mere trembling of a leaf, Jonathan's courage, roused by his confidence in the Most High, is stunning.

An example for us to contemplate and imitate...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
As men's hearts fail them for fear...

"Those that will not fear the eternal God, He can make afraid of a shadow. See Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 33:14." -Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Our Lord Jesus has conquered our spiritual enemies, routed and dispersed them, so that we are cowards indeed if we will not stand to our arms when it is only to pursue the victory and to divide the spoil." -Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
Saul's Vow? wise or foolish? lawful or unlawful?

Poole investigates...

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
George Swinnock's Christian Man's Calling: 'The vessels that are always leaking, must stand constantly under the conduit to get what they lose. When Jonathan, through fasting, became faint, he tasted a little honey, and his eyes were enlightened. "How much more," said he, "if haply the people had eaten liberally of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines," 1 Samuel 14:29-30. The more a Christian mindeth divine ordinances, in obedience to God's precept, and affiance on God's promise, the more strength he shall receive to conquer his spiritual adversaries, and to discharge the several duties incumbent on him.'

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"To put a stop to this irregularity, Saul ordered them to set up a great stone before him, and let all that had cattle to kill, for their present use, bring them thither, and kill them under his eye upon that stone (1 Samuel 14:33), and the people did so (1 Samuel 14:34), so easily were they restrained and reformed when their prince took care to do his part. If magistrates would but use their power as they might, people would be made better than they are with more ease than is imagined." --Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
John Calvin's Institutes: 'Understanding that the Lord would have our oaths to be a species of divine worship, we must be the more careful that they do not, instead of worship, contain insult, or contempt, and vilification. It is no slight insult to swear by him and do it falsely; hence in the Law this is termed profanation (Leviticus 19:12). For if God is robbed of his truth, what is it that remains? Without truth he could not be God. But assuredly he is robbed of his truth, when he is made the approver and attester of what is false. Hence, when Joshua is endeavouring to make Achan confess the truth, he says, "My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel," (Joshua 7:19); intimating, that grievous dishonour is done to God when men swear by him falsely. And no wonder; for, as far as in them lies, his sacred name is in a manner branded with falsehood. That this mode of expression was common among the Jews whenever any one was called upon to take an oath, is evident from a similar obtestation used by the Pharisees, as given in John (John 9:24). Scripture reminds us of the caution which we ought to use by employing such expressions as the following:—"As the Lord liveth;" "God do so and more also;" "I call God for a record upon my soul." [1 Samuel 14:44; 2 Kings 6:31; 2 Corinthians 1:23] Such expressions intimate, that we cannot call God to witness our statement, without imprecating his vengeance for perjury if it is false.'

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
For those pursuing political power...

A lesson from the Scriptures...

"[Saul] had little enjoyment of himself after he took the kingdom. He could not vex his enemies without some vexation to himself, such thorns are crowns quilted with." -Matthew Henry

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Do not employ yourselves to defend or justify your sin, as if there was little or no evil in it; but rather lie open to conviction from the word of God, which is the law of liberty. This is an evil frequent in the world, by which men shut their own eyes, and drag their consciences at the heels of their selfwill. They will extol some notorious sins as great duties. Thus Saul extolled his own sinful conduct in the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15. What they have done, not because it was lawful, must be lawful because they have done it. Their credit is engaged, and therefore they cannot quit it, but must go forward and defend an ill action because they have done it. At least they will palliate their guilt by every mean, and do their utmost to extenuate it, when they find it impossible altogether to defend it. Beware of this." --Thomas Boston

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
"Our darling sin must die. Spare it not for its much crying. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in his sight. Go forth to battle with Amalek, in his strength, and utterly destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape. [cf. 1 Samuel 15:3]" -Spurgeon

 

dildaysc

Puritan Board Junior
As the Western world's antipathy for Christianity grows, it is well to remember...

The Lord blesses those that bless His people, and curses those that curse them.

What a difference between the Amalekites and the Kenites...

 
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