Matthew Poole on 1 Samuel (cont.)

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Even when God is pleased to visit a people for their iniquities...judge a nation for its sins...He keeps the feet of His saints...making them surefooted in treacherous places (see Poole on 1 Samuel 2:9).

JC Philpot's Harvested Sheaves: '"He will keep the feet of his saints."—1 Samuel 2:9

The Lord sees his poor scattered pilgrims travelling through a vale of tears, journeying through a waste howling wilderness, a path beset with gins, traps, and snares in every direction. How can they escape? Why, the Lord keeps their feet, carries them through every rough place, as a tender parent carries a little child; when about to fall, graciously lays the everlasting arms underneath them, and when tottering and stumbling, and their feet ready to slip, mercifully upholds them from falling altogether. Thus the Lord keeps the feet of his saints. But do you think that he has not different ways for different feet? The God of creation has not made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree alike; and will he cause all his people to walk in precisely the same path? No; we have each our path, each our besetment, each our trials, each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet. And the wisdom of the all-wise and only-wise God is shewn by his eyes being in every place, marking the footsteps of every pilgrim, suiting his remedies to meet their individual case and necessity, appearing for them when nobody else could do them any good; watching so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of his affection were bent on one individual; and carefully noting the goings of each, as though all the powers of the Godhead were concentrated on that one person to keep him from harm.'
Poole on 1 Samuel 2:10.

Peter Martyr on 1 Samuel 2:10: 'The other Rabbis of the Hebrews also accommodate both this passage, and many others, to Messiah. And, that this is the genuine exposition of the Old Testament, Zechariah bears sufficient witness, Luke 1:69, 70, He hath raised up an horn of salvation…as He had spoken; it is to be taken as a fixed principle that temporal thing in the Old Testament pertain to eternal things. God promised to David and his posterity a kingdom. But that is also to be understood of Christ, according to Luke 1:32, He shall give unto Him the throne of David. Thus that saying in Deuteronomy 18:18, I will raise them up a prophet, etc., even if it is able to be understood of the prophets, who were at no time going to be lacking; nevertheless, Peter transfers it to Christ, Acts 3:22. Evidently, in considering all the blessings of God, it is seemly to return to the fount, when they flow, which is Christ. Add that there is one and the same covenant in the Old and New Testament; and that the ceremonies were referred to Christ. See Hebrews 9. Being not ignorant of this matter, the ancient Prophets treat the matters of their own times in such a way that they accommodate the greatest part of their doctrine to Christ; and so sometimes, in comparison with thos matters of which they treat, they appear to write too magnificently, and the event does not appear to answer to their words. Thus in Zechariah 2:5, He promises to be a wall of fire, etc. Yet not long after the Hebrews were overthrown by the Macedonians. And in Psalm 72:11, all kings shall fall down before him (that is, Solomon). And in Isaiah 2:4, their speaks shall be turned into pruninghooks, etc. Which, if they be referred to those times, are altogether hyperbolical. But they properly and truly square with Christ. And so no one is able rightfully to complain, if these and similar things are turned by us to Christ (Martyr).'
Poole on 1 Samuel 2:12.

Let us pray for our children! Grace does not run in the blood.

Eli, although certainly not perfect, seems to have been a sincere believer. And yet his sons were wicked and worthless.

Let us take the case of our children to our gracious God, who alone is able effectually to help them.
It is a sad fact of history that God's people are frequently more ready and forward for the Reformation of the Church than His ministers. Indeed, ministers, who commonly have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, are quite often a net hindrance.

In 1 Samuel 2:16 (see Poole), we see an example of the people of God being more zealous for maintaining religion in its purity and power than the Lord's priests.

May the Lord transform our hearts, so that we might be more interested in building His house than our own...
When we go out into the world bearing the name "Christian", we must be mindful that we are representing the Christ to a lost and dying world. Let us be careful not to misrepresent our Savior, who is beautiful in holiness and grace, by our sinful conduct and unpleasant carriage.

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:17.
Little children must learn betimes to minister to the Lord. Parents must train them up to it, and God will accept them. Particularly let them learn to pay respect to their teachers, as Samuel to Eli. None can begin too soon to be religious. (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:18.
' If men of wisdom and ability make a purchase, or build an house for their habitation, they will be sure it shall be where sweet rivers and waters are, and good pasture ground, and where all needful provision may be had. God's word preached is a spring of water of life; the place where it is preached a pleasant, profitable pasture; all needful provision for the soul may there be had. Let this therefore be most of all inquired after: and no habitation settled but where this may be had' (William Gouge).

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:19.
You need not fear giving yourself and your whole household to God. You will lose nothing; you cannot out-give God.

'What is lent to the Lord will certainly be repaid with interest, to our unspeakable advantage, and oftentimes in kind. Hannah resigns one child to God, and is recompensed with five; for Eli's blessing took effect (1 Samuel 2:21): She bore three sons and two daughters. There is nothing lost by lending to God or losing for him; it shall be repaid a hundredfold, Matthew 19:29' (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 20, 21.
Poole on 1 Samuel 2:22.

Wearing the name "Christian", we represent the Christ to a lost and dying world. May the Lord grant that we might represent Him rightly and well, walking in cleanness and holiness all our days.
We live in an age that is particularly impatient with rebuke. Any reproof is interpreted as too severe.

God sees things differently. Eli does indeed reprove his sons, but God censures him for being overly gentle in his manner and application.

Who are we going to listen to? God, or our culture?

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:23-24.
Are you struggling, indeed, wrestling, with a wayward child? Be encouraged, Christian, in spite of the mess and difficulty. The Spirit-wrought willingness to wrestle may very well be an indication of His kind intention toward your child, and a harbinger of better things to come.

However, if the Spirit is not at work in you, stirring you up to contend, tremble (1 Samuel 2:25).

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:25.
In a day of degeneracy in society and declension in the Church, it is not an easy thing to grow in godliness. But by God's grace and power, it is possible, and will be accomplished in His people!

Consider Samuel's growth in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation...

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:26.
This morning, as I was working on the translation of Poole on 1 Samuel 2:27, I remembered the words of James, "My brethren, be not many masters/teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." (James 3:1), and I trembled.

May the Lord give grace to be faithful.
William Gouge's Domestical Duties: 'Many so cocker their children, as they will suffer them to run into any misdemeanor, rather than correct them. They cannot endure to hear their children cry: and therefore their children must be pleased in all their humours and evil desires. These parents bring shame to themselves, and mischief upon their children: for God is often forced to correct such. Heavy are God's corrections: and often light on parent and child both: as appears by the judgments on Eli and his sons: for such parents make themselves accessory to their children's sins: yea also to the judgments laid upon their children. God says of such parents, that they honour their children above God. [1 Samuel 2:29] It is therefore a fond indulgency which makes parents regard neither God's honor, nor their own or children's safety.'

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:28-29.
It is one of the great maxim's by which Christ administrates His kingdom: "Them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." (Poole on 1 Samuel 2:30)

Christian, are you honoring the Lord? Are there areas in your life in which the Lord is being treated as unimportant? Let us examine ourselves; much is at stake.
Matthew Henry: '[The prophet] foretels the particular judgments which should come upon [Eli's] family, to its perpetual ignominy. A curse should be entailed upon his posterity, and a terrible curse it is, and shows how jealous God is in the matters of his worship and how ill he takes it when those who are bound by their character and profession to preserve and advance the interests of his glory are false to their trust, and betray them. If God's ministers be vicious and profane, of how much sorer punishment will they be thought worthy, here and for ever, than other sinners! Let such read the doom here passed on Eli's house, and tremble.'

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:31.
Poole on 1 Samuel 3:1.

Thomas Boston's "The Great Danger of Professors who Hold The Truth in Unrighteousness": 'It provokes God to remove the gospel from among a people, and to leave them in darkness. "Therefore, said Jesus, I say unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof." When people have no use for God's candle, but to divert themselves at it on Sabbath days; when they have no other thing to do, the candlestick is in a fair way to be removed out of its place, Revelation 2:5. Many of God's candles have been put out, because their burning and shining was for no purpose to advance holiness amongst those among whom they shined. Many have put them under their bushel, so that in vain they have given light, and therefore God threatens to put them under his bushel next.

A while's darkness may make the light more prized and procure more free course to the truth, 1 Samuel 3:1-8. It brings fearful tossings and rackings of conscience, when once conscience is awakened; under these Judas went and hanged himself. However one may for a while bear down truth in a silent conscience, it is apt to rise up on them some time or other. And as a fire long smothered makes terrible havoc when once it prevails and bursts out, so conscience when awakened. Then tormenting remorse takes its course in the soul and gives foretastes of hell, where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched.'
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