Matthew Poole on 1 Samuel (cont.)

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"Thus the elder should, without grudging, do their utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up, though they see themselves likely to be darkened and eclipsed by them. Let us never be wanting to inform and instruct those that are coming after us, even such as will soon be preferred before us, John 1:30" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:9.
"Good words should be put into children's mouths betimes, and apt expressions of pious and devout affections, by which they may be prepared for a better acquaintance with divine things, and trained up to a holy converse with them" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:10.
A seasonable word and warning for our nation...

Lewis Bayly's Practice of Piety: 'The long escaping of deserved punishment in this life. "Because sentence," saith Solomon, "is not speedily executed against an evil worker, therefore the hearts of the children of men are fully set in them to do evil, not knowing that the bountifulness of God leadeth them to repentance." (Ecclesiastes 8:11; Romans 2:4; 2 Peter 3:10.) But when his patience is abused, and man's sins are ripened, his justice will at once both begin, and make an end of the sinner (1 Samuel 3:12; Ezekiel 39:8;) and he will recompense the slowness of his delay with the grievousness of his punishment. Though they were suffered to run on the score all the days of their life, yet they shall be sure to pay the utmost farthing at the day of their death. And whilst they suppose themselves to be free from judgment, they are already smitten with the heaviest of God's judgments—a heart that cannot repent (Romans 2:5.) The stone in the reins or bladder is a grievous pain that kills many a man's body; but there is no disease to the stone in the heart, whereof Nabal died, and which kills millions of souls (1 Samuel 25:17.) They refuse the trial of Christ and his cross; but they are stoned by hell's executioner to eternal death.'

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:11-12.
A seasonable word for the governors of our nation... "Those that do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in the power of their hand to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as accessaries: Those in authority will have a great deal to answer for if they make not the sword they bear a terror to evil workers" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:13.
'Whatsoever the affliction be that may trouble you, you may be furnished with reasons why you should be patient....Consider that it was God who did it. There is no evil, that is of punishment, in a city, which the Lord has not done, saith Amos, Amos 3:6; 2 Samuel 16:10.—It is the Lord, let him do what seems him good, saith Eli, 1 Samuel 3:18. I opened not my mouth, saith David, because thou, Lord, didst it, Psalm 39:9. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord, saith Job 1:21; Hosea 6:1; 1 Samuel 2:6-7' (Henry Scudder's Christian's Daily Walk).

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:18.
As it was in the days of Samuel, the Word of God is scarce in our land. There are Bibles aplenty, but nevertheless a famine of the Word of God.

May the Lord bless His people again with another Samuel.

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:19.
"Early piety will be the greatest honour of young people, and bring them, as much as any thing, and as soon, into reputation. Those that honour God he will honour" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:20.
"God will graciously repeat his visits to those that receive them aright" (Matthew Henry).

And, could it be that these visits "by the word of the Lord" were by none other than the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word?

Poole on 1 Samuel 3:21.
"The counsel of God was certainly marvelous, by one and the same work to exact punishment from all; from Eli, I say, and his sons; from Israel; and from the Philistines" (Peter Martyr).

Poole on 1 Samuel 4:1.
Thomas Boston's The Doctrines of the Christian Religion: 'Do not idolize the ark, but look beyond it to Jesus Christ, to whom the ark directs you. This was the sin of the Israelites when they brought the ark into the camp, in order that it might defend them from their enemies, 1 Samuel 4:3. They thought that though they did not reform, and repent, yet if they had the ark all would be well. But they were deceived. Their unrepented of sins made them fall, and the ark could not hold them up. So many please themselves in taking Christ's livery, though they still remain Satan's slaves; in sitting down at the Lord's table, though strangers to communion with him; in getting a token from men and mixing themselves with the saints, though they have no token from the Master of the feast. And so they cry, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these! But O what will this avail them? The Lord "will say to them, I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."Look you then beyond the ark. Come into the inner court. Be not satisfied with less than opening your hearts to receive the Lord of the ark. Look beyond the sign to the thing signified, and pursue that. Break through the shell, that you may come to the kernel. Otherwise you neither answer the voice of Christ, nor the voice of your own necessities.'

Poole on 1 Samuel 4:3.
"Carnal people triumph much in the external privileges and performances of religion, and build much upon them, as if these would infallibly save them, and as if the ark, God's throne, in the camp, would bring them to heaven, though the world and the flesh should be upon the throne in the heart" (Matthew Henry).

Let us trust Christ! and not religious trinkets and rites.

Poole on 1 Samuel 4:4, 5.
Evil tidings crowd in from every side.

What will you do?

Will you look to your own strength, or political solutions...and despair?

Or will you look to Zion's King, in whom is life and strength, fullness and victory?

Poole on 1 Samuel 4:12-13.
Here, we see the defeat and downfall of a nation, having a certain show of religion in externals, but lacking the substance of the matter (a lively faith in the Savior Christ).

In this life, sorrows sometimes come wave-upon-wave (this post).

Let us flee to Christ, in whom there is a fully sufficient consolation for every care and grief. Without Him, hopelessness is added to sorrow...
Think about our nation...

"Note, (1.) The purity and plenty of God's ordinances, and the tokens of his presence in them, are the glory of any people, much more so than their wealth, and trade, and interest, among the nations. 2. Nothing is more cutting, more killing, to a faithful Israelite, than the want and loss of these. If God go, the glory goes, and all good goes. Woe unto us if he depart!" --Matthew Henry

Poole on 1 Samuel 4:21, 22.
In ancient times, the Lord prostrated Dagon before His ark! [See Poole on 1 Samuel 5:3.]

So also will the modern idols of the psychologized self and statism fall before Him.

Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered!

Ralph Erskine's "Vanity of Earthly Things": 'It is also a day wherein some of the friends of Christ are openly bantered, and lampooned, and gazed upon as signs and wonders; and wherein many sacred truths are publicly defamed and ridiculed; and heart-enemies to revealed religion, and to the gospel in its purity, in the mean time, taking occasion utterly to run down the gospel. What am I saying! In the name of the great God, I defy all the powers of earth and hell to run it down: they may sooner run down the flowing tide, or the sun rising in his strength, than run down the least of the dictates of eternal truth: Not one jot or title thereof shall fall to the ground. [Matthew 5:18] Dagon shall fall before the ark; [1 Samuel 5:3-4] and the rod of Aaron shall swallow up the rods of the magicians. [Exodus 7:12]'
Idolatry is stubborn... its practices grow ancient (see this post)...

You may never look at a groom carrying his bride across the threshold in the same way again.
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