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brings a plague among the philistines, wherenpon they senil it back again. Then Eli being dead, Samoel judges the people, chap. vii. But when he was old, he employs his sons under him ; with whose mal-administration the people being dissatisfied they desire a king: whereupon by God's appointment Samuel anoints Saul, who takes upon him the government; and then Samuel resigns up his office, and Saul rules, chap. xiii. But he for his disobedience is rejected. David is anointed to succeed him, chap. xvi. He slags Goliab, and, is beloved by Jonathan, and applauded by the people; for which Saul envies him and seeks his life, chap. xviii. to xxvi. At last Saul being in distress and forsaken by God, seeks to a witch for counsel, chap. xxix, And he is slain in battle by the philistines, chap. xxxi.
We have account of David's persecutions from Saul and others; and from those we may observe, that his faith, patience, zeal, and love to God were so great, that he is an eminent type of Christ, who is the church's spiritual David and king, and reigns over them, Ezek. xxxiv. 23. We may see also here, from David's history, that God manifests his unchangeable love to his people in all changes and revolutions; for be is a God who rests in his love, Zeph. iii. 17.
The history of Samnel here begins as early as that of Samson did, even
before lie was born, as afterwards the history of John Baptist and our blessed Saviour. Some of the scripture worthies drop out of the clouds as it were, and their first appearance is in their full growth and lustre. But others are accounted for from the birth and from the womb, and from the conception. It is true of all, what God saith of the prophet Jeremiahı, “ Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee,” Jer. i. 5. But some great men were brought into the world with more observation than others, and were more early distinguished from common persons, as Samuel for one. God in this matter acts as a free agent. The story of Samson introduceth him as a child of promise, Judg. xiii. But the story of Samuel introduceth him as a child of prayer. Samson's birth was foretold by an angel to his mother; Samuel was asked of God by his mother; both together intimate what wonders are produced by the word and prayer. Samuel's mother was Hannah, the principal person concerned in the story of this chapter. (1.) Here is ber affliction, she was childless, and this affliction aggravated by her rival's insolenee, but in some measure balanced by her husband's kind. ness, ver. 1-8. (2.) The prayer and vow she made to God under this affliction, in which Eli, the high priest, at first censured her, but afterward encouraged her, ver. 9-18. (3.) The birth and nursing of Samuel, ver, 19-23. (4.) The presenting of him to the Lord, ver. 24–26.
• VER. 5. " But the Lord had shut up her womb."]The Lord often with holds the blessing that his children earnestly desire, for the trial and exercise of their faith, which sweetens the mercy, and makes them value it the more when he bestows it upon them.-Ver. 6. The christian is apt to murmur and repine when the Lord seems to give them no answer of prayer, and at such a season the adversary is apt to break in upon them.-Ver. 7. Delays of mer. cies long waited and prayed for bring us into deep grief and sorrow.–Ver. 8. In this season of grief and sorrow the Lord supports and comforts by leading us to see the greatness of the mercies we enjoy.-Ver. 9. The tabernacle is called the temple, because it was fixed at Shiloh, which answered the same end as when it was built upon mount Moriah.
Ver. 10. “ Hannah prayed unto the Lord and wept sore."]—Which shews the earnestness of her soul, and the importunity of her mind for the blessing she prayed for. Note, Where ihere is a spirit of prayer, the blessing prayed for is near at hand.- Ver. 11. An humble hope that the Lord will hear and answer our prayers, engages the heart of the christian to act with gratitude to the Lord. Ver. 12. The Lord waits to be gracious to his people, therefore the christian should wait in prayer till the Lord gives the mercy prayed for.
Ver. 13. “ Now Hannah she spake in her heart.”]Which shews the fervency of heart-prayer, and that God hears the language of the mind, and that such a frame is commonly the best praying frame of soul. Note, spiritual ejaculations are heavenly darts prepared by the Holy Ghost to pierce the skies, and enter the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth.-Ver. 14. The best of men may mistake, and often doin judging of a sorrowful state of soul.- Ver. 15, 16. When others under our distress judge hard about our sincerity, it is the christian's singular comfort, that he can say, that he has poured out his soul to the Lord.–Ver. 17, 18. The prayers of great and good persons are often encouraging to drooping minds: “ Hannah went her way, and her countenance was no more sad :" in this respect Eli, the priest, was a type of Christ, who is the high priest over the house of God, and prays for us that our faith fail not; for it is by his prayers that our prayers are heard, our faith supported, and our desires answered : and thus it was with Handah, whose heart, we find, was filled with holy gratitude, praise, and Hliankfulness to the Lord for the enjoyment of the mercy.
ever thine own, Lord, hasing the christianis, and the
Note, the mercy prayed for may be long waited for ; but it will surely come in God's appointed time, which is always the best time to the christian.
Ver. 28. « Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord ; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord.")-This shews the fervency of Hannab's love, the strength of her faith, and the faithfulness of her soul to her vow and promise wbich she had made to the Lord, that that blessing which was obtained by prayer in his house, should be lent to tbe Lord as long as he lived to praise him there: thus Samuel, as his name denotes, was asked of God, and, as a proof of thankfulness, was lent to the Lord. Note, whatever we give to God is what we have received from him ; “Of thine own, Lord, have we given thee,” I Chron. xxix. 14. The greater the blessing the christian has received, the more remarkable the answer of prayer is, and the greater obligation he is under to honour God therewith.
“And he worshipped the Lord there.”]-That is, Samuel; who doubtless had been instructed by his mother in the knowledge of God; which shews that it is a great blessing to have pious parents, and to be early instructed in the knowledge and way of salvation. This leaves a noble example for parents to bring up their tender offspring in the ways of the Lord; though it is the Lord's prerogative to communicate grace, yet it is the duty of parents to use the means of grace for the salvation of their souls, as well as means for the support of their bodies : and doubtless their tender minds would shew more love to spiritual things, if their parents sliewed more love to thein in instructing them in the knowledge thereof.
awer of PGod there that is,
In this chapter we have, (1.) Hannah's song of thanksgiving to God, for his
favour to her, in giving her Samuel, ver. 1-10. (2.) Their return to their family, with Eli's blessing, ver. 11, 20. the increase of their family, ver. 21. Samuel's growth and improvement, ver. 11, 18, 21, 26. and the care Hannah took to clothe him, ver. 19. (3.) The great wickedocss of Eli's sons, ver. 12-17, 22. (4.) The over-mild reproof that Eli gave them for it, ver. 23— 25. (5.) The jastly dreadful message God sent him by a prophet, threatening the ruin ot wis family, for the wickedness of his sons, ver. 27-36.
VER. 1. 6 My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies : because I rejoice in tby salvation.")-The sulvation that
Hannah rejoiced in was the divine Messiah, who is God's salvation promised, and typically set forth by the sacrifices which were offered in the tabernacle : and a view of this salvation is what enlarges the joy and triumph of the chris. tian over all his enemies; whether they are inward corruptions, outward assaults of Satan, adversaries of the world, or sin, death, and hell; yet a view of the finished salvation in Christ's name gives a complete triumph over them all.
Ver. 2. “Ncither is there any rock like our God.”] That is, there is no stability, safety and dependence upon any other foundation, but God the Saviour, the “Rock of ages,” who is firm to his promise, sure to his word, strong to support, and safe to rest upon for ever : here, says the christian, I rest, securely resi, my life, my soul, my eternal all; " for no other foundation can any man lay than that which is laid, wbich is Christ Jesus the Lord.”
Ver. 3. " Talk no more so exceeding proudly."]Which Hannah no doubt spoke of Peninnah, who had free quently grieved her with reproaches. But as Hannah's nanie signifies gracious, it may denote that holy joy and exullation of mind the soul has in the favour of God.
66 The Lord is a God of knowledge."]– Which ap. pears not only in his omniscience or knowing all things, but in contriving such a glorious way of salvation, whereby all the perfections of his nature are bonoured, and the sale vation of his people secured.
Ver. 4.“And they that stumbled are girt with strength."] -Which may denote those feeble souls in Zion, who are ready to stumble in the way of salvation at the greatness of their guilt, their unworthiness, or for want of more faith, or lively and spiritual frames; such are girt with strength, faithfulness, and power by the Lord, and i hereby their souls are strengthened in his ways.
Ver. 5-7. “ He bringeth low, and liftetb up."]Which shews the sovereign disposal of God in the dispen. sations of his providence, and it may denote bis sovereign pleasure in the displays of his grace; for when he withholds the sensible enjoyments of his love, liow low is our faith, hope, and love! but when he shines upon our mind, then we are listed up in comfort, joy and rejoicing!
Ver. 8. “To set them aniong princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory.”] This shews how highly grace exalts the children of God, not only among princes, but upon thrones of glory. O the wonders of divine grace!
Ver. 9. “ He will keep the feet of his saints."]—This shows that tbe Lord has a people whom he hath chosen, sanctified, and esteems as his saints; whose feet he will keep; that is, he will set a guard of grace around their affections, to keep their hearts near to himn : which shews that it is the sovereign power of the Lord that keeps their feet in his ways; for no creatures are more subject to go astray than sheep: thus the children of God would be scattered like sheep haying no shepherd, but it is the Lord's pleasure to keep the feet of his saints, and to establish their goings; for they only are safe whom the Lord keepeth, for í his mercy holdeth them up,” Psalm xciv. 18.
" And the wicked shall be silent in darkness."]— They are silent at the throne of grace, having no love to prayer, at the gates of Zion, not having a work of grace upon their souls, and silent among the people of God, not having any spiritual taste, appetite, or knowledge: their state is very awful; they are silent in darkness, having their under. standing darkened, and without enlightening grace will for their wickednesses be “ turned into outer darkness,” Matt. xxii. 13.
Ver. 10. “ And he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of bis anointed.”]-This king is the king Messiah, who is “ King of saints, King of Zion, and Prince of Peace," whom God has bighly exalted in his name, person, and glory, as head over all things to his church, whose kingly power sbineth forth as the anointed of the Lord, in saving, delivering, and protecting his people, not only as he is their King to rule in them, but as he is their “ born of salvation;" which denotes his power and omnipotence to save them, in whosć salvation, the horn, the King Messiab, the anointed of the Lord, is exalted for ever. Note, tbese words seem to be spoken prophetically of Christ, and of his triumphs over his adversaries the Jews, and, spiritually of the salvation of his people.
Ver. 29. “ Aod bonourest thy sons above me."]—This charge was sent by the Lord to Eli, the priest, whose sons were very wicked, sons of Belial, rebellious and vile; yet it is said, thạt “ Eli honoured his sons above the Lord," in suffering them to be in the priesthood, when they kicked at the Lord's sacrifices, and took that part which was the Lord's by violence, neglected the altar of burnt-offering, and were exceeding vile at the door of the tabernacle; on which account the sacrifice of the Lord was abhorred; for all this wickedness Eli only gave his sons a soft