Spurgeon Verse Expositions - 1 Samuel 2:12 - 2:36

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Spurgeon Verse Expositions - 1 Samuel 2:12 - 2:36

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

1Sa_2:12. Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

What a very dreadful thing it was that these sons of a man of God, the sons of God’s high priest, were not themselves sons of God, but sons of Belial, foul-hearted, foul-mouthed, foul-living men, who knew not the very God at whose altar they served, and in whose house they lived!

1Sa_2:13-14 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.

God had appointed a proper portion for his priests so that they who ministered at the altar might live of the altar. But these wicked men were not content with the divine allowance, so they must needs rob the altars of God, and show such greed as to make the appointed sacrifices to be obnoxious to the people.

1Sa_2:15-16. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

It is a terrible thing when God’s servants are domineering and oppressive towards the people of God. They who should be the gentlest of all, and the most self-denying of all must not talk as this priest’s servant did, and he no doubt talked as the young men whom he served bade him talk.

1Sa_2:17. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

It is horrible when those who should make God great among men cause his service to be despised and abhorred. When those who should be the friends and servants of God act like his enemies, it is indeed terrible.

1Sa_2:18-24. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.

That is all that the godly old man said to his wicked sons. He was far too gentle in his way of reproving them. He was evidently afraid of his own sons, not the only man who has been in the same predicament.

1Sa_2:25. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.

They had gone so far in vice and gin that the Lord did not mean to forgive them. They had transgressed so foully that he would permit them to go on in sin until they perished in it.

1Sa_2:26-30. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever:

“But I said it conditionally upon thy good behavior. I installed thee into the priest’s office for life, and thy sons might have continued in it after thee if they had kept my commandment.”

1Sa_2:30-36. But now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut of from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.

The same sad prophecy that the Lord communicated to old Eli was also revealed in a very special manner to young Samuel.

This exposition consisted of readings from 1Sa_2:12-36; and 1Sa_3:1-13.