the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest.”
1 Samuel 2:12-26
1 Samuel 2:12
Yet they were priests and teachers of others. Sad was it for the people to have such ministers. Let our hearts go up to God in gratitude for the great blessing of holy teachers, who practise what they preach. Eli’s sons were worse than the worst, when they ought to have been better than the best of common men.
1 Samuel 2:13 , 1 Samuel 2:14
Not satisfied with the breast and shoulder, which were the perquisites of the priests, according to the divine law, they seized a part of the offerer’s share of the flesh, and took it before the Lord’s portion had been burned upon the altar.
1 Samuel 2:15-17
Godly people were shocked by such profane greediness, and were grieved by the rudeness of those who ought to have acted with holy courtesy. If ministers become haughty, domineering, and self-seeking, the people will soon loathe the worship. All this involved Eli’s sons in great sin.
1 Samuel 2:18
It must have been a lovely sight to see the little lad actively engaged in the service of God, wearing the livery of the Great King.
1 Samuel 2:19
Remembering that while Samuel was little he could render no very useful service to the tabernacle, she undertook the expense of his clothing, and thus showed both her care for the Lord’s house and her love for her dear boy.
1 Samuel 2:21
But while this holy child was living near to God, Eli’s sons went from bad to worse, till at last Eli spoke to them of their great sins.
1 Samuel 2:23-25
They had gone so far that the Lord had resolved to destroy them, and therefore would not grant them grace to repent. Eli ought long before to have put an end to the wickedness of his sons by far stronger measures. Such a tame rebuke as this, which came so late in the day was of no use whatever. Had he chastened his sons betimes, he might have saved their characters and their lives. Children should be grateful for parents who will not let their sins go unpunished. It would be a dreadful thing for a curse to come upon a family, because the sons and daughters were not restrained from sin. A dear little girl who died believing in Jesus affectionately thanked her mother on her death-bed for all her tender love and then added, “But, dear mother, I thank you most of all for having conquered my selfwill.” Children sometimes think their parents needlessly severe, but when they grow up they will bless them for not indulging them in sin.
1 Samuel 2:26
A sweet way of growing, but to do this a child must be gracious, obedient, and kind.
“Whom He did predestinate, them He also called.”
1 Samuel 3:1-18
1 Samuel 3:1
Samuel is said by Josephus to have been about twelve years of age at this time, and so was like our blessed Lord, who at that age said, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business.” How charming a sight is a young child serving the Lord.
The sin of the priests and people had made prophetic visions to be very rare.
1 Samuel 3:2-4
God calls his servants when he pleases, and it is well for them to be able to reply, “Here am I.” Whether it be for duty or suffering, the true child of God says, “Here am I.”
1 Samuel 3:7
He did not know the Lord in a prophetical manner, or with the clearness which he afterwards received, but doubtless he was already a godly child.
1 Samuel 3:8
How lovely was the conduct of Samuel, so simple, so obedient. O that all children were so.
1 Samuel 3:10
When God speaks to us, a hearing ear is a great mercy; but a heavy ear is a sad judgment.
1 Samuel 3:11-14
Their day of grace was over, and their doom was sealed. What a warning to those who trifle with holy things, and turn the grace of God into licentiousness as these men did.
1 Samuel 3:15
He was not puffed up by having seen a vision, but went about his daily work, even as our Lord returned from Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph, and was subject to them. Holy children are always humble.
1 Samuel 3:17
Eli had a wounded conscience, which made him fear something terrible even when the Lord spake.
1 Samuel 3:18
A heavy task for a boy, but grace made him do his duty.
Eli was wrong with his sons, but he was right with God. We must admire the aged man’s holy submission, and imitate it.
‘Twill save us from a thousand snares,
To mind religion young;
Grace will preserve our following years,
And make our virtues strong.
Let the sweet work of prayer and praise,
Employ our youngest breath;
Thus we’re prepared for longer days,
Or fit for early death.