Hannah's song of thanksgiving. (1-10) The wickedness of Eli's
sons, Samuel's ministry. (11-26) The prophecy against Eli's
Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord.
She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver. She rejoiced
in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of His coming,
who is the whole salvation of his people. The strong are soon
weakened, and the weak are soon strengthened, when God pleases.
Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we
should be content, and make up our minds to our condition. Are
we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should
be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the
abundance he gives us. He respects not man's wisdom or fancied
excellences, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish,
teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and
precious salvation. This prophecy looks to the kingdom of
Christ, that kingdom of grace, of which Hannah speaks, after
having spoken largely of the kingdom of providence. And here is
the first time that we meet with the name MESSIAH, or his
Anointed. The subjects of Christ's kingdom will be safe, and the
enemies of it will be ruined; for the Anointed, the Lord Christ,
is able to save, and to destroy.
Samuel, being devoted to the Lord in a special manner,
was from a child employed about the sanctuary in the services he
was capable of. As he did this with a pious disposition of mind,
it was called ministering unto the Lord. He received a blessing
from the Lord. Those young people who serve God as well as they
can, he will enable to improve, that they may serve him better.
Eli shunned trouble and exertion. This led him to indulge his
children, without using parental authority to restrain and
correct them when young. He winked at the abuses in the service
of the sanctuary till they became customs, and led to
abominations; and his sons, who should have taught those that
engaged in the service of the sanctuary what was good, solicited
them to wickedness. Their offence was committed even in offering
the sacrifices for sins, which typified the atonement of the
Saviour! Sins against the remedy, the atonement itself, are most
dangerous, they tread under foot the blood of the covenant.
Eli's reproof was far too mild and gentle. In general, none are
more abandoned than the degenerate children of godly persons,
when they break through restraints.
Those who allow their children in any evil way, and do
not use their authority to restrain and punish them, in effect
honour them more than God. Let Eli's example excite parents
earnestly to strive against the beginnings of wickedness, and to
train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord. In the midst of the sentence against the house of Eli,
mercy is promised to Israel. God's work shall never fall to the
ground for want of hands to carry it on. Christ is that merciful
and faithful High Priest, whom God raised up when the Levitical
priesthood was thrown off, who in all things did his Father's
mind, and for whom God will build a sure house, build it on a
rock, so that hell cannot prevail against it.