Matthew Poole on 1 Samuel (cont.)

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[Poole on 1 Samuel 5:7-9.]

As a nation, the season of mercy continues...

But rather than turning from our sins in repentance, and toward the Savior in faith, we continue in our wayward course!

Wouldn't surrender to this Great King make more sense?

Consider the case of the Philistines...
Poole on 1 Samuel 5:10-12.

As it turns out, God does not need men to defend His honor. With no Israelite in sight, God defends the Ark and glorifies Himself by His own outstretched arm!

For everyone interested in the glory of God, but sensible also of human frailty, this will not doubt be a most encouraging thought.
With paganism on the rise, it is good for Christians to be reminded: "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God?" (Isaiah 8:19).

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:1, 2.
"It is much cheaper to learn by other people's experience than by our own." --Matthew Henry

We should learn from the judgments that have fallen upon other nations.

Even the Philistine diviners get it...

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:6.
'When the time comes that the Lord makes sin to find out the sinner, O what wrestling do sinners often make to avoid the meeting. They shut their eyes, and they will not see, though God is writing their sin before them in legible characters.... If they meet with a stroke sent from God for the very purpose to charge it home upon them, they will say it is but a chance, 1 Samuel 6:9. Beware of this.' Thomas Boston

In this post...
A comforting thought concerning the cause of God in our own land...

"God will be no loser in his glory, at last, by the successes of the church's enemies against his ark, but will get himself honour from those that seek to do dishonour to him" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:10-11.
The Church is in a low condition, but...

"God will in his own time effect the deliverance of his church, not only though it be fought against by its enemies, but though it be neglected by its friends" (Matthew Henry).

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:13.
Think of the simplicity of the worship of the New Testament: prayer, Bible reading, preaching, sacraments...

"The intrinsic grandeur of instituted ordinances ought not to be diminished in our eyes by the meanness and poverty of the place where they are administered" (Matthew Henry on 1 Samuel 6:14).

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:14-15.
"Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God?" (1 Sam. 6:20)

A good question.

'There is no access to God without a Mediator. "For our God is a consuming fire," Hebrews 12:29, and our sin hath made us as stubble fully dry. He is infinitely pure and holy, and we are vile filthy creatures; so that it is quite impossible for us to have any access to him, or communion with him, on our own account. We have all reason to cry out, as 1 Samuel 6:20, "Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?" There is no standing before him without a Mediator. The spots and blemishes of our best duties cannot be hid from the eyes of his holiness. He cannot accept of a righteousness lower than that which bears some suitableness to the holiness of his nature: but even our highest obedience and best righteousness does not in any degree suit the divine holiness: and therefore it cannot challenge any acceptance with God. The righteousness of Christ, being the righteousness of God, a perfect and unspotted righteousness, is that wherein alone the holiness of God can acquiesce, and is the foundation of all access to God, and communion with him.' --Thomas Boston

Poole on 1 Samuel 6:20-21.
Thomas Boston: 'The Lord has a controversy with us, that we are not yet convinced of, and humbled for, Hosea 5:15. People may be long under the Lord's withdrawings, so far insensible of the causes thereof, as not to be lamenting over them, 1 Samuel 7:2. Now there is no convincing us of the causes of God's controversy. But if ever the Lord return to ordinances as heretofore, ye will see there will be a convincing and humbling influence, that will bring ministers and people to their knees, taking shame to themselves.'

Poole on 1 Samuel 7:2.
Why a Pluralistic culture will never have room for Christianity...

" 1 Samuel 7:3, "If you prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only."... And it is a known story that this was the cause why the pagans would not admit the God of the Jews, as revealed in the Old Testament, or Christ, as revealed in the New, to be an object of adoration, because he would be worshipped alone, all other deities excluded. The gods of the heathens were good-fellow gods, would admit partnership; as common whores are less jealous than the married wife: though their lovers went to never so many besides themselves, yet to them it was all one, whensoever they returned to them and brought their gifts and offerings." --Thomas Manton

Poole on 1 Samuel 7:3, 4.
Poole on 1 Samuel 7:10, 11.

Thomas Boston's "The Lord's Helping His People": 'They gather for humiliation and fasting in Mizpeh, a city on the borders of Benjamin and Judah, lying in the heart of the country, and so proper for such a meeting. The Philistines are alarmed at this, looking upon it as a rendezvous of rebellion, and so bring an army against Israel. It is well they were found at their duty, which was a good pledge of the Lord's help. While Samuel is sacrificing and praying, the Philistines draw near to battle, and God himself takes the cause in hand, thunders against the enemy, so that Israel had nothing more to do but to pursue, 1 Samuel 7:10-11.'
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