Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 2

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-11

  1. INTRO:
    1. Prayer: As we study these timely lessons we realize...You know our secret sorrows & our disappointed hopes. You are cognizant of all that goes on in our lives.
    2. This morning we’ll look at how Hannah reacted after presenting little Samuel to Eli the high priest to serve the Lord in Shiloh.
      1. How did Moses’ mom, when he was 3 months old (not 3 ears old) place him in a basket on the bank of the Nile river? Or, how does any mom feel that has put her child up for adoption? Even when it is the best thing, or even a God thing.
      2. Hannah didn’t react by crying but by uttering a jubilant prayer. In fact it is the longest prayer by a woman recorded in the bible.
        1. It’s also a highly theological prayer.
          1. Also what was sung here, echoed 1000 yrs later in Mary’s song.
        2. Hannah reminds us this morning, we need to persevere in our prayers & remember to thank Him when the desired answer is given!
    3. I’d like to explain my title: From “Mary’s Magnificat” (Latin for Magnify) Lk.1:46-55.
      1. Magnificat anima mea Dominum - My soul magnifies the Lord!
      2. Like the Psalmist said, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” [Ps 34:1-3]
      3. There are 20 references to God in Mary’s song.
      4. My soul magnifies the Lord – What a motto to grasp for life!!!
      5. Magnify = glorifies; exalts; make large; honor highly; to declare His greatness; to make Him great in the eyes of others!
        1. That we would wake up & magnify God! That we would eat & drink to magnify God! That we would work to magnify God! That we would play sports to magnify God! That we would go to school to magnify God! That we would chose our career to magnify God!
      6. Not only was Mary pregnant herself, but her song was Pregnant w/Praise unto God!
    1. ​​​​​​​GOD IS UNIQUE & INCOMPARABLE! (1-3)
    2. (1) What or who should be our object of joy? Ps.9:1,2 I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.I will be glad and rejoice in You;I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
    3. Most people would sing if they could keep their son, but Hannah sang because she could give her son to the service of the Lord.
      1. Some of you moms/dads are dealing with that fact. Your son or daughter has come home & said, “I think I want to be a missionary/serve the Lord!” What!
      2. My kids love missions. Why? We invited missionaries over the house. We took our kids when we could & visited them on the field.
      3. We believe Missions at CM is contagious/infectious/communicable.
      4. Pray in what ever line of work your children choose...they would be in the service of the Lord!!!
    4. Mary’s song in Lk.1:46-55 is very similar to Hannah’s because Mary also made a sacrifice to the Lord. 1st the sacrifice, then the song! (2 Chron.29:27) Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel.
    5. Q: What did Hannah have to sing about? She’s back to being childless at least back at home; she still has to deal with Peninnah provoking...What did Hannah have to sing about?
    6. Q: What did Mary have to sing about? A pregnant unwed teen from Nazareth, engaged to marry a poor carpenter…people talking…What did Mary have to sing about?
    7. Have you asked yourself, “What have I to sing about???”
      1. Q: Well, How did Mary & Hannah do it? - They rose above her situation!
      2. They held to Job’s counsel, “when the Lord gives (even unexpected babies)… Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
    8. A pregnant teen from Nazareth, engaged to marry a poor carpenter…What did Mary have to sing about? She sang about her Lord!
    9. A mommy of a toddler from Ramah, sharing a household with a miserable woman. What did Hannah have to sing about? She sang about her Lord!
      1. ​​​​​​​Their Joy came from who God is!
    10. (1) I smile - Lit. “my mouth is open wide over my enemies.”
      1. The image of a mouth open wide is an expression of contempt “They also opened their mouth wide against me, And said, “Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it.” (Ps.35:21)
      2. Awkward when translated literally into other languages.
    11. (2) Transcendent God - Transcendent (Latin: climbing over).
      1. It means that God is above, other than, and distinct from all he has made, he transcends it all.
      2. Paul says it this way in Eph.4:6, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    12. He is Incomparable - Without an equal in quality or extent. Matchless. Unparalleled. In a class of His own. Unable to be compared; totally different in nature or extent.
      1. Not, one-in-a-million...just One!
    13. (2b) Nor is there any Rock like our God - rocklike stability.
    14. (3) Pride & arrogance - Hannah saw the things on which evil people rely, rendered ineffective & useless.
      1. The haughty, the self-sufficient, & the powerful are made impotent before the Lord. He alone is sovereign. There is none like Him!
    16. Hannah’s song inspired David, Mary, & countless others to sing hymns of praise.
      1. So the song of a bird will set the whole forest ringing with the music of feathered chorus. (F.B.Meyer)
      2. We too shall sing someday! We too shall sing someday! :)
      3. God will turn the waters of our tears, which fill the jars to their brim, into the wine of joy!
    17. GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY! (9-10)
    18. He guides & protects those who acknowledge His right to rule over them.
      1. All others face the inevitability of His wrath.
    19. POSTSCRIPT! (11)
    20. God receives children’s service.
    21. Have you encouraged your children to serve in the church? In their community? Missions trips? [Values Participation: Encouraging all believers to discover & use their unique ministry gifts]
    22. (11) Before Eli the priest - Is that who you want your son working for?
      1. I know we want the best for our children, but do we really know more than Lord? - Do we really love our children more then Lord?
      2. Here’s how this is worked out in our 21st century world:
        1. I’m not going to let my little Suzy play for that coach!
        2. I’m not going to let my little Billy have that teacher!
        3. I’m not going to let my son/daughter work for that employer!
      3. Do you think this is Elkanah & Hannah’s priestly 1st-round-draft-pick for their little Sam? [Elkanah w/hands on shoulders to lil Samer]
        1. He’ll train you spiritually son even though he didn’t do a great job with his own 2!
        2. He’ll teach you how to respect women son even though his boys were womanizers!
        3. He’ll teach you how to be a man son even though he never disciplined his own boys
      4. So how did Elkanah & Hannah do this? They vowed to the Lord to entrust their son into the HIS care...not Eli’s!
        1. Now, I know there is a balance to this. There is a time to pull our child from unhealthy situations. That’s part of parenting. But can I challenge soccer mom’s & determined dad’s, you better not be trying to keep your child immune from all problems of life!
          1. Most of us believe in immunizing our children against different diseases
            1. We do this by introducing into their body a vaccination of the very disease we don’t want them to contract, which causes the body itself to generate immunity against the target.
          2. Is it so odd that God would do the same? That He’d introduce into their life difficulties to work through, on a small scale, so when the bigger problems of life hit, they’ll be prepared to handle them?
            1. Did I make this up? Uh No! Read Ps.119:67,71,75.
        2. I will add 1 word to this last verse...Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the Lord (even) before Eli the priest.
    23. End: How full of the Lord this song is!
      1. He saves; He is holy; He knows; He weighs; He kills; He makes alive; He brings down to the grave & up; He will vindicate our trust; We do not prevail by strength, but by yielding ourselves into His hands!

Verses 12-36

  1. INTRO:
    1. Erma Bombeck painted a portrait of a little girl who loved her dad but wasn’t sure what dads do: One morning my father didn’t get up and go to work. He went to the hospital and died the next day. I hadn’t thought that much about him before. He was just someone who left and came home and seemed glad to see everyone at night. He opened the jar of pickles when no one else could. He was the only one in the house who wasn’t afraid to go into the basement by himself. He cut himself shaving, but no one kissed it or got excited about it. It was understood when it rained, he got the car and brought it around to the door. When anyone was sick, he went out to get the prescription filled. He took lots of pictures...but he was never in them. Whenever I played house, the mother doll had a lot to do. I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had him say, “I’m going off to work now,” and threw him under the bed. - The funeral was in our living room and a lot of people came and brought all kinds of good food and cakes. We had never had so much company before. I went to my room and felt under the bed for the daddy doll. When I found him, I dusted him off and put him on my bed. He never did anything. I didn’t know his leaving would hurt so much. (Family—The Ties that Bind...and Gag! (New York: Fawcett Books, 1988), p. 2.)
      1. This morning we’re going to be talking about fathers & fatherhood.
    2. Life is sometimes like the cartoon where the boss is grouchy toward a worker; this employee, in turn, comes home & is irritable with the children; his son then kicks the dog; the dog in turn runs down the street & bites the first person he sees...THE BOSS!
      1. ​​​​​​​Fathers & mothers, we must never let our pressures drive us into this unhappy & unhealthy cycle. - The costs are too high!
    1. ​​​​​​​SINFUL SONS! (12-17)
    2. (12) PK’s...Priests Kids! - corrupt (sons of belial)
      1. Q: What s the main problem of our world? A:It is the power of indwelling sin.
        1. Not politics; not personality; not calamities or catastrophes in your life; not the environment you grow up in. (these all add to it, but are not the main problem)
      2. Sin is a power not a series of free choices [Remember We sin because we’re sinners, not, we’re sinners because we’ve sinned!”]
        1. It’s a bondage that prevents free choices.
        2. The one freedom destroying thing in the world is sin & we’re all enslaved to it, until a mighty power called the Holy Spirit liberates us!
        3. This mighty power of the Holy Spirit is the only Hope for the world, for parents, for children.
          1. They did not know the Lord! - was the issue.
    3. (13-17) They took what they wanted rather than what was offered.
      1. They insisted on receiving their raw portion, before the Lord’s portion (i.e. the fat burnt on the altar).
    5. Like the oscillation of a fan we pass from the rehearsal of the sins of Eli’s sons to a consideration of Samuel.
    6. Ken Canfield, in The Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers said, Effective Fathers Are: Committed to their children. Know their children. Are consistent in their attitudes and behavior. Protect and Provide for their children. Love their children’s mother. Are active listeners to their children. Spiritually equip their children.
    7. Fathers fight dragons...almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop. There, with callused, practiced hands, they tackle the dragon with 3 heads: weariness, work, and monotony. They never quite win the fight, but they never give up. Knights in shining armor - fathers in shiny trousers: there is little difference, as they march away to each new workday. (Source Unknown.)
    9. (22) I guess priest sex scandals are nothing new! :(
    10. (24) Best we can tell Eli was a good man whose life was pure. He loved God & delighted in God’s service. Probably insightful & a cool guy to hang around the tabernacle. But it was his parenting or lack-thereof was his undoing.
    11. (25a) No longer are we perplexed by this proverb of old, Who will intercede for him?
      1. It’s Jesus the God/Man that’s who!
    12. (25b) It was the Lord’s will to slay them for disobedience, but not the Lord’s will that they should be disobedient.
      1. I guess this is when enough is enough! God’s patience runs out. When He says it is finished, or are finished. (Very rare we hear of this)
      2. Reminder: This is a royal mess-up! - God had sovereignly chosen the house of Aaron to be His priests, now on account of Eli’s sons his descendants would be set aside. (Fulfilled in 1 Kings 2:27)
    13. (23-25) 2 little 2 late! His weak warning was certainly no substitute for definite discipline
    14. Men, how are you raising your children?
      1. “Raising children is like holding a wet bar of soap: too firm a grasp & it shoots from your hand, too loose a grip & it slides away. A gentle but firm hold keeps you in control.”
    15. Why are some fathers excessively strict?
      1. Some are trying to protect their children from an increasingly Babylonian culture. And smothering rules seem the best way to accomplish that.
      2. Others have controlling personalities who use rules, money, friendship, or clout to rule their children’s lives.
        1. When they read the bible they read it through a controlling grid, where they believe they have a license to own & dominate.
      3. Others wrongly understand their faith in terms of law rather than grace.
      4. Some men are overly strict because they are concerned about what others will think. (What will they think child goes to that place...wears those clothes...are listening to that music…)
    16. Dads we have to say “no” to many things. Thus we should try to say “yes” to as much as possible; & save our “no’s” for the really important situations.
      1. Be biblical in regards to your “no’s”!
    17. Some fathers are overly preachy? 3 kids bragging about fathers: First: My dad’s so smart he can talk for 1 hour on any subject. Second: My dad’s so smart he can talk for 2 hours on any subject. Third: My dad’s so smart he can talk for 3 hours and doesn’t even need a subject.
    18. Why are some fathers not strict at all?
      1. Some fathers are trying to be the child’s friend, rather than a parent.
      2. Some fathers don’t understand their role; or are just lazy in fulfilling it.
      3. Some are pre-occupied with self/hobby/friends/etc.
      4. Some fathers, own fathers, were excessively strict, thus swore they’d never be
      5. Some fathers would just rather leave all discipline to their wife to deal with. A kind of, good cop bad cop, & they choose they’d be good cop.
    19. Can we start now if we were newly saved, & our kids are older? - Of course, just have a sit down w/your kids & a “fresh start meeting” w/them (repent of past; explain your new biblical plan for the future).
    20. You might say, but my father was a terrible dad. I didn’t have a good example to follow!
      1. Boo hoo! Suck it up & learn how to be a father!
      2. Break the cycle. Start a legacy. (in 2001 Steve Farrar did our men’s retreat; great book Point Man, also deals with Starting or Leaving a Legacy)
    21. SEVERE JUDGMENT! (27-36)
    22. (29) You honor your sons more than Me! - This is idolatry. And it is still prevalent in 2010.
      1. Caution new parents - don’t bow down to the baby god.
      2. Caution parents of adolescents - don’t bow down to the kids-will-be-kids god.
      3. Caution parents of teens -don’t bow down to the but-Johnny’s-parents-let-him god
      4. Read Micah 7:1-6
        1. Read Mt.10:35-37 ...And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (Eli’s sin)
      5. Read Micah 7:7 (look & wait & know, God will hear you)
        1. Look - So where are you going to look? - Look at your kids? Look in the mirror? (I thought I did alright!) Or, look to the Lord? :)
        2. Then vs.8,9a - He knows he was sinned against(8), but look where he ends up(9a).
          1. Broken hearted posture! - This is how you Parent w/Hope in the worst of times & worst of cultures.
          2. Have that broken hearted posture. Have lion hearted Hope.
          3. Parents it may take along time for your children to walk into the light...have patience!
        3. It’s always true & always has been. There is no easy time to raise kids.
      6. But he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
    23. Lk.1:17 (Gabriel to Zacharias re: John the Bap) He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
      1. Men, submit to Christ - allow Him to turn your hearts to your children.
      2. Ask the H.S. for the power to practice the discipline of fatherhood.
      3. Learn to hold their lives...with God’s pressure.
      4. Sweat for your children’s souls! (Kent Hughes)
    24. Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
      Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
      Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past. And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.” General Douglas MacArthur
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 2". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.