1 Samuel 12* Samuel testifies his integrity. (1-5) Samuel reproves thepeople. (6-15) Thunder sent in harvest time. (16-25)1-5 Samuel not only cleared his own character, but set anexample before Saul, while he showed the people theiringratitude to God and to himself. There is a just debt whichall men to their own good name, especially men in publicstations, which is, to guard it against unjust blame andsuspicions, that they may finish their course with honour, aswell as with joy. And that we have in our places lived honestly,will be our comfort, under any slights and contempt that may beput upon us. 6-15 The work of ministers is to reason with people; not onlyto exhort and direct, but to persuade, to convince men'sjudgments, and so to gain their wills and affections. Samuelreasons of the righteous acts of the Lord. Those who follow Godfaithfully, he will enable to continue following him.Disobedience would certainly be the ruin of Israel. We mistakeif we think that we can escape God's justice, by trying to shakeoff his dominion. If we resolve that God shall not rule us, yethe will judge us. 16-25 At Samuel's word, God sent thunder and rain, at a seasonof the year when, in that country, the like was not seen. Thiswas to convince them they had done wickedly in asking a king;not only by its coming at an unusual time, in wheat harvest, andon a clear day, but by the prophet's giving notice of it before.He showed their folly in desiring a king to save them, ratherthan God, or Samuel; promising themselves more from an arm offlesh, than from the arm of God, or from the power of prayer.Could their prince command such forces as the prophet could doby his prayers? It startled them very much. Some will not bebrought to see their sins by any gentler methods than storms andthunders. They entreat Samuel to pray for them. Now they seetheir need of him whom shortly before they slighted. Thus manywho will not have Christ to reign over them, would yet be gladto have him intercede for them, to turn away the wrath of God.Samuel aims to confirm the people in their religion. Whatever wemake a god of, we shall find it deceive us. Creatures in theirown places are good; but when put in God's place, they are vainthings. We sin if we restrain prayer, and in particular if wecease praying for the church. They only asked him to pray forthem; but he promises to do more, to teach them. He urges thatthey were bound in gratitude to serve God, considering whatgreat things he had done for them; and that they were bound ininterest to serve him, considering what he would do againstthem, if they should still do wickedly. Thus, as a faithfulwatchman, he gave them warning, and so delivered his own soul.If we consider what great things the Lord hath done for us,especially in the great work of redemption, we can neither wantmotive, encouragement, nor assistance in serving him.
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