1 Samuel 4:12-18, 20-22
1 Samuel 4:12
Bad news is sure to find a messenger and a swift one, Alas, that the good news of the Gospel should so often remain untold.
1 Samuel 4:13, 14
Thus was fulfilled the prophecy that the judgments of the Lord on Eli’s sons should make many ears to tingle. Shiloh had been defiled with sin, and it therefore came to be defaced with sorrow.
1 Samuel 4:15-17
The venerable old priest, within two years of a century old, heard all the sad news with fortitude and patience till the last item was reached.
1 Samuel 4:18
His heart was broken and then his neck. He fell in a swoon of grief. No sword of the Philistines could have killed him more certainly than this terrible news that God’s ark was captured. Nothing so much affects good men as calamity to the Church, or dishonour brought upon the name of the Lord.
The sad tidings that the ark was taken, and that her husband was slain, caused the wife of Phinehas to be seized with deadly pangs.
1 Samuel 4:20-22
She seems to have been a pious woman, though her husband was a wicked man: her piety led her to forget her own miseries in the greater miseries of the Church of God, and to make her child’s name the memorial of the departed glory of Israel. Her death was another stroke at Eli’s house, but it was sent in love to her, for she was spared the sight of Israel’s sorrows.
The sad story of the destruction of Eli’s family is a special warning to all parents not to suffer sin to go unpunished in their households. Want of discipline is want of love. Let us see what Solomon says upon it—Proverbs 23:13-18.
Proverbs 23:13, 14
Mr. Bridges in his “Notes on Proverbs,” says, “Eli tried gentler means, and the sad issue is written for our instruction. Is it not cruel love that turns away from painful duty? To suffer sin upon a child is tantamount to hating him in our heart. Is it not better that the flesh should smart than that the soul should die? What if thy child should reproach thee throughout eternity, for the neglect of that timely correction which might have saved his soul from hell.”
Proverbs 23:15, 16
It is a father’s highest happiness to have a son who is not only good himself, but the bold champion of goodness, speaking out bravely for right and truth and God.
This life’s trouble will soon be over, and then shall the godly begin their best life. Their hope shall not be ashamed. May the Lord teach us as a family to serve him faithfully, that both here and hereafter we may be blessed.