Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From my Matthew Henry reading...

O ur sorrow upon any account is sinful and inordinate when it diverts us from our duty to God and embitters our comfort in him, when it makes us unthankful for the mercies we enjoy and distrustful of the goodness of God to us in further mercies, when it casts a damp upon our joy in Christ, and hinders us from doing the duty and taking the comfort of our particular relations...We ought to take notice of our comforts, to keep us from grieving excessively for our crosses; for our crosses we deserve, but our comforts we have forfeited. If we would keep the balance even, we must look at that which is for us, as well as at that which is against us, else we are unjust to Providence and unkind to ourselves. God hath set the one over-against the other (Eccl. vii. 14) and so should we."

"Elkanah had gently reproved Hannah for her inordinate grief, and here we find the good effect of the reproof. She did not harden herself in sorrow, nor grow sullen when she was reproved for it;.. she cheered up her own spirits as well as she could, and came to table. It is as great a piece of self-denial to control our passions as it is to control our appetites. It brought her to her prayers. It put her upon considering, "Do I well to be angry? Do I well to fret? What good does it do me? Instead of binding the burden thus upon my shoulders, had I not better easy myself of it, and cast it upon the Lord by prayer?" Elkanah had said, Am not I better to thee than ten sons? which perhaps occasioned her to think within herself, "Whether he be so or no, God is, and therefore to him will I apply, and before him will I pour out my complaint, and try what relief that will give me." If ever she will make a more solemn address than ordinary to the throne of grace upon this errand, now is the time. Now concerning Hannah's prayer we may observe, The warm and lively devotion there was in it, which appeared in several instances, for our direction in prayer. She improved the present grief and trouble of her spirit for the exciting and quickening of her pious affections in prayer: Being in bitterness of soul, she prayed. This good use we should make of our afflictions, they should make us the more lively in our addresses to God. Our blessed Savior himself, being in an agony, prayed more earnestly, Luke xxii. 44. She mingled tears with her prayers. Like a true Israelite, she wept and made supplication (Hos. xii. 4), with an eye to the tender mercy of our God, who knows the troubled soul. The prayer came from her heart, as the tears from her eyes. She was very particular, and yet very modest, in her petition. God gives us leave, in prayer, not only to ask good things in general, but to mention that special good thing which we most need and desire.... She spoke all this so softly that none could hear her. Her lips moved, but her voice was not heard, Hereby she testified her belief of God's knowledge of the heart and its desires."

"..and her countenance was no more sad, no more as it had been, giving marks of inward trouble and discomposure; but she looked pleasant and cheerful, and all was well. Why, what had happened? Whence came this sudden happy change? She had by prayer committed her case to God and left it with him, and now she was no more perplexed about it. She had prayed for herself, and Eli had prayed for her; and she believed that God would either give her the mercy she had prayed for or make up the want of it to her some other way. Prayer is heart's-ease to a gracious soul; the seed of Jacob have often found it so, being confident that God will never say unto them, Seek you me in vain, see Phil. iv. 6, 7. Prayer will smooth the countenance; it should do so."

"At length the Lord remembered Hannah, the very thing she desired , and more she needed not desire, that was enough, for then she conceived and bore a son. Though God seem long to forget his people's burdens, troubles, cares, and prayers, yet he will at length make it to appear that they are not out of his mind."
~ Matthew Henry on 1 Samuel chapter 1

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Intense Debate Comments

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1