1 Samuel 3:18
And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
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(18) It is the Lord.—Such a reply, and such a reception of the news of the terrible doom twice communicated to him by a direct message from the Eternal, indicates that Eli, in spite of his weakness and foolish partiality for his sons, was thoroughly devoted to the Lord in his heart. He saw how deeply he had failed in his high office, how he had allowed worldly considerations to influence his conduct, how he had been tried and found wanting; and now, without a murmur, he submits to the righteous judgment of his God, he leaves himself in God’s hands, and never tries to justify himself and his past conduct. Now it was probably too late to attempt any reformation in the priestly life. The influence and power of Hophni and Phinehas were too strong for his enfeebled will to set aside. Eli was probably in his last days little more than a puppet in their hands. He had sown the wind, and now must reap the whirlwind.

1 Samuel 3:18. It is the Lord — This severe sentence is from the sovereign Lord of the world, who hath an absolute right to dispose of me and all his creatures; who is in a special manner the ruler of the people of Israel, to whom it properly belongs to punish all mine offences; whose chastisement I therefore accept. This was a pious and noble answer, and shows what a deep sense Eli had of the divine sovereignty over him, and the entire, implicit, and willing submission he owed to all God’s decrees, however hard they bore upon him. This ought to be our language; this ought to be the feeling of our hearts, under all the dispensations of the divine providence toward us, whether prosperous or adverse, whether pleasing or painful to flesh and blood. Under all, our will should be resigned, and all that is within us should say, It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good.

3:11-18 What a great deal of guilt and corruption is there in us, concerning which we may say, It is the iniquity which our own heart knoweth; we are conscious to ourselves of it! Those who do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in their power to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as joining in it. In his remarkable answer to this awful sentence, Eli acknowledged that the Lord had a right to do as he saw good, being assured that he would do nothing wrong. The meekness, patience, and humility contained in those words, show that he was truly repentant; he accepted the punishment of his sin.It is the Lord ... - Compare the devout submission of Aaron Leviticus 10:3, and of Hezekiah 2 Kings 20:19. And, for the highest conceivable submission to the will of God, compare Luke 22:42. 5-18. he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me—It is evident that his sleeping chamber was close to that of the aged high priest and that he was accustomed to be called during the night. The three successive calls addressed to the boy convinced Eli of the divine character of the speaker, and he therefore exhorted the child to give a reverential attention to the message. The burden of [the Lord's message] was an extraordinary premonition of the judgments that impended over Eli's house; and the aged priest, having drawn the painful secret from the child, exclaimed, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good." Such is the spirit of meek and unmurmuring submission in which we ought to receive the dispensations of God, however severe and afflictive. But, in order to form a right estimate of Eli's language and conduct on this occasion, we must consider the overwhelming accumulation of judgments denounced against his person, his sons, his descendants—his altar, and nation. With such a threatening prospect before him, his piety and meekness were wonderful. In his personal character he seems to have been a good man, but his sons' conduct was flagrantly bad; and though his misfortunes claim our sympathy, it is impossible to approve or defend the weak and unfaithful course which, in the retributive justice of God, brought these adversities upon him. This severe sentence is from the sovereign Lord of the world, who hath an absolute power and right to dispose of me and all his creatures as he pleaseth, to whose good pleasure I therefore freely submit: from Israel’s God, who was known by this name of Jehovah, who is in a special manner the ruler of the people of Israel, to whom it properly belongs to punish all mine offences, whose chastisement I therefore accept.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him,.... And so approved himself to be a faithful prophet of God, and man of God, as he is afterwards called; the whole counsel of God is to be declared by his servants the prophets, and the ministers of his word; nothing is to be concealed, which it is the will of God should be made known, whether it be pleasing or displeasing to man:

and he said, it is the Lord; that has said it, and there is nothing to be said against it, and that will do it; and there is no resisting him: or "the Lord is he" (w); who has a sovereign right to all his creatures, and may dispose of them as he pleases; he is all wise, and does all things well; he is holy and righteous in all his ways and works, and there is no unrighteousness in him; he is faithful to his word, whether in a way of promise or threatening; and all he does to his people is in love, mercy, and kindness:

let him do what seemeth him good; not what seems good to men, or is so in their esteem, but what seems good to the Lord, who knows what is best for his people, and can do nothing but what is good; all is good he does; there is nothing but goodness in him, and nothing but goodness comes from him; he does good, and nothing else, and even when he afflicts his people; all he does is well done in creation, providence, and grace: and Eli's desire is, that he would fulfil the good pleasure of his will; he appears to be in an excellent temper, not surly and morose, taking it ill that such a message should be sent him by a child; nor was he unaffected with the case of his family, but humbly submitted to the will of God, and acquiesces in it as good, and neither arraigns his justice, nor murmurs at his providences.

(w) , Sept. "Dominus ipse", Montanus.

And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
18. every whit] Heb. ‘all the words,’ = every thing. Whit is derived from A.-S. wiht, thing.

It is the Lord] He is Jehovah. For the depth of meaning involved in this confession, see Exodus 34:5-7. Eli, with all his faults, was still at heart faithful to God. He submits without a murmur to the divine sentence, leaving himself and his house in the hands of God. Compare the resignation of Aaron (Leviticus 10:3), Job (Job 1:21; Job 2:10), and Hezekiah (Isaiah 39:8). But it is the passive resignation of a weak character. Though he submits himself patiently to the will of God, he would not rouse himself to do it.

1 Samuel 3:18When Samuel was called by Eli and asked concerning the divine revelation that he had received, he told him all the words, without concealing anything; whereupon Eli bowed in quiet resignation to the purpose of God: "It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good." Samuel's communication, however, simply confirmed to the aged Eli what God had already made known to him through a prophet, But his reply proves that, with all his weakness and criminal indulgence towards his wicked sons, Eli was thoroughly devoted to the Lord in his heart. And Samuel, on the other hand, through his unreserved and candid communication of the terribly solemn word of God with regard to the man, whom he certainly venerated with filial affection, not only as high priest, but also as his own parental guardian, proved himself to be a man possessing the courage and the power to proclaim the word of the Lord without fear to the people of Israel.
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