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 seems him good.
You are aware that in the Christian character there are what are called the active and the passive graces. It is not enough for us to ask what we do, but we must also ask how we suffer.
I. LET US ATTEND TO THE NATURE OF THAT SUBMISSION TO GOD OF WHICH WE HAVE AN EXAMPLE IN THE MEMORABLE ELI.
1. Submission to God does not suppose insensibility to the afflictions under which we are called to cultivate it. We are allowed to mourn, though we are not allowed to murmur. Religion does not exact stoicism of its subjects.
2. This submission, in the second place, does not suppose that we are not to employ the means which are within our power, with a view to the prevention of evil. Our employment of means, with a view to prevent evil from falling upon us, is not at all inconsistent with a feeling of submission to the will of God.
3. Nor, in the third place, is prayer to God against evil, inconsistent with submission to Him under it, if He should see fit to visit us with it. We must not, indeed, open our mouth against God, but we may open our mouth to God.But then, let us inquire what this submission actually implies.
1. Why, in the first place, it implies that we justify God in every thing that He does — that however much we may blame ourselves, we attach no blame to God. Now, this is something; and I am afraid it is more than all of us at all times experience.
2. But submission involves more than this: it involves in it, that we approve of all that God does.
3. Then, lastly, this submission supposes that we cleave to God in the midst of all.
II. Let us notice THE GROUNDS ON WHICH THIS SUBMISSION TO GOD RESTS. First, then, it rests on the sovereignty of God.
2. Then, secondly, on the ground of the righteousness and justice of God, we ought to submit to Him.
2. Then, again, the unchangeableness of God should also inspire us with a feeling of resignation and submission.
III. SOME PRACTICAL EFFECTS OR FRUITS OF THIS SUBMISSION TO GOD. Now, there are some evils which it will prevent, and there are some direct and absolute benefits which it will ensure. First, there are evils which it will prevent. It will prevent rash conclusions. Again, this submission to God will prevent immoderate sorrow. In the next place, this will prevent sinful staggerings. This is a scriptural phrase. It is said of Abraham that "he staggered not." Sometimes a sudden affliction comes upon us; and, like a flash of lightning across our path, it surprises us. Then, as to the positive benefits which this feeling — this habit — this virtue of submission will insure to us, it will give us, in the first place, inward peace. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." Therefore, this will also bring along with it enduring patience — a noble virtual Patience is one of the finest moral virtues! Lastly, another positive advantage is that it will excite praise and thanksgiving. The language, the spirit of the text, is not to be attained, perhaps, all at once.
(J. E. Beaumont.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.