1 Samuel part 5 8- 10

 

Worldliness has always been a struggle with Godís people. For example notice what Paul says in:

 

Philippians 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things.

 

Gods people sometimes lose their faith and all they can see is that they want to be like the rest of the world and when they do we can see that they become an enemy of God.

 

James 4:4Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 

Since Paul understood the evil of this world can separate up fro God he did his best to encourage the Christians to keep their faith in God. One example of this can be found in:

 

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

So as you can see there is a demand for the Christian today not to conform to the world but to continue to have faith in God and to live your life based upon his word. Well, as begin to take a look into the book of Samuel tonight we are going to see that the children of Israel are going to let the way of the world rule life as they desire to an earthly king as the rest of nations. Lets begin by seeing what leads them to making this decision as begin in:

 

1 Samuel 8:1 Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; (a-buy-jah) they were judges in Beersheba.3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah,5 and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations."

 

Just like Eliís 2 sons Samuels 2 sons end up being corrupt. First the people had been disappointed in Eliís 2 sons who made a mockery of the sacrifices made to God and now Samuels 2 sons were nothing more than men driven by greed so the people had enough and they get the bright idea that the need a king like the rest of the nations. I am sure we have heard someone ask us, if your friend jumped off a bridge would you. Well, this exactly what the children of Israel were doing at this time. They knew that the other nations around them had a king and so they wanted to be just like them and to have one to. They didnít even think about how they already had a king which was God instead they wanted replace him with a mere human.

 

1 Samuel 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel prayed to the LORD.7 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.8 "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day -- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods -- so they are doing to you also.

 

God lets Samuel know that they are really not rejecting you they are rejecting me just like they have done before. This wasnít any surprise to God considering how wishy-washy they had been in the past. What is interesting to me is that God is going to allow them to have their request.

 

1 Samuel 8:9 "Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."10 So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king.

 

They would be allowed to have this king but God wants them to know exactly what this will entail.

 

1 Samuel 8:11 And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots.12 "He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.13 "He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.14 "And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants.15 "He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants.16 "And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.17 "He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.18 "And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."

 

Many times the Bible warns people of what will happen if they turn back to worldly things. However many times people will think if they make the choice on how they do things at first they donít see how there could be any serious consequences to their decision but when we begin to direct our own steps especially in a worldly way our decision will almost always end in disaster. Many in the religious world have made the decision to worship God their way and in doing so they either add to Godís Word or take away from it which will have dire consequences because they are choosing to separate themselves from God. Well, as we are about to see the children of Israel arenít any different because this warning from God is going to fall on deaf ears.

 

1 Samuel 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us,20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the LORD.22 So the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed their voice, and make them a king." And Samuel said to the men of Israel, "Every man go to his city."

 

They simply didnít care about the warning from Samuel. They wanted to take matters into their own hands. Here we see they want this king to fight there battles even though the knew that with God on their side they had won countless battles in the past. How sad this is to see them putting so much faith into a man instead of God. Let us never be like the children of Israel here and put our faith and trust in some man instead let us always put our faith and trust in God who never fail us and will always be there for us.

 

Now in Chapter 9 we are going to see the providence of God at work which brings about his choice of this new king of Israel.

 

1 Samuel 9:1 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, (a-bih-ell) the son of Zeror, (zee Ė roar) the son of Bechorath, (beh Ėkoe-rath) the son of Aphiah,(a-fie-ah) a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.2 And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.3 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. And Kish said to his son Saul, "Please, take one of the servants with you, and arise, go and look for the donkeys."

 

So Saul set out to find this missing donkeys and they make there way close to the city that Samuel lived and they still hadnít found the donkeys. Well they decide to go ask the Samuel if he could tell them where they could find these donkeys. But Saul was about find out more than he bargained for.

 

1 Samuel 9:14 So they went up to the city. As they were coming into the city, there was Samuel, coming out toward them on his way up to the high place.15 Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying,16 "Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to me."17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, "There he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. This one shall reign over My people."18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, "Please tell me, where is the seer's house?"19 And Samuel answered Saul and said, "I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart.20 "But as for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, do not be anxious about them, for they have been found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on you and on all your father's house?"21 And Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?"

 

Saul doesnít understand it yet but through Godís providence Saul was about to become king. Now when Samuel makes insinuates that all of the desire of Israel is on Saul and his household this really confuses Saul and he cant comprehend this because not only did he belong to the smallest tribe in Israel his family was the least in that tribe. But if there anything that we learn for Gods Word. God has a tendency to use those who seem to be the weakest or the smallest to take on great task. This something we need to remember today. Sometimes we might have the mindset of Saul and think what can I possible do I am so small or I am so weak that I can do very little. But many times those who think they are the weakest or the smallest can accomplish the most in Gods kingdom. So donít every sell yourself short because when God is on your side you can accomplish great things.

 

Well after this Saul and Samuel eat together and then Samuel is going to provide proof that Saul is to be anointed as King of the children of Israel.

 

1 Samuel 9:27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, "Tell the servant to go on ahead of us." And he went on. "But you stand here awhile, that I may announce to you the word of God." 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: "Is it not because the LORD has anointed you commander over His inheritance?2 "When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, 'The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. And now your father has ceased caring about the donkeys and is worrying about you, saying, "What shall I do about my son?" '3 "Then you shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. There three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine.4 "And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive from their hands.5 "After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.6 "Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.7 "And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.

 

So we see that Samuel tells Saul that he will have these 3 signs happen to him and then he will receive the spirit of the Lord and prophesy. This will be Saulís proof that Samuel is telling him the truth and that this truly was Godís will. Now notice how the events unfold as we continue through the end of the chapter.

 

1 Samuel 10:8 "You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do."9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day.10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.11 And it happened, when all who knew him formerly saw that he indeed prophesied among the prophets, that the people said to one another, "What is this that has come upon the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"12 Then a man from there answered and said, "But who is their father?" Therefore it became a proverb: "Is Saul also among the prophets?"13 And when he had finished prophesying, he went to the high place.

 

Here we learn that everything that Samuel said came to pass. Now we see that Saul received the spirit of God and was able to prophecy. This shows us that only way someone could truly prophecy was when the spirit of God was with them. This is why Peter tells us will all confidence:

 

2 Peter 1:20 no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

 

We can see from our text that the people of the OT understood this that is why they started this new proverb Is Saul also among the prophets? The text also states that he was given a new heart, this simply means that he was given a new attitude or a new sense of assurance because he know had God with him.

 

14 Then Saul's uncle said to him and his servant, "Where did you go?" So he said, "To look for the donkeys. When we saw that they were nowhere to be found, we went to Samuel."15 And Saul's uncle said, "Tell me, please, what Samuel said to you."16 So Saul said to his uncle, "He told us plainly that the donkeys had been found." But about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him what Samuel had said.

 

Saul speaks with his uncle but he only tells him part of the story. Now we can only guess why he didnít tell him about the news of him being the anointed commander of God people. Perhaps he was still in shock of the new himself or perhaps it was because of his humility. However everyone was about to know this truth.

 

17 Then Samuel called the people together to the LORD at Mizpah,18 and said to the children of Israel, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all kingdoms and from those who oppressed you.'19 "But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, 'No, set a king over us!' Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your clans."20 And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was chosen.21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri (May-try) was chosen. And Saul the son of Kish was chosen.

 

Although God was allowing the people to get there way and have king rule over them, Samuel once again reminds them of how they are rejecting God in doing so. But, he announces who the king will be and now notice what happens.

 

But when they sought him, he could not be found.22 Therefore they inquired of the LORD further, "Has the man come here yet?" And the LORD answered, "There he is, hidden among the equipment."23 So they ran and brought him from there; and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.24 And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?" So all the people shouted and said, "Long live the king!"

 

Again I think we see the humility and the shock that Saul was having at this time because he was hiding. However, he brought out and the people can see that he was mighty in his physical stature and so they all shout out long the king.

 

25 Then Samuel explained to the people the behavior of royalty, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched.27 But some rebels said, "How can this man save us?" So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

 

So Samuel wrote the rules of royalty and now the people had their king. However not everyone agreed with this as we see some despised him. But for now these people were left alone.

 

So in conclusion we see a promising beginning for the children of Israel despite their rebellious attitude and we learn at least 2 things from this lesson.

 

1. New beginnings with the Lord should begin with a humble heart and with the desire to do what is right.

2. A new beginning is just a beginning we must be willing to finish what we started or else we find our separated from God. I hope that we always strive to have a humble heart from the beginning of our Christianity to the end. ††††††