1 & 2 Samuel Part Two Dive
THE TWO REJECTS!
How much are you loving the books of 1 & 2 Samuel, they really are incredible historical narratives of our faith? I mean who doesn’t love prophets with miraculous births, God taking out the enemy by just the presence of the Ark, wars, good looking Kings, jealousy, more wars, Kings dancing in their underwear before God, adultery, murder – I mean seriously this book is like an episode that could be on NetFlix!
But as you read these books there is a theme and point of the whole text that you can miss in the grandeur of the moments, this book is really about the two rejects. These books are about something that is so personal, so horrible, so unjust, so unfair, so heartbreaking to God, yet we can miss it.
The books of 1 & 2 Samuel are about the people of God, his holy nation, his people that he has taken care of, his people that he has established in their promised land after so much effort by him, the incredible miracles he performed to protect them, walking around the wilderness, taking Jericho and all the other nations with his help and protection, after raising up Judges to rescue them and now after being settled in their land, in their comfort, in their need to be like everyone else around them, in their need to have a secure, visible, “like everyone else” existence they reject God as their King and ask for a human!
See as you read 1 Samuel, you will find this incredible chapter that is the breaking point of all the others before and after. The chapter is 8, Israel asks for a King – have a read of it now if you are not up to it yet. This chapter confirms two rejects in this story, one being Samuel the other Father God.
Samuel the final Judge
Samuel was the final Judge, he is an incredible prophet, a priest but his main role was as Judge. So like in Judges he is the same as Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Samson and all the others found in the book. That is why 1 & 2 Samuel are found after Judges and Ruth because Samuel is, in fact, the 15th Judge. In fact, Eli was a Judge, and Samuel was the last Judge of Israel. Now, remember the term Judge for us can be a little confusing as it sounds like a “judicial officer” but these judges are deliverers, leaders raised up and anointed by God to save his people when they cried out to him.
We find in 8:1 that Samuel, in fact, anoints his sons to be 'Israel’s leaders' and if you look down the bottom of your Bible to what the reference 'leaders' here means it says 'Traditionally Judges'. So Samuel anoints his sons Joel and Abijah to continue to be the deliverer of God’s people, but as you read on, they didn’t follow God’s ways at all and turned aside to dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. How heartbreaking for Samuel.
So at this point, the people ask the most heartbreaking and history changing question in the nation of Israel
8:4 'So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Seriously people how many times has God told you not to be like the other nations, not to do what they do, not to model yourself after them, to be set apart, you are holy, chosen, his nation, you are his people, the people of God and now you have King envy!! Oh, my goodness!! In this one statement, they rejected Samuel (his sons) and God!
They have King envy!
Look at 8:7
'And the Lord told him; “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”
How heartbreaking is this? See before this, who was it that governed Israel, that instructed them, guided them, protected them, fought for them – it was God, as their King. Through prophets and judges, God spoke, guided, protected. He physically intervened with miracles, collapsing walls, anointing them, but that wasn’t enough they wanted a human King like everyone else. See in theological terms this is the moment that Israel moved from a 'theocracy' to a 'monarchy' from God as King to human kings. You can understand why Samuel wrote Judges at this point, showing the people how God raised up delivers to protect them as a great King.
Now God is so gracious, he takes their rejection on the chin and steps aside. Look at 8:9
'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
Then you have from 8:10 – 18 where Samuel gives them the warning of what a human King will do to them, have a read of it!
God gives them the whole picture, Samuel tells them all the bad things that are about to happen, but still, the sin of comparison is so strong that they confirm their rejection of God
8:19 'But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
Did you notice what they wanted their king to do, lead us, go out before us and fight our battles – the very thing God had been doing for the last couple of hundreds of years!
Keep reading the story; God confirms that he will give them their king and then Samuel goes and anoints Saul, everything that the people wanted in a king.
How sad is this!! The people are rejecting the leadership of God, and he gives them what they want. The next amazing thing is he anoints the human kings, he protects them and blesses them. Even in rejection, God is good, loving, kind and generous. But I love when you look forward to the New Testament from this point of rejection. God knew that he was getting the throne back, he knows that when his son Jesus Christ comes to the earth, he will have all authority back, he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He also knows that when the fullness of time comes the Lord God Almighty will be enthroned once again, with us here on earth as our eternal King and we will be restored to the theocracy that we lost.
You are going to love reading 1 & 2 Samuel now you know this incredible pinnacle point in the book. Now you will understand how passionate God is about Saul doing what he wants as the king; he is the stand in king for God. Now you will understand how when Saul takes up the burnt offering himself God rejects him as king. You will watch as David 'a man after God’s own heart' leads God’s Kingdom in humility and obedience to God and God establishes his throne forever.
Have a great time in the book of 1 Samuel