I Samuel Chapter 12
"Samuel Presents Saul as the King, and Addresses the People."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
Before Samuel steps aside as the judge of all Israel and Saul steps in as their king, Samuel will have a few things to say to the entire congregation.
I Samuel 12:1 "And Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you."
Samuel is telling the people that they have asked for a king, and now they have a their king. This is not necessarily a good thing to set God aside as their king and turn their devotion over to a man. God sometimes will give you something that you have prayed for, but when He has He will give you information so that you will know it is not good for you. Sure, God will give it to you, but you will not receive any happiness from receiving that fulfilled prayer. This is God's way of giving the people "tough love"; they want a king, and they will have a king and all that goes along with that office.
As a Christian, God is our king, and we had better always keep God and His Son Jesus Christ as the chief ruler for our lives. This is speaking in a spiritual sense, and yet every government in existence will bless you if you love God and serve Him while obeying their laws, as Paul stated in Romans 13:1-7.
As long as you meet the conditions of that government in power they must protect your right to worship God.
Romans 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
Romans 13:2 "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall recieve to themselves damnation."
Romans 13:3 "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:"
When you are following the laws of God you are placing the good of your neighbor in the forefront and seeking to do good and the rightful thing, and there is no power on the face of this earth that has laws against such acts.
Romans 13:4 "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
When evil is done in any land and under any government, evil acts such as murder and thievery, the government in power will deal with those that commit such evil acts.
Romans 13:5 "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake."
Romans 13:6 "For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing."
If you are living under a government and that government is protecting your rights and giving you certain benefits, than you are required to pay the tribute to that government.
Romans 13:7 "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."
This is why there are courts and armies in every land, to uphold the basic commandments of God and the laws of their land. Though many teach that the law is done away with, the laws of every land are still the basic law that God gave Moses on mount Sinai, which we call the ten commandments. Thou shalt not steal is still in affect, as is though shalt not commit murder. The other laws written dealing with God and your neighbor are just as true today as they were thirty five hundred years ago.
I Samuel 12:2 "And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and gray headed; and, behold my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day."
Samuel and Saul are standing before all the People, and Samuel stated you asked for a king and there he is standing before you. From the day that Hannah birthed Samuel, Samuel was vowed and committed to the work of the Lord. After Samuel was weaned as a child by Hannah, Samuel was turned over to Eli and taught the things of the Lord. Samuel was brought up as a child under the oath of a Nazarite, and has served God all the days of His life. Now Samuel is standing before the people as an old gray headed man and turning the duties of judgeship over to Saul to be the king.
I Samuel 12:3 "Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before His anointed; whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? or whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you."
Samuel is speaking, and the "anointed" spoken of here is Saul the king. Of course we know that the truly "Anointed of God" is Jesus Christ. That is what "Christ" means, "the Anointed, the Messiah".
Samuel is asking this question to all the People of Israel who stood before him in that massive congregation. Each of them are going to have to answer in the negative, for Samuel has followed the laws of God to the letter.
I Samuel 12:4 "And they said, "Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand."
I Samuel 12:5 "And he said unto them, "The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand." And they answered, "He is witness."
Keep fresh in your mind that Samuel is laying the foundation that the priesthood under him acted in good faith with the people. Now the duties of the Judgeship are being turned over from the priesthood to the king, and there will be a complete separation of church and state from this point on. The king, or governmental form that is established by the people, whether under a king or republic, will handle the civil matters under the law, and the priesthood will handle the spiritual matters that deal with the soul and right standing before God.
It is beautiful that God picked Samuel to be the last spiritual judge from the long line of Judges. One of those judges was the woman Deborah, who led the army of Israel into battle, when men did not have the courage to go to war. Completely out numbered, God gave her the victory. In Samuel's long life, not one person in the entire land could find one thing to say against Samuel.
I Samuel 12:6 "And Samuel said unto the People, "It is the Lord That advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt."
Samuel is reminding the people that it was the Lord that freed the Israelites from the land of Egypt. It wasn't Moses nor Aaron, but the Lord God Almighty that turned the heart of Pharaoh. The Lord God you king did that for your fathers. Samuel is giving the people a little warning, and things are not going to be the same under a flesh man that is king.
I Samuel 12:7 "Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which He did to you and to your fathers."
Samuel is now going to bring them the entire history of their nation, from the time of Egypt, to this present day, when Saul would become king. He is letting them know exactly what kind of king they are giving up for this man Saul.
I Samuel 12:8 "When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your father out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place."
Don't lose sight of the fact that it was the Lord that brought their forefathers out of Egypt, through the wilderness and into this promise land. It wasn't Moses, Aaron, nor Joshua, but God sent them to follow His instructions.
I Samuel 12:9 "And when they forgat the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the had of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them."
The people have already agreed that Samuel was a man of God and honest. Then as a man of God Samuel is telling them that when their forefathers forgot to turn to the Lord their God, God allowed them to be overthrown by the kings around them, and they became the servants and slaves of other nations.
When you cross God and lie to Him, He will allow bad things to happen to you. It is not God that does the evil acts to you, but God's hand of protection will be removed from over you, and you will be open to all sorts of evil. When you play games with what is dear to the Father, you will get beat over the head by your enemies. This is just as true today as it was in the wilderness, as it was in the time of the judges, and when the Israelites were in bondage to Assyria and Babylon. It should be a serious lesson to each of us. The reason that you are chastised is because God does love you, and wants you to turn back to Him.
I Samuel 12:10 "And they cried unto the Lord, and said, `We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliever us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve Thee.' "
This is in reference to the book of Judges, when Gideon burned the things of Baalim and Ashtaroth, when the people were trying to free themselves from under the rule of the Midianites and the Amalekites that striped the land bare each year. The reason that the Midianites were there was that the Israelites played around with their heathen religious practices of Baalim and Ashtaroth, in their sexual orgies in grove worship. Then the people woke up to what the causes of their troubles were, and cried out to God to save them.
It seems that this was the way of the Israelites, they love to toy around with heathen forms of religions, and mock God and His ways. Then when the trouble came upon them because God lifted His protective hand, they would cry out and carry on until God stepped in to bring them back to His Ways. Does it sound familiar? Is there anything new under the sun? This message by Samuel is just as real for our lives today as it was in Samuel's day.
I Samuel 12:11 "And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe."
After the Lord led Gideon to subdue the Midianites, the children of Israel were at peace for forty years with Gideon was their judge. When Gideon died, the people turned their hearts back to the heathen ways of Baalim, and Baal-berith, and those sexual orgies started all over again, and God allowed the there enemies to rise against them again. The next leader that God sent was Jerubbaal to turn the hearts back to God.
Jephthah was the son of an harlot, a very strong man that led the army of Israelites against their enemies, and after the battle and victory, he judged Israel the rest of his life. Samuel is bringing up each of the judges that ruled over Israel, and in every case when the judged died and there was no judged to rule over them, the fell back into sin and turned from God. Jephthah made a vow to God and to fulfill that vow, he had to turn his only daughter into what would be called a nun today; a servant in the tabernacle.
Samuel is reminding the Israelites that God took care of you, and you had it made when you follow God and his ways.
I Samuel 12:12 "And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, `Nay; but a king shall reign over us:' when the Lord your God was your king."
This is now referring to the battle that was just finished, where Saul led the forces against Nahash and the Ammonites, from the prior chapter. Samuel is reminding them that the Lord God was their king when they went to battle against Nahash, and He will always be their king.
You and I are going to get into trouble if we don't keep this thought in mind. It makes our Heavenly Father very mad when you try to substitute Him for anything of any form in your mind and heart. This goes for social security, your bank account, the stock market, that church building on the corner, or any other thing that takes the place of God. That form then becomes your god. It is important that we know that we have one king and only One King in our lives, and that is the Lord God Almighty, through His Son Jesus the Christ. Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of Lords and there is no other.
If God is not number one in your life, your prayers will not be answered, and you will have troubled times. If you do not understand this and give your love and respect to God when it is due, you will not be blessed of God.
Israel did not have an earthly king prior to Saul, but a judge that followed the instructions by our Heavenly King, Almighty God. God spoke through the Judge, who passed the judgments on to the people. But now starting with Saul, Israel will have a king that is not a prophet, or a man of God, and he will sit in the seat of the prophet judge, and his judgments will be final.
I Samuel 12:13 "Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and behold, the Lord hath set a king over you."
This man Saul that God set over the people was the tallest and straightest of all the nation, and now he will do the judging of all Israel. This was the man that looked like a king, but he was still the man that couldn't even find his own donkeys that fled through the barn yard fence. It is kind of an irony in a way, for God had shown us that this man was as helpless as he could be, and even had to rely on his servants to show him the way to God. Yet this is the man God chose to rule Israel. Then Samuel took Saul over and began to deal with him, until Saul even sounded like a prophet. Saul looked the part, but that just doesn't cut it when there is a nation to be led.
I Samuel 12:14 "If ye will fear the Lord, and serve Him, and obey His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:"
The order is to obey the king, and not rebel against "the commandment of the Lord". That commandment is the Word of God, all of the instruction of the prophets, and the law. This is a conditional promise for if you continue to follow the Lord's commandments and obey our true King's orders, than you will live in peace. The one to fear, to serve and obey is the voice or written word of our Heavenly Father. In your personal life, no one can take that away from you. In your mind you know what is right, and God's ways, and when you follow them you will have peace of mind.
I Samuel 12:15 "But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers."
This is another condition to be aware of when you are disobedient to the voice of the Lord. Samuel is telling the Israelites to wake up and look at what happened to their forefathers when they rebelled against God. For the past three hundred years since the time they entered into the promise land every time they went against the ways of God, and rebelled against God, they fell into captivity. God removed His hand of protection from them, and their lives fell apart. If God's hand is against you, you haven't got a prayer of a chance, until you do a little soul searching and make some changes in your life.
God will bring you down to whatever point it takes to make you change your mind and ways, and turn back to him. When God loves you, He will keep after you until you do change. Then when you repent of those sins in Jesus name, those sins are eliminated and blotted out from His books, and made as if they never happened, and He brings you back into right standing with Him.
I Samuel 12:16 "Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes."
There will be one more thing that the power of God would do through this prophet Samuel. God has already revealed to Samuel what he must do at this time. Samuel is not taking any chance in making this prediction to the people, for Samuel is not playing church and setting up any new rules.
I Samuel 12:17 "Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and He shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king."
When this happened it was during the dry part of the year. The rains had already come and the rainy season was over. God is not pleased that you desire to worship a man instead of God. The Israelites had turned to a man instead of God for their salvation, and that is where their wickedness lie.
You don't need man to talk to, but we are to talk directly to God, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is important that you understand that no body stands between you and our Heavenly Father. Follow our Father's guidance through His instructions. Those instructions are written in our Father's Word. This is what establishes a personal relationship between you and our heavenly Father, so that He knows that you desire to please Him. The sin here was asking for a man to rule them and take the place of God.
I Samuel 12:18 "So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the People greatly feared the Lord and Samuel."
Here came the rain and the thunder just as Samuel had prophesied.
I Samuel 12:19 "And all the People said unto Samuel "Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king."
Though these people cry out for forgiveness, they won't change, but you can.
I Samuel 12:20 "And Samuel said unto the People, "Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart;"
God is making a condition to this, for even though you have Saul over there trying to serve as the king, you are to still serve the Lord with all of your heart.
I Samuel 12:21 "And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain."
Samuel is telling the people that if they do not go after the things of the Lord, but seek after vain empty things, God will not bless you. Don't do it.
I Samuel 12:22 "For the Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you His People."
This is a promise that you can count on even today. "The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake." God is always with you, because He is God. All of the souls that were ever created are God's children. It pleases God when you tell Him that you love Him.
I Samuel 12:23 "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:"
Though Saul will reign as king, Samuel did not let go the office of the high priest, and the duties of that office were to teach the people the right ways of the Lord. From that time forth there will be a split between the civil matters that the judge rules over, and those duties and responsibilities of the priest. This again was the start of the separation of church or priesthood, and state which is the king or the government.
I Samuel 12:24 "Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart: for consider now great things He hath done for you."
When you fear [revere] the Lord do it in truth from the depths of your heart and mind. Do this for the sake of all those things that He has already done of you and your forefathers. From the promises to Abraham, to the freeing of them from Egypt, and all the other times that God interceded on their behalf against their enemies.
Even when they sinned and brought the ark of the covenant into battle, and lost it, God did not use one man to bring that ark back home. The ark of the covenant rode on the back of two cows and their cart. God uses natural things to get his way. The mice ate the Philistines grain, and the hemorrhoids never let them sit on their still while the ark was in their presence. The Philistines were more than willing to send the ark back to Israel, and they knew that God was not happy with them and caused it all. God can do it all by Himself, but it pleases Him to have us willing to help him and serve Him.
I Samuel 12:25 "But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king."
Here is another condition. This is not man's plan but it is part of God's plan that His people will be ruled by a king here. It was because of their rebellious heart that God allowed them to have a king. It is all part of God's plan and under His Law, that this nation will be ruled by kings. Samuel was warning them that any government that sets up laws that counter the laws of God, that government and its people will pay for their choice.
All of the constitutions of all Christian nations are taken from the Word of God, and the guidelines are set by the writings of the prophets of God. This is why America and all Christian nations are so blessed. God loves all His people, but He doesn't love the sinful acts that they do. God corrects His people by not blessing them, and through the things that come upon them when His protective hand is lifted from them.
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