1Samuel 10-12

Sunday Evening Bible Study

January 20, 2002


Samuel has been God’s man, judging the nation of Israel.  As he grew old, the people did not want Samuel’s sons taking his place because they had obtained a reputation as being crooked.  So the people asked for a king.  It grieved Samuel, but it grieved God even more.  God knew that the people were really rejecting Him as being their sovereign.  But God decided to give the people what they wanted.  We saw last week the interesting way in which God worked to pick out the first king.  It started with lost donkeys.  And as Saul was looking for his father’s donkeys, he ended up running into the prophet Samuel, who declared to Saul that he would be the nation’s king.  Saul had difficulty accepting that God would want him to be king.

1Samuel 10

:1  Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

vialpak – vial, flask

oilshemen – fat, oil; olive oil

Oil is seen in Scripture as a picture of the Holy Spirit.  In Saul’s life, he will come into contact with the Holy Spirit within a few hours.  With David, when he was anointed with oil, the Holy Spirit came upon him immediately.

(1 Sam 16:12-13 KJV)  And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. {13} Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

kissednashaq – to put together, kiss

This was an act of respectful homage, a token of congratulation to the new king.

We can sometimes look at Saul thinking of what he would become, but at this point, he is God’s man, the one that God has chosen.

anointedmashach – to smear, anoint, spread a liquid.  This is the root word for “Messiah”, the “anointed one”.

Messiahmashiyach – anointed, anointed one; of the Messiah, Messianic prince; of the king of Israel; of the high priest of Israel

The priests were anointed with oil as a part of the ritual involving their ordination (Ex. 29:7; Ex. 40:15).  Now the first king is also “anointed”.

the LORD hath anointed – Samuel is only pouring the oil on Saul because God has already anointed Saul, God has already picked him out.  The act of Samuel pouring the oil didn’t make Saul anointed, it only showed that God had already anointed him.

:2  thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah

Rachel’s sepulchre – Rachel’s tomb was in Bethlehem.  See map

(Gen 35:19 KJV)  And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.


God wants you to trust Him.

Samuel tells Saul what is going to happen later on that day.  Pay attention to the kind of minute details that Samuel will predict.
He wants Saul to understand that God is at work in all the things that are happening.  He wants Saul to understand that God has truly picked him out as king.
The same works for us in all of Scripture.
There are hundreds of prophecies in the Scripture, many that have been fulfilled, some still yet to be fulfilled.
Sometimes people may wonder, why is the Bible any different from any other “religious book”?

There is no other “religious book” that has fulfilled prophecies like the Bible.  None.

God says,

(Isa 46:9-10 KJV)  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, {10} Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Saul had been concerned that his father would become worried about him (1Sam. 9:5), and that’s what would happen.

:3  thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel

plain of Tabor – can also be translated “tree of Tabor”, which would fit better.  The “plain of Tabor” was too far from this location.

Bethel - Beyth-’El – “house of God”. This was one of the cities that Samuel visited on his circuit.  Though the ark was in Kirjathjearim, God had not yet declared a permanent place for central worship since the collapse of Shiloh.  See map

Bethel is one of the four places that Samuel spends time at.  He lives in Ramah, and travels to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah (1Sam. 7:16-17).

:5  thou shalt meet a company of prophets

This will be the third set of people that Saul will meet that will fit into Samuel’s prophecy.  God wants Saul to know for sure that something is happening.  God wants Saul’s attention.  I think this is going to help Saul open up to the work of the Holy Spirit.

:5  thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines

the hillgib‘ah – hill.  Though this could be translated “hill”, it may actually be referring to the name of a place, Geba or Gibeah.  There was a garrison of the Philistines at Geba –

1 Samuel 13:3  And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that [was] in Geba, and the Philistines heard [of it]. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear.

This is the Gibeah that is north of Bethel.  see map

:5  a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy:

psalterynebel – a skin-bag, jar, pitcher; harp, lute, guitar, musical instrument.  It had ten strings and was played more like our modern harp.

tabrettoph – timbrel, tambourine

pipechaliyl – pipe, flute

prophesynaba’ – to prophesy; under influence of divine spirit; of false prophets

harpkinnowr – lyre, harp.  Comes from a word that means to “twang”.  Probably a little more like our guitar.

These prophets would be singing praises to the Lord and they would be prophesying in the Spirit.


Worship and the Spirit

I don’t think it will be coincidence that these prophets will be carrying musical instruments.
God often uses music to stir up a person spiritually.
King Jehoshaphat wanted to hear from God before he went into a war allied with the King of Israel against the Moabites.  When Elisha was brought in, he was reluctant to prophesy, but he finally yielded and said,

(2 Ki 3:15 KJV)  But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

Elisha was then filled with the Spirit and told Jehoshaphat what he was to do.  God uses music to prepare a person’s heart for a work of the Holy Spirit.

:6 And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

come upontsalach   (Qal) to rush; to advance, prosper, make progress, succeed, be profitable


The work of the Holy Spirit

There are folks who see the work of the Holy Spirit being different in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament, the Spirit seemed to only come on certain individuals, whereas in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit would come upon the whole church.
Perhaps there is a reason for the difference.  After all, Jesus had not yet died for the sins of the world.  Jesus tied the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church with His own death and resurrection:

(John 16:7 KJV)  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Though there are some differences, I think that in another sense, the work of the Holy Spirit has always been the same.
The Spirit gives new life.
The Holy Spirit changes us.
The Holy Spirit strengthens us
The more we allow the Holy Spirit to affect our lives, the more we are changed.

I like to think about the hand in the glove.  A glove is not nearly so useful as it is when a hand is inside of it.  When a hand is inside a glove, everything the hand does, the glove does.  If we allow the Holy Spirit to fully control our lives, we will find ourselves doing all the kinds of things that the Holy Spirit does.

:7 And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee.


Making decisions / “Do as occasion serve thee”

Samuel is telling Saul to just “go with the flow”.
Sometimes a person can get bogged down in wondering about every little detail in their life.  They wonder if God wants them to wear black socks or white socks.  They wonder if they should have eggs for breakfast or cold cereal.  They wonder if they should turn right at the light or go straight.
Sometimes we simply worry too much.
When you’re filled with the Spirit, there is a sense in which much of the time you just “do as occasion serve thee”.  Just do what God puts before you.
There are still going to be times when we need to seek the Lord, seek counsel, wait on Him, etc.  But there are some things we need to simply learn to go with it.
We could call this “walking in the Spirit”.
David wrote,
(Psa 37:4 KJV)  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

As God becomes your greatest joy, your sole delight, you will find new things happening in your heart.  God will begin to place new desires in your heart.  He will be giving you new “desires”.  And they will be for the things that He desires.

Solomon wrote,
(Prov 3:5-6 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. {6} In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

When you are trusting in and counting on God, you will find Him putting the right “occasions” before you.  He will direct your path.

:8  Gilgal … seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and show thee what thou shalt do.

Gilgalsee map

At first this sounds like this was something Saul was to do right away, but it seems that this is more of a rule that Saul was to follow when he needed help and guidance from Samuel.  We’ll see this happen later when we get to chapter thirteen:

(1 Sam 13:8 KJV)  And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

:10  he prophesied among them.

or literally, “he acted like a prophet among them

:11  Is Saul also among the prophets?


People won’t understand

The people that had known Saul thought he had gone nuts on them.
It’s just like what happens to us when we fall in love with the Lord and we do silly things like going to church all the time.
Why would you ever give up a Sunday evening and go to church?
People who used to know us have a hard time understanding why.

:14  we came to Samuel.

Earlier, Saul didn’t know a thing about Samuel.  Saul’s servant only knew that there was a man of God, a “seer”.  Now they refer to him as Samuel

:15 And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you.

I get the idea that Saul’s uncle knows a little about Samuel.  He’s fascinated to hear what Samuel has said.

:16  But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.

For some reason, Saul doesn’t talk about the king stuff. 

Is this humility?  Is this embarrassment?  Is Saul unsure of himself?

:17 And Samuel called the people together unto the LORD to Mizpeh;

Mizpeh – or, Mizpah.  This is one of the main gathering places for the nation. This was where Samuel had gathered the people in their last battle with the Philistines (1Sam. 7:5).  See map

:20  the tribe of Benjamin was taken.

Perhaps this was done by lot, sort of like drawing straws.  Samuel is going to demonstrate God’s choice for king.

:21  when they sought him, he could not be found.

Saul’s hiding could be out of humility.  I wonder if there is a slight reluctance to do what God has called him to do.

Pastor Chuck: “I know that you might think, “Hey, wait a minute.  This could be another sign of the man’s humility.”  No, when God has called you to a task or mission, for you to try to hide from that call of God - is not a sign of humility, it is a sign of folly, or weakness.  So this hiding from the call of God to be the chosen is a sign of weakness.”


What kind of humility?

I may be going out on a limb here, but I wonder if there aren’t different kinds of “humility”.
I think that all humility is good.
But some humility starts out the wrong way.
Saul will later become a proud, arrogant, paranoid man.  He will lose his humility.
Later, Samuel tells us how Saul started out,

(1 Sam 15:17 KJV)  And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

(1 Sam 15:17 ICB)  Samuel said, "Once you didn't think much of yourself…”

I don’t want to sound too much like a pop-psychologist, but I would say that Saul started out with humility simply because he didn’t think he was worth too much.
And then when he experienced what God could do in his life, I wonder if he didn’t begin to think, “Yeah!  I am THE MAN!!!”
The truth is, even though we really aren’t worth too much, we have great value simply because God cares about us.  And God wants to work in us.  All of us.
We need to work at humility.
Peter writes,
(1 Pet 5:5-6 KJV)  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. {6} Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

“be clothed with humility” carries the idea that we have a choice whether or not to “put on” humility.

We learn humility because God is great.  God has a mighty hand.  God is at work and God gets all the credit.


Aim lower

(Luke 14:7-11 KJV)  And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, {8} When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; {9} And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. {10} But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. {11} For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Saul will get to the point where he, as king, will reason that he deserves to be in the “chief seat”.  After all, he’s king, isn’t he?
Jesus is teaching us that we need to learn to make a willful choice to sit in a seat that is lower than we might think we deserve.

:22  the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.

They didn’t know where Saul was, so they asked the Lord.


God knows where you are.

You can’t hide from God.
Others may not know where you are.  Others may not be able to see that you’re “among the stuff”, but God does.
When Adam sinned in the garden with his wife, he tried to hide from the Lord.
(Gen 3:9 KJV)  And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

Did God not know where Adam was?  God knew exactly where Adam was.  God asked the question because He wanted Adam to think about where he was.  He was hiding from God.

:23  he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

Saul was a tall man. 

Why is this being mentioned? 

Because the people are seeing this as an advantage for Saul.  They see this as if he is “built” to be a king.  He is going to be the kind of a king the people are looking for.

:24  God save the king.

(1 Sam 10:24 NIV)  Then the people shouted, "Long live the king!"

They want their king to thrive and prosper.

:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book

The book could have included what Samuel had warned about in 1Samuel 8:9-18.  It could have included Moses’ instructions for a king in Deut. 17:14-20.

:26 And Saul also went home to Gibeah

Gibeahsee map.  This is the Gibeah that is east or Ramah in the land of Benjamin.

It would seem that this is the same “Gibeah” that was wiped out in the judgment against Benjamin (Judg. 19-21).

:26  there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched.

God draws men to Saul.


A band of men

Think of the incredible potential in this verse.
Saul himself has been touched deeply by the Lord.  He has been changed.
And now God touches other men and puts them around Saul.
Jesus took a group of twelve common, ordinary men.  And these men changed the world.
It’s pretty exciting to be in a group of people whose hearts have been touched by the Lord.  Look around you.  What do you see?


God provides.

Saul was going to need a lot of help.  God touches the hearts of various men and they gather around Saul to help him.
In the ministry, it’s hard when you feel like God wants something to be done, but nobody is around to help.
Is it something you should just do by yourself?
Perhaps it’s not the right time.
Perhaps people just aren’t aware of what’s happening.
What do you do if it seems that there aren’t enough people to do what you see needs to be done?
I think it’s okay to let people know of the need.  That’s a natural thing.  It’s okay to ask people.  Jesus did.
But Jesus also suggested that we pray.

(Mat 9:35-38 KJV)  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. {36} But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. {37} Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; {38} Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

pray – deomai – to want, lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg; to pray, make supplications

:27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents.

children of Belial – or, “children of worthlessness”, or “children of Satan”.  These are plain bad people.


People will challenge you

Even when God is involved in something, you will find that people will challenge you.

:27  But he held his peace.

held his peacecharash – (Hiphil) to be silent, keep quiet; to make silent; to be deaf, show deafness


Hold your peace.

I think Saul did a good thing here.
Be careful about defending yourself.  Sometimes it is better to be quiet.

1Samuel 11

:1  Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee.

Nahash Nachash – “serpent”

Ammonite – the Ammonites were the descendants of Lot’s incestuous relationship with one of his daughters, along with the Moabites.  They were constant enemies of Israel.  It was against the Ammonites that Jephthah had fought (Judges 10-12).  It’s been about ninety years since Jephthah defeated the Ammonites and put them in their place.  They’re beginning to push again at the borders of Israel.

The Ammonite threat apparently was building for some time.  We will find that the fear of the Ammonites was one of the hidden factors in why the people were demanding a king from Samuel.

1Sa 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.

encamped against – Nahash has laid siege to Jabeshgilead.  He intends to either wipe it out or make slaves of its inhabitants.

Jabeshgileadsee map

JabeshYabesh – “dry”.  This was the city of Jabesh in the land of Gilead, the land east of the Jordan river.

Back when the nation of Israel brought judgment against the tribe of Benjamin for sheltering the wicked men of Gibeah, it was the city of Jabeshgilead that had not responded (Judges 21:8-14).  This was the city that the rest of the nation came and fought against, killing everyone except for four hundred virgins, which they then gave to the last of the remaining Benjamite men.

It is very possible that Saul is a descendant of these virgins of Jabeshgilead.  If he isn’t, at least two-thirds of his tribe of Benjamin are.

This could be one reason why shy, hiding Saul will respond as he does.  The work of the Holy Spirit is another reason.

:2  On this condition will I make a covenant with you

The choice Nahash gives them is:  1)  be wiped out, or, 2) lose your right eye

:2  that I may thrust out all your right eyes

thrust outnaqar – to bore, pick, dig, pick out.  Gross!

:3  Give us seven days' respite

Nahash agrees to the seven days grace period.  He most likely doesn’t think there is anyone to help.  Sual might be king, but he doesn’t have an army.

:6 And the spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

anger ‘aph – nostril, nose, face; anger

was kindledcharah – (Qal) to burn, kindle (anger)

An interesting juxtaposition.  The Spirit of God comes on Saul.  He becomes angry.


The Spirit and anger

It is possible to be filled with the Spirit and also be angry.
Jesus got angry in the Temple.  Twice.

The first time was at the beginning of His ministry.

(John 2:13-17 KJV)  And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, {14} And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: {15} And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; {16} And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. {17} And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

The second time was at the end of His ministry.

(Mat 21:12-13 KJV)  And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, {13} And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

But many times, our anger is wrong.  We need to be careful not to justify our anger and have a falsely spiritual overtone.
(Eph 4:26-27 KJV)  Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {27} Neither give place to the devil.
(Eph 4:30-32 KJV)  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. {31} Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

:7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them

Saul’s tactic was similar to what the Levite did with his concubine (Judges 19-21).  When she had died at the hands of the wicked men of Gibeah, he cut her into pieces and sent her pieces throughout the nation.

:8 And when he numbered them in Bezek,

BezekBezeq – “lightning”.  Seventeen miles to the west of Jabeshgilead.  Thirty-five miles north of Saul’s home in Gibeah of Benjamin.  This becomes the staging ground for their attack on Jabeshgilead.  See map

:8  the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

330,000 men show up.  The ox bit was pretty good at getting their attention.

:9  they were glad

Of course they were!

:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said …

(1 Sam 11:10 NLT)  The men of Jabesh then told their enemies, "Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you can do to us as you wish."

It sounds to me like they’re wanting to give the Ammonites a false sense that the battle is over, to let down their guard.

:11 Saul put the people in three companies

Saul devises an attack strategy, an unusual thing for a farmer and part-time donkey-herder.

The Ammonites are wiped out.

This is a “God thing”.

:11  slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day

It would have been about a five hour battle.

:12 And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.

I wonder why the people didn’t go to Saul with this.  They go to Samuel.  Hmm.

Just as there are going to be people who will oppose you, there will be people who will be for you who will want to stick up for you.  And sometimes their ideas are not good.

:13  There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.


Be gracious

Saul demonstrates great grace here.  He is aware that God has done the work.  He sees no place for revenge.
Jesus said,
(Mat 5:43-48 KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. {44} But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; {45} That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. {46} For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? {47} And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? {48} Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

When we love our enemies, and even pray for them, we will be a little more like our Father in heaven.  He loves His enemies.  He does kind things to those who hate Him.

:14  Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.

Some have suggested that this was on Saul’s first anniversary as king.  It is Samuel that suggests that the people make their king thing a little firmer.

1Samuel 12

:1  I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

Now that the people have a king and it has been a pretty successful thing, Samuel wants to remind the people that this isn’t the time to forget the Lord.


Don’t let success stop you

I think that sometimes when we have a day or week full of “victory”, we can stop and think that we’ve arrived.
Keep seeking the Lord.

:2  I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

Samuel had been living as a priest since the time that he was weaned, about three years old.  God began speaking to Samuel when he was about twelve years old.

:3  of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith?

There have been questions raised about Samuel’s sons.  They were known to have taken bribes.

Before the transition to a king is complete, Samuel wants to clear the air regarding his own reputation.

He makes a public challenge to whether or not he’s lived a life of integrity.


Be open to criticism

We could look at this challenge of Samuel’s and think that he’s kind of got an attitude problem.  Almost like he’s challenging the people.
But it’s very possible that he’s starting his address this way because he wants to make sure that before he says anything else, that he has a clean slate with the people.
How open to criticism are you?

:5  his anointed is witness this day

his anointed – this would refer to Saul.

:5  ye have not found ought in my hand

(1 Sam 12:5 NLT)  "The LORD and his anointed one are my witnesses," Samuel declared, "that you can never accuse me of robbing you." "Yes, it is true," they replied.

Nobody is able to speak up to say that they have seen anything wicked in Samuel.

Even though Samuel’s sons had been known to take bribes, the people had never seen anything wrong in Samuel.

Samuel is setting up a point.

The point is this – the people pursued the idea of a king while Samuel was still acting as judge.  They pursued the idea of a king while things had still been done for the most part according to God’s standards.  The only abuse was found in Samuel’s sons, who were only working in Beersheba.

Because of the people’s fear of what would happen after Samuel was gone, they decided they wanted to take things into their own hands and demand that they get a king.

Their demands were based on fear and lack of trusting God, not on the fact that Samuel was wicked.
In other words, they had the wrong reasons for wanting a king.

:7  I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD

Samuel is going to briefly remind the people of some of God’s great works.  He wants to show them what a great king the Lord has been for them.

:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD

When they cried for God to help them, He did.

:9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them

When the people walked away from the Lord, they got into trouble.

:11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel

Jerubbaal – Gideon

Bedan – some have suggested this might be another name for Barak.

Every time the people repented and cried to God for help, He delivered them.

:12 ye saw … Nahash … ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us

Apparently the people had been aware of the building Ammonite threat at the time that they asked for a king.

This time, when the trouble came, instead of crying to God for Him to deliver them, they chose their own plan.  They decided what needed to be done instead of the Lord.  This time they opted for a king to help them instead of God.

:13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired!

God has given you what you asked.

:14-15 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him …But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD


God can work even in our bad choices

Samuel is laying out the two choices before the people.
Even though they have sinned in why they have asked for a king, God is still willing to help them.
Sometimes we can come to the conclusion that we’ve made a bad decision.  And we can feel like we’ve gotten ourselves into such a mess that nothing can ever work out.  Not so.
Even though the people have done wrong in asking for a king, God is extending them grace so that if they would turn to the Lord and obey the Lord, then God will work through their king.

:17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain

In Israel, the beginning of the wheat harvest occurs at the end of June and the beginning of July.  It seldom rains during that time.  The sky is usually cloudless.

Why is Samuel doing these things?

Samuel is trying to impress the people with the notion that the things he’s saying are from God.

He’s made them think about his own integrity.
He’s going to demonstrate that God is giving him the words to say.

It’s important that the people don’t go away from this gathering with the idea that Samuel is simply upset because he’s now out of a job as leader of the nation.

It’s important for the people to realize the truth that they have sinned and they need to seek the Lord.

:17 your wickedness is great

Though the idea of having a king wasn’t wrong (God had suggested it in Deut. 17), their timing was premature and their motives were wrong.


A good idea needs the right time and the right motive.

Sometimes we get some pretty good ideas going through our heads.  But we ought to stop and ask ourselves, “Is this the right time?”  “Is my heart in the right place?”
God cares about our motives.  Paul wrote,
(1 Cor 13:1-3 KJV)  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. {2} And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. {3} And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

I could do all sorts of things, but if I am not doing them for the right reasons, with love, then they are worthless.

:19  for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

The people get the point.  They realize that they’ve handled things wrongly.

:21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.


Worthless things.

Turning to the wrong things won’t help you.
(Jer 2:13 KJV)  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
In the Holy Land, because of the lack of water, the people would collect rain water in huge underground reservoirs, called cisterns.  They were carved into the rock and the people would divert the rain water into the cisterns to store it.  But woe to the person who spends all this time carving out a cistern that doesn’t hold any water.  A lot of work for nothing.
In contrast, God is like a fountain of living waters, an artesian well, a source of fresh bubbling water.
Sometimes we look at the wrong things to survive.  We need to look to the Lord.

:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.


God is pleased with you

Even though the people have sinned, God still loves this people.
God loves you.

: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:

In Samuel, we can see two qualities of a spiritual leader.


Don’t stop praying.

The implication is that Samuel has been continually praying for the people.  And he isn’t about to stop.
There actually is a time that God told someone to stop praying.  God told Jeremiah:
(Jer 7:16 KJV)  Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

God had gotten to the place with the nation where He was going to bring judgment and nothing was going to stop it.

But that is the exception to the rule.  As a general rule, a spiritual leader will pray for his flock.  It would be a sin not to.
Samuel is considered in the Psalms as a man of prayer:
(Psa 99:6 KJV)  Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.


Don’t stop teaching.

Samuel knew that he wasn’t just to pray.  He was to teach.
The early church knew of these priorities.  As things began to grow in the early church, the apostles asked the church for helpers so they could devote their time to what was important.  They said,
(Acts 6:4 KJV)  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

:25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.


Don’t ignore the warnings

God doesn’t warn people without a reason.  When God warns, it’s because there’s a danger.
If you sense God warning you, pay attention.