1Samuel 7-8

Thursday Evening Bible Study

February 16, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Samuel is the last of the “Judges”. He is the man who will bridge the gap between the time of the Judges and the beginning of the Kings of Israel.

We’ve seen Samuel grow up, raised in the Tabernacle by Eli the priest.

We’ve seen the Israelites in a war with the Philistines, where they not only lost many of their soldiers, but the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines.

Last week we saw how God was able to handle the Philistines all by Himself – bringing stranges plagues on the Philistines until they finally decided to send the Ark back to Israel marked “return to sender”.

When the Ark arrived in a field at Beth Shemesh, being pulled by a driverless oxcart, some of the Israelites peeked inside the Ark and were killed. As a result, the people of Beth Shemesh asked for help from the people of Kirjath-jearim, asking that they could come and take the Ark off of their hands.

7:1-12 Ebenezer II

:1 Then the men of Kirjath Jearim came and took the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord.

:1 Kirjath Jearim “city of forests”. 

A city eight miles northeast of Bethshemesh, up in the hills. See map

Why wasn’t the ark returned to Shiloh?

Ryrie:  “The ark was not returned to Shiloh, for archaeological data indicates that the city was destroyed about 1050 bc (cf. Jer. 26:9), perhaps after the battle at Aphek (1 Sam. 4).”

:1 Abinadab – “my father is noble” or “my father is willing”

There are a couple of Abinadabs in the Bible. We don’t know much about this man at all, except he was willing to take the Ark.

:1 consecrated Eleazar

I think it would be safe to assume that this was a family of Levites, perhaps even priests.

:2 So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.

:2 the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim

It will be there twenty years until Samuel steps into the role of judging Israel.

That would put Samuel in his early thirties if he received his call from God at age 12 as is according to Jewish Tradition.

The Ark would actually be in Kirjath Jearim for a lot longer than this.

There will be a moment when Saul possibly brought the Ark to Gibeah for a brief moment, but it apparently went back to Abinadab’s house. (1Sam. 14:18)
(1 Sa 14:18 NKJV) —18 And Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here” (for at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel).
It will be there for about 100 years until David becomes king and finally brings the Ark to Jerusalem (2Sam. 6:3)
(2 Sa 6:3 NKJV) —3 So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.

:2 all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord

lamentednahah – to wail, lament

(1 Sa 7:2 NLT) …During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.

:3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.”

:3 returnshuwb – to return, turn back

This is the Hebrew word for “repent”.

:3 the Ashtoreths

This is the plural form, the singular is “Ashtoreth”.

This was the main female goddess that was worshipped by just about everybody at the time in some shape or form.

She was called Ashtoreth by the Phoenicians, Ishtar by the Assyrians, and Aphrodite by the Greeks. 
She was considered the “moon goddess” and was thought to be married to some form of Baal, the sun-god. 
Solomon brought the worship of her into Israel (1Ki. 11:33), Jezebel had 400 priests dedicated to serve her (1 Ki. 18:19), and she would still be a part of Israelite culture right up to Jeremiah’s day when she was called the “queen of heaven” (Jer. 44:25).

If we were to summarize the worship of Ashtoreth, it is everything pornographic. They didn’t need Playboy magazine or Internet pornography, they had Ashtoreth.


Action, not just sorrow

During the twenty years that the Ark is at Kirjathjearim, Samuel doesn’t speak. But now it’s time to say something, and when he does, it is to point out something about their “mourning”, their “sorrow”.
The people had been upset over their spiritual condition and the fact that it seemed that God was against them. But they weren’t doing anything to change.
The church in Corinth was sort of Paul’s “problem child”. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he had to write some pretty harsh things. But his message got through.
(2 Co 7:8–11 NLT) —8 I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.

Sorrow without change is worthless. Sorrow is only helpful if it brings change.


Victory from repentance

If Israel wanted to have victory over the Philistines, they needed to get rid of the Ashtoreths.
You can’t make half-way changes. God wants all of your heart.
The guys couldn’t feel sorry during church and just wish things were better. They needed to go home and throw away the porn. It meant they needed to block the bad stuff on the internet. Maybe use one of the free filtering services like OpenDNS.  They needed to tell someone they need help.
If your house was burning down, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to put out the fire?

One dark night outside a small town in Minnesota, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in the blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around. When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, “All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact.” But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company’s secret files. From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company comprised mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone’s amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant. Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched in amazement as the Norwegian old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire and bravely fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the Norske old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas. The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters. The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film, asking their chief, “What are you going to do with all that money?”

“Vell,” said Ole Larsen, the 70-year-old fire chief, “Da first thing ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat old truck!”

If you are really returning to the Lord, then make the appropriate changes.
Victory in one area of your life will affect other areas of your life.
God didn’t just promise them victory over Ashtoreth, but victory over the Philistines. Getting rid of the Ashtoreths brought victory over the Philistines.

:4 So the children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

For twenty years the people were caught in that cycle of “mourning” but never really changing.

This time they finally get it and they turn to the Lord.

They finally throw out the magazines they shouldn’t be reading. They finally put a block on the Internet pornography. They finally put away the things that tempt them.

:5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.”

:5 MizpahMitspeh – “watchtower”  See map.

About three miles south of where Israel gathered last time for battle, at Ebenezer.  About seven miles north of Jerusalem.  See map.  It seems to be a common place of gathering the nation. This was the place in Judges 20-21 where Israel gathered to battle against the tribe of Benjamin.  It would be the place where Saul would be presented to the people as king (1Sam. 10:17).

:6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah.

:6 drew water, and poured it out

It seems that this is somehow tied to their confession as a people. It could be a symbol of their weeping before the Lord. The Jewish Targum, which is a sort of paraphrased translation states “they poured out their heart in repentance, as water”.



Don’t make excuses or blame it on others.
Own your own sin. Acknowledge that you are to blame.

:6 Samuel judged the children of Israel

This is the beginning of Samuel’s ministry as the last “judge” over Israel. He is God’s spokesman, giving instruction and leadership to the nation.

His “judging” is demonstrated in his calling the people to repentance.

:7 Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

The Philistines aren’t going to let the Israelites have these national gatherings. They smell trouble. They want to stop things before they get out of hand.

:8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

:8 Do not ceasecharash –to be silent, keep quiet.

“Don’t be silent before God”

Samuel had told the people (vs. 5) that when they got to Mizpah, he would pray for them. Now they say to him, “Whatever you do, don’t stop praying for us!!!”


Victory and prayer

God works through prayer.
(Jas 5:16 NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Prayer is the way in which God becomes involved in the solving of our problems.
Why God Loves Prayer by E.M. Bounds
God has ordained prayer as a means through which He will carry out His gracious designs on earth and execute and make efficient His plan of redemption.  Prayer is a specific divine appointment whereby God will do things through His people as they pray that He would not otherwise do.  While we in our weakness and poverty wait, trust, and pray, God undertakes the work.  But if prayer moves God to work in this world’s affairs, then prayerlessness leaves us the mere creatures of circumstances.  It leaves us in this world with its tremendous responsibilities and difficult problems, and with all of its sorrows, burdens and afflictions, without help from God.
Jesus Christ commits Himself to the force of prayer.  “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).  And again:  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).  To no other energy is the promise of God committed as to that of prayer.  Upon no other force are the purposes of God so dependent as upon that of prayer.  Christ presses us into the presence of God with these prayer promises, not only by the assurance that God will answer, but that no other being but God can answer.  He said:  “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (John 16:23b).  This all-comprehensive declaration not only urges us to pray for everything great and small, but it focuses all our attention on God – for who but God can cover the unlimited scope of universal things and can assure us of receiving the very thing for which we pray?  It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who makes demands on us to pray, and it is He who puts Himself and all He has so fully in the answer.
Prayer puts God’s work in His hands and keeps it there.  It looks to Him constantly and depends on Him implicitly to further His own cause.  Prayer is but faith resting in, acting with, leaning on, and obeying God.  This is why God loves it so well and why He so highly esteems people of prayer.
Problems at home – I wonder how many marriages could be turned around if we just learned how to pray together more. I wonder how many problems with difficult children would melt away if we could really learn to pray together and for each other.
Yet sometimes the hardest person to pray with is the one closest to you. Satan doesn’t want you coming to God together on your knees. He will make it as hard as he can.

:9 And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.

:9 suckling lamb – a lamb that is still nursing, literally a “milk lamb”

:9 burnt offering

A picture of complete dedication to the Lord. With other sacrifices, only certain parts of the animal were burnt on the fire, and the rest was eaten by those bringing the sacrifice. But with the burnt offering, the complete animal was burnt, the complete animal was given to the Lord.


When you look at a plate of ham and eggs, you could say that the chicken was “involved” with the breakfast, but the pig was “committed”.


Victory with commitment

This display of commitment with the sacrifice will bring about a great victory.
(Ro 12:1–2 NKJV) —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.
In 1954, a man named Robert Boyd Munger wrote a little booklet/tract called, “My Heart Christ’s Home”:
In the story, he describes what it’s like after you invite the Lord Jesus into your life. He talks about Jesus coming to settle down and be comfortable in our lives like a guest staying in our house.
As a guest, Jesus visits different rooms in the house, such as when He goes into the “study”. Munger writes,

“In a sense, it is the control room of the house. He entered with me and looked around at the books in the bookcase, the magazines upon the table, the pictures on the walls. As I followed His gaze I became uncomfortable. Strangely, I had not felt self-conscious about this before, but now that He was there looking at these things I was embarrassed. Some books were there that His eyes were too pure to behold. On the table were a few magazines that a Christian had no business reading. As for the pictures on the walls - the imaginations and thoughts of the mind - some of these were shameful. Red-faced, I turned to Him and said, “Master, I know that this room needs to be cleaned up and made over. Will You help me make it what it ought to be?” “Certainly!” He said. “I’m glad to help you. First of all, take all the things that you are reading and looking at which are not helpful, pure, good and true, and throw them out! Now put on the empty shelves the books of the Bible. Fill the library with Scripture and meditate on it day and night. As for the pictures on the walls, you will have difficulty controlling these images, but I have something that will help.” He gave me a full-size portrait of Himself. “Hang this centrally,” He said, “on the wall of the mind.””

Then Mr. Munger describes Jesus going through other rooms, the “dining room” where all his appetites and desires are met. Jesus then goes into the “Living Room”, a quiet secluded place where he and Jesus spend time together in the morning, until Munger finds himself too busy and starts neglecting his guest. Then Jesus goes into the “Work Room” and the “Rec Room”, cleaning up other parts of our lives until He gets to the “hall closet”, where a foul odor is coming from. That’s where we hide things from Jesus, pretending they don’t exist in our lives. But Jesus wants to clean out the closet. Jesus wants free reign in the whole house. Complete dedication.

:9 the Lord answered him

God heard Samuel’s prayers. God will hear your prayers.

David wrote,

(Ps 34:6 NKJV) This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

David also wrote,

(Ps 32:6–7 NKJV) —6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
Call on Him now. He is near.

:10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.

:10 the Philistines drew near

The Philistines don’t want to give the Israelites a chance to get their army together and they attack while Samuel is in the middle of offering up his sacrifice.



Satan loves to interrupt God’s work with thoughts of what you have to do when church is over. He loves to interrupt your prayer time with phone calls, things to distract you.

:10 the Lord thundered

God stepped in because of Samuel’s prayers and brought the victory.

:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car.

:11 and pursued

There are going to be times that God will bring the victory all by Himself. But there are also going to be times that we have a part in the victory, in “chasing those Philistines” out of our life.

:11 Beth Car – “house of the lamb” or “house of the ram”

They had sacrificed a lamb. Now they pursue the Philistines as far as the “house of the lamb”


Victory in the Lamb

It may not seem to make sense that something as harmless as a Lamb could ever bring victory to anyone.
Satan will be defeated by the Lamb.  We’ll get to this in a few weeks on Sunday:
(Re 12:10–11 NKJV) —10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
The antichrist and his kingdom will one day be defeated by the Lamb.
(Re 17:14 NKJV) —14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
Victory comes from Jesus’ blood.  He has paid for us. He is the Lamb.

:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

:12 Ebenezer‘Eben ha-‘ ezer – “stone of help”

This stone was meant to be a reminder of how far God had helped them.

It was also a chance to undo the bad memories of the defeat twenty years earlier at a previous “Ebenezer” (1Sam. 4:1). (that’s why this is “Ebenezer II”)

(1 Sa 4:1 NKJV) —1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines, and encamped beside Ebenezer; and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.

It was not meant to limit how far God could take them.


Going past the marker

God’s victory doesn’t end with “hitherto”. He isn’t finished with us.
(Php 1:6 NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

It’s not until we see Jesus in heaven that God is done with us. He isn’t finished yet with us, He hasn’t yet taken us to the outer boundaries of how far we can go with Him.

At one time Andrew Carnegie was the wealthiest man in America. He came to America from his native Scotland when he was a small boy, did a variety of odd jobs, and eventually ended up as the largest steel manufacturer in the United States. At one time he had forty-three millionaires working for him. In those days a millionaire was a rare person; conservatively speaking, a million dollars in his day would be equivalent to at least twenty million dollars today.
A reporter asked Carnegie how he had hired forty-three millionaires. Carnegie responded that those men had not been millionaires when they started working for him but had become millionaires as a result.
The reporter’s next question was, “How did you develop these men to become so valuable to you that you have paid them this much money?” Carnegie replied that men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold; but one doesn’t go into the mine looking for dirt—one goes in looking for the gold.
That’s how God views us. He isn’t focused on all the dirt that needs to be moved, though it still needs to be moved. He knows what He’s making of us. He’s looking for the gold.
(Jud 24 NKJV) Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

7:13-17 Samuel’s Ministry

:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

:14 Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

:14 were restored

See map.  The Philistines had been pushing inland, and now Israel pushes back.      


Victory leads to restoration

Because Israel had victory over the Philistines, they regained the cities that they had lost.
I think that God’s heart is that when we’ve fallen, but we repent and come back to Him, that there be a measure of restoration.
(Ga 6:1 NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

This may not be possible in every situation, but I think it is God’s heart.

:14 peace … Amorites

This was a term used to describe the people in the land of Israel, the Canaanites.

Victory over the Philistines brought peace with the Amorites.
Victory in one area of our lives can often help us find greater strength in other areas of our lives.

:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.

:16 He went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and judged Israel in all those places.

:17 But he always returned to Ramah, for his home was there. There he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

:16 Bethel, Gilgal, etc.

See map. Samuel was sort of a “circuit rider”, going from town to town to help the people.

:16 his home was there

Play map clip of Ramah

Today, on a hill in Ramah you can see a large building that they say is the tomb of Samuel. But there is another church that figured that the one place wasn’t the proper site, so they built another church on another hillside, and they say that’s the tomb of Samuel. So now you have a problem, there are two tombs of Samuel. One guide in Israel has solved it: he said, “The one tomb is First Samuel, and the other is Second Samuel.”

:17 there he built an altar

Chuck Smith: “The work of God should always lead us to the worship of God.”

8:1-5 Give us a king

:1 Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.

:1 when Samuel was old

It is thought that Samuel may be 65-70 years old at this time. It’s harder for Samuel to get around. He wants to pass on his ministry to his sons.

:2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba.

:2 Joel – “Yahweh is God”

:2 Abijah – “Yahweh is my father”

:2 Beersheba

The city at the far south of Israel. See map

:3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

:3 his sons did not walk in his ways


Raising bad kids

Just like his mentor, Eli, Samuel’s sons do not follow the Lord.
We could look at this and point a finger to condemn Samuel.

Perhaps he spent too much time at church. Perhaps he didn’t have family devotions with his children. Perhaps he didn’t spank his boys enough.

Perhaps he learned his bad parenting skills from Eli.

I’m not sure that’s the point.

I think the point is, even the godliest people can have rebellious children.

Adam and Eve could be considered God’s kids. And they rebelled. Even God has rebellious kids.


Hope for families

Though Samuel’s sons were bad, his grandson would be good.
(1 Ch 6:31–34 NKJV) —31 Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after the ark came to rest. 32 They were ministering with music before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they served in their office according to their order. 33 And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: Of the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 34 the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,

Heman (“hey-mawn” – with a Jamaican accent) was one of the worship leaders in the temple, appointed by David before the Temple was even built.

(1 Ch 25:1 NKJV)1 Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. And the number of the skilled men performing their service was:

Heman’s descendants were to “prophesy with harps …”. You could either look at this as if they were to prophesy and also play instruments. Sometimes I kind of wonder if a person can’t speak for God while playing instrumentally, to “prophesy through the instrument …”

: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.”

:5 your sons do not walk in your ways

Perhaps the people were afraid that Samuel’s sons were going to end up being like Eli’s sons. Nobody wanted to go back to that.

:5 make us a king

The idea of a king itself was not a bad idea. God had thought of it a long time ago.

(Dt 17:14–20 NKJV) —14 “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’

This is exactly what is happening with the people and Samuel. I think perhaps that the idea of “like all the nations” isn’t what the problem is. God doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem here in Deuteronomy.

15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.

God is concerned that whatever happens, the people would pick the king that God would choose. And God would be picking the king.
The Israelite king should be an Israeli.

16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

The king needs to be careful that he isn’t carried away with power (horses), women or wealth. These would be the very things that would bring Solomon down.

18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

The king was to make his own handwritten copy of the Scriptures and to study God’s Word every day of his life. Could you imagine if this was a requirement of every new president of the United States?
He was to guard himself from pride (something that would be Saul’s downfall).

8:6-9 Samuel is offended

:6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord.

Samuel is having a hard time with the king thing. I imagine he’s taking this a bit personally. He thinks that the people are making a judgment on his ministry.

Samuel does respond correctly. He takes his problem 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.

:7 they have not rejected you


Don’t take it personally

I think that sometimes people treat us differently simply because we are Christians, simply because we are following the Lord.
Think of what Tim Tebow faces because of his stand for the Lord.  The next new “athlete” is a young Asian kid named Jeremy Lin playing for the New York Knicks.  He too is a strong Christian.
You may not be the one people have a problem with. It may be the Lord.

:7 they have rejected Me


God wants to rule

This was the real problem with what was happening. It’s not that the people wanted a king, it’s not that they wanted to be like other kingdoms, but it’s that they were rejecting God’s leadership over their nation.
God wants to be the King of your life. That’s what it means for Jesus to be “Lord”.
It is said that a certain guide lived in the deserts of Arabia who never lost his way. He carried with him a homing pigeon with a very fine cord attached to one of its legs. When in doubt as to which path to take, he threw the bird into the air. The pigeon quickly strained at the cord to fly in the direction of home, and thus led the guide accurately to his goal. Because of this unique practice he was known as “the dove man.”
God wants us to learn to let Him lead us. He wants to prompt us through the leading of the Holy Spirit. He wants to rule and reign in our lives.

: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.

: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.”

:9 heed their voice


God won’t force you

God is giving in to the demands of the people.
God will not force you against your will to serve Him.
If you don’t want to serve God, He’s not going to force you to serve Him.

8:10-22 Royal warning

:10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king.

Samuel tells the people just what it’s going to be like having a king.

: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.

:11 He will take your sons

The draft – men would be forced to be in the king’s army. This is exactly what the first king Saul would do:

(1 Sa 14:52 NKJV) Now there was fierce war with the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man or any valiant man, he took him for himself.

: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.

:15 a tenth of your grain

There is a great benefit with government. It provides order, protection. But there’s a cost as well.

There will be taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

What a terrible travesty that the people will now have to give the government 10% of their wages.

Oh wait … 10% sounds good, doesn’t it?

: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.”

They’ve been warned what it will be like being ruled by man rather than God. If they complain, God isn’t going to listen.

: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.”

:22 make them a king


Right idea, wrong reasons

It was a good idea to have a king. God even thought it was a good enough idea to give detailed instructions for the time when it happened (Deut. 17)
The problem was in the reason for the people wanting a king.
God cares about the motivation for our actions.
(1 Co 13:1–3 NKJV) —1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging 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, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
God doesn’t just care whether we do good things like feeding the poor, He is concerned about why we do it.
It’s good for a pastor to want his church to grow.
God’s hope for churches is that they reach out to lost people and that lost people get saved.

That ought to mean that a church grows.

But sometimes a pastor wants his church to grow so he can have a bigger salary. Sometimes a pastor wants a church to grow so he can feel better about himself. Sometimes a pastor wants a church to grow so he can become famous.

Those are WRONG reasons.

It’s a good thing that your spouse knows the Lord and is walking with God.
We ought to have a heart for everyone to know the Lord, walk with God, and eventually end up with us in heaven.
But sometimes when they aren’t walking with God, we can want it for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes I don’t want to be embarrassed when my friends ask where my spouse is. Sometimes I don’t want to seem like a “failure” because my spouse isn’t walking with God. Sometimes it’s simply because I hope that he’ll learn to take out the trash more often or she’ll cook me my favorite dinner.