Today’s reading is: 1 Sam. 8-12
1st Samuel Chapter Eight
- Samuel had the second greatest ministry of any Jewish prophet (Jer. 15:1), but a terrible family life (1st Sam. 8:1-3).
- The elders of Israel anticipated Samuel’s death, and requested a king “like all the nations” (1st Sam. 8:4-9).
- They rightly anticipated that Joel and Abijah would not judge them properly.
- They wanted a man to look to, rather than the Lord to obey (1st Sam. 8:7).
- Samuel is displeased by their request because he is like-minded with the Lord.
- The Lord gave Samuel a prophetic word to warn Israel against making their spiritual mistake (1st Sam. 8:10-18).
- The Law of Moses had previously provided information for this circumstance (Deut. 17:14-20).
- The people agree to all the terms of a human king (1st Sam. 8:19,20).
- Samuel conveys their consent to the Lord, and the Lord provided instructions for Samuel to appoint a king (1st Sam. 8:21,22).
1st Samuel Chapter Nine
- Chapter nine begins with a description of a special Benjamite—Kish the son of Abiel.
- Like Gideon, & Samson, Kish was a mighty man of valor (1st Sam. 9:1). גִּבּוֹר חָיִל. See comments on Josh. 6 for this description.
- He had a number of servants & donkeys (1st Sam. 9:3).
- His family is described as the least of all the families of Benjamin (1st Sam. 9:21), but that may simply be modesty on Saul’s part.
- Saul, the son of Kish, is then introduced.
- Choice. בָּחוּר bāchuwr #970: young man (choice, in the prime of manhood, Deut. 32:25; Jdg. 14:10; Ruth 3:10; Ecc. 11:9; Isa. 62:5; Jer. 15:8).
- Handsome. טֹוב towb #2896: good, pleasant, beautiful.
- Tall. גָּבֹהַּ gāboah #1364: high, exalted, proud, tall (Gen. 7:19; Job 41:26; 1st Sam. 16:7).
- God the Father Sovereignly utilized lost donkeys to bring about Saul’s introduction to Samuel (1st Sam. 9:3-27).
- Saul and the servant spent three days unsuccessfully looking for the lost donkeys (1st Sam. 9:3-5,20).
- The servant suggests that they can inquire of the man of God (seer, prophet) (1st Sam. 9:6).
- Saul is hesitant to do so, as he does not have an appropriate grace gift for the prophet (1st Sam. 9:7-10).
- An interesting glimpse of Israel’s worship, minus tabernacle, and minus Ark of the Covenant is then recorded (1st Sam. 9:11-14).
- The Lord prepared Samuel to receive and anoint Saul (1st Sam. 9:15-21).
- Samuel was in the right place at the right time as He obeyed the Lord’s instructions (1st Sam. 9:15-17).
- Samuel prepared a feast with about 30 other guests (1st Sam. 9:19,22-24). Perhaps these other guests were the students of Samuel’s prophetic school (1st Sam. 10:5,10).
- As Saul & his servant depart in the morning, Samuel pulls Saul off to the side for a private conversation (1st Sam. 9:25-27).
1st Samuel Chapter Ten
- Samuel privately anoints Saul as the King of Israel (1st Sam. 10:1). This will be followed by public acclaim (1st Sam. 10:24).
- Samuel then provides Saul with detailed prophetic instructions for the remainder of the week (1st Sam. 10:2-8).
- Saul becomes one of the rare Old Testament believers who experiences the filling of the Holy Spirit (1st Sam. 10:6).
- Saul becomes a “changed man” by virtue of the grace blessings the Father bestowed upon him (1st Sam. 10:6,9).
- Saul is pleased to talk to his uncle about temporal life, but not spiritual life (1st Sam. 10:14-16).
- Samuel calls another solemn assembly in Mizpah for the purpose of publicly proclaiming their new king (1st Sam. 10:17-27).
- Lots were drawn for each tribe, family, and man (1st Sam. 10:20,21).
- Meanwhile, Saul had time to hide himself! (1st Sam. 10:22).
- When he was brought forward, many of the assembled people were impressed by Saul’s physical appearance (1st Sam. 10:23,24).
- Samuel recorded “The Ordinances of the Kingdom” (1st Sam. 8:10-18), and placed it before the Lord (1st Sam. 10:25a).
- The assembly is then dismissed (1st Sam. 10:25b).
- The Lord laid it on some men’s hearts to follow Saul (1st Sam. 10:26).
- Others despised Saul, and refused to offer any tribute offerings (1st Sam. 10:27).
1st Samuel Chapter Eleven
- Saul’s first test as king is to deal with an Ammonite invasion.
- Nahash (נָחָשׁ nāchāsh #5176: serpent) immediately challenged the new Hebrew king.
- Jabesh-gilead is willing to surrender, until the terms are spelled out (1st Sam. 11:1,2).
- Jabesh-gilead sends messengers to King Saul, requesting his deliverance of them (1st Sam. 11:3-5).
- Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit (mightily), and brought about a great victory over the Ammonites (1st Sam. 11:6-11).
- Following the victory, some people wanted to execute the doubters from chapter 10 (1st Sam. 11:12,13).
- Israel conducted a second installation ceremony for King Saul (1st Sam. 11:14,15).
1st Samuel Chapter Twelve
- Samuel delivers a public message to Israel, transitioning the nation from the Era of Judges to the Era of Kings.
- Samuel calls upon Israel to bear witness to his ministry of integrity (1st Sam. 12:1-5).
- This is going to be a total contrast with the treatment Israel will receive from their kings (1st Sam. 8:10-18).
- Samuel reminds Israel that the faithfulness of Moses, Aaron, and the Judges has been a reflection of the Lord’s faithfulness towards Israel (1st Sam. 12:6-11).
- Samuel admonishes Israel to understand that they are still accountable to live in obedience to the Law, even though they are now living in the Era of Kings (1st Sam. 12:12-15).
- Samuel emphasizes his point with a demonstration of Divine power (1st Sam. 12:16-18).
- The people of Israel understood that their request for a king was sinful (1st Sam. 12:19).
- Samuel reiterated the need for Israel to humble themselves, and obey the Lord (1st Sam. 12:20-25).