1 Samuel 12:1-25 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Samuel's Farewell Speech
Comments for Study 5

1 Samuel 12:1-25
Memory Verse: 23


I. The Lord is Witness (1-5)

>1. Who were present? (2b-3a)

* "my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed." (2b-3a)

* "my sons are here with you" -I believe this shows a change of heart in his sons. 1 Samuel 8:3 states, "But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice." Israel stated that because of his sons sinful ways they rejected them as their future leaders and wanted a king. I believe that this was a shock to his sons for when religious leaders do wrong they try everything to hid it, especially to their parents. Yet that day the sons found out that they had fooled no one and because of their lifestyle they were not fit to lead God's nation. The shock and most likely Samuel's unrecorded words to them lead them to repent. So now they stood with their father, and he was glad to mention them standing there with him.

* "in the presence of the Lord" -Jesus had said, "Where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." (Matt. 18:24) How much more his nation?

* "his anointed" -Saul, the first anointed king was also there. Samuel did not use the word king for the Lord God was the king of Israel. Rather, Samuel used the word anointed to illustrate that Saul was called, appointed and designated the leader of the people. Priests and now the king are the only ones anointed by the Lord for a specific service.

>How did Samuel start his farewell speech? (1-2a)

* 1 Samuel 12:1-2a "Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray"

* "I have listened to everything you said to me" -Samuel, unlike most leaders, did what was best for the people, doing what they requested even though he knew better. He did not seek his will, but the Lord's will and then their will. How many spiritual leaders come along with their own agendas without consulting to the congregation? How many elders do what they want and need, serving themselves, without serving the people, the Lord's sheep? I have to admit that I have been guilty of this in the past too.

* "I have... set a king over you" -Samuel pointed out that he stepped asside at the people's wishes and appointed another leader. A humble man who fears the Lord will do this.

* "as for my I am old and gray" -Samuel was old, around sixty, a great old age in those days. Yet he would live long enough to anoint David, Israel's second king and protect him.

>Why mention this event? (8:4-5)

* 1 Samuel 8:4-5 "So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."

* Very subtitle Israel was implying that Samuel's leading wasn't all that they wanted and expected of a leader. Their request had hurt his feelings.

>How did that event effect Samuel? (2c, 8:6)

* 1 Samuel 12:2c "I have been your leader from my youth until this day."

* 1 Samuel 8:6 "But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord."

* "I have been your leader" -The Lord called Samuel into his service at the age of approximately twelve at the since destroyed temple in Shiloh. Judges and priests had come and gone, and now there was a king, yet Samuel remained the dominate leader for over fifty years. Even after this time his influence in Israel would remain strong for he is still to anoint and protect David, the next Israel king.

* When someone such as Samuel walks before the Lord and serves the people without selfish gain, no increase in property and land in their name, it is rare indeed.

>2. How had he set an example for them of godly leadership? (3b-4)

* 1 Samuel 12:3b-4 "'Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right.' 'You have not cheated or oppressed us,' they replied. 'You have not taken anything from anyone's hand.'"

* "testify against me" -Samuel is not only exonerating himself, but also giving Saul and all Israel an example of how a leader of Israel is to conduct himself. Hebrews 6:12 states, "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

* "Whose ox... donkey have I taken" -Future kings would do just this including David, take what was not theirs by the influence of their position. Psalms 119:36 states, "Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain."

* Samuel was showing Israel and Saul how a true leader of Israel is to act. He is to obey the Lord, he is to serve the people, he is to not seek his own gain and agenda, he is to quietly step asside when the Lord appoints his replacement. Saul would end up doing not doing some of these.

* Samuel sets the records straight. He points out that under his leadership Israel had had just and effective administration, in keeping with the covenant, without any undue demands being made to restrict personal liberty. (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary)

* "Whom have I cheated" -Cheating includes fraud, swindle, elude, deprive of something expected, and deception.

* "Whom have I oppressed" -Oppression is using authority to put down and lower someone of rights and freedom.

* "bribe" -Though is sons had done so, Samuel had never accepted a bribe. A bribe is given to an authority or judge to persuade them to do what is not right before the Lord and his laws.

* "I will make it right" -Samuel offered to correct any sins he might have committed. He reminds me of Zaccheus who said he would do the same when the Lord came into his life. (Luke 19:2-9)

>Who was witness between Samuel and Israel? (5)

* 1 Samuel 12:5 "Samuel said to them, 'The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.' 'He is witness,' they said."

* "The Lord is witness" -The Lord Jesus knows all that we do. He knows our heart motive. He alone is judge. Psalms 94:11 states, "The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile." And the disciples declared to Jesus, "'Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.' 'You believe at last!' Jesus answered." (John 16:30-31)

* "also his anointed is witness this day" -Samuel is round-about saying, "Pay attention Saul. Witness that this is the right way a person is to lead." Also, being king if someone said Samuel was wrong he could enforce justice both now and in the future in case someone would later say, "Samuel did me wrong."

>Why was this important?

* Every congregation must have elders who the pastors, ministers, and shepherds are accountable to. Titus 1:5-9 states, "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."

* If a congregation's leader does not have and elder board that he is accountable to, then the group is most likely a cult, near cult, or soon to be a cult.

* The Holy Spirit calls individuals into the Lord's service for the Lord's church. So it is true that often movements are started by one or two persons. Yet, even then they must be accountable to a group of men who should stand for Jesus and the truth. The elder board must be appointed by the congregation and the spiritual leader and director should never have a say in who is chosen. The congregation should appoint a group of candidates to be an elder. Then from the group of candidates the ones selected must be either chosen by lot or by congregational vote. This is the way it was done in Israel and in the first generations of the church.

* Have there been cases in history where the elders become corrupted? Yes. What then is to be done with one whom God calls? Look at the lives of Samuel with Eli and David with Saul for starters. Better yet, look at the life of Jesus with the elders of Israel.

>What example can spiritual leaders learn from Samuel?

* A leader's actions should be under constant loving scrutiny. Samuel did not live a secret life and even welcomed people to bring up any faults, sins, or errors. All he did was public information. Some have said that leaders should have private times, as we all should. Yet, the records of their actions as leader and/or as elders should never be secret. Do you want to see a guilty and/or proud leader? See how he reacts during a congregational meeting's question and answer session or how he conducts it. If a congregation has no such session, then you can be sure that sin, errors and evil activities is being suppressed. If a sin is committed it should be made public as David, Peter, and Judas would find out. However, this does not give us license to judge. We should support and help in love.

* 1 Timothy 5:19-22 states, "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure."

* 1 Peter 5:1-4 states, "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

* Once "Someone in the crowd said to (Jesus), 'Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.' Jesus replied, 'Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?'" (Luke 12:13-14) Jesus did not come at that time as a judge and so he did not judge. He came as a Savior and Teacher and stayed within that office.

II. It is the Lord Who Appoints (6-11)

>3. Who appointed Moses and Aaron and lead Israel out of Egypt? (6)

* 1 Samuel 12:6 "Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your forefathers up out of Egypt."

* "the Lord who appointed" -The Lord calls and appoints everyone. God initiates. No one can claim that they came to God on their own seeking a leadership position. Ephesians 1:4-6 states, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

* "brought your forefathers up out of Egypt" -Like them we have been brought out of slavery to sin and death. The Lord saved us, we did not save ourselves. we are dependent on the completion of our salvation.

>How was Moses and Aaron appointed? (Ex. 3:7-10, 4:10-17)

* Exodus 3:7-10 "The Lord said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey--the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

* Exodus 4:10-17 "Moses said to the Lord, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue." The Lord said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say." But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."

* "Moses and Aaron" -Moses was a leader and prophet. He was not the chief priest. Aaron was the chief priest. Even in leadership activities Moses worked with Aaron as Exodus 4:14-17 states.

* The Lord gave them leaders who he lead to bring thing out of Egypt and to the promised land.

* The Israelites who requested a king had forgotten how he has lead them and how he appointed leaders. They were not to have kings like all the other nations for he was their king. As King, the Lord appointed men under him to enact his will for his people. Christ's Millennium Kingdom will be like this too.

>Why are these facts important from the Lord's point of view? (7, 8:7)

* 1 Samuel 12:7 "Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your fathers."

* 1 Samuel 8:7 "And the Lord told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king."

* "confront you with evidence" -The terminology here is that of a legal case as in verses 2-5 except the evidence now is against Israel. Samuel is the accuser, the people are the defendants, and the Lord is the judge.

* "all the righteous acts performed by the Lord" -The Lord was consistent in his relationship with Israel. The Lord had kept to his side of the covenant made at Mt. Sinai, and he will continue to do so.

* The covenant at Mt. Sinai was that the Lord would be their God they would be his treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a blessing to the world. Their part would be to obey him fully. (Ex. 19)

* The Israelites continually broke the covenant, rejecting and complaining about the Lord's leading. They had rejected the Lord as their king. Yet he did not abandon them. He continually lead them. Before this it was through judges and priests. Now it will be through kings, prophets, and priests.

>4. Why did the Israelites cry for help in Egypt? (8; Gen. 50:24; Ex. 1:8-10)

* 1 Samuel 12:8 "After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place."

* Genesis 50:24 "Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

* Exodus 1:8-10 "Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country."

* Like them, we cried out to the Lord Jesus to save us from the consequences of our sins, the sins of others, and the poor leading we had done in our lives. Jesus was awaiting for and heard our cry. He has rescued us from our old slave masters. Romans 7:21-25a states, "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!" And Romans 8:5-11 states, "Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."

>What happened after they arrived in the Promised Land? (9-10; Jud. 2:11-13, 3:7, 4:1-2, 6:1, 10:6-7, 11:14-15)

* 1 Samuel 12:9-10 "But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. They cried out to the Lord and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.'"

* Judges 2:11-13 "Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths."

* Judges 3:7 "The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs."

* Judges 3:12 "Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel."

* Judges 4:1-2 "After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim."

* Judges 6:1 "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites."

* Judges 10:6-7 "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites,"

* Hebrews 8:6-13 "But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: "The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear."

>5. Who were Israel judges that Samuel mentioned and what did they do? (11; Judges 6:32, 4:6, 11:4-6; and 1 Sam. 7)

* 1 Samuel 12:11 "Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely."

* Judges 6:32 "So that day they called Gideon "Jerub-Baal," saying, "Let Baal contend with him," because he broke down Baal's altar."

* Judges 4:6 "She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor."

* Judges 11:4-6 "Some time later, when the Ammonites made war on Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. "Come," they said, "be our commander, so we can fight the Ammonites."

>What pattern was Samuel showing to Israel?

* The Lord rescued them, then they sinned breaking the covenant they agreed to at Mt. Sinai, then they repented, then he rescued them, and so on.

>What can we learn from this?

* The Lord and patient and good. He is long suffering. (Jer. 15:15)

* The generation that Samuel was speaking to was not different than their forefathers. The generations that followed were the same so they were sent into captivities. The generation that was alive when Jesus came was no different; to the point of crucifying their Lord, their King. So we need to ask, "Are we any different? Am I any different? Do I obey in love or do I do evil in the sight of Jesus the Lord and forget him in my day to day life?"

* Man's basic nature is to rebel and sin against God. This has been the case since Adam and Eve sinned. The sinful nature we inherited from Adam is alive in the bodies of death we live in.

* Only God can rescue us from our sin and sinful nature.

* John 3:16-21 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

* No matter what type of leader or leadership style we are under, we are required to live before the Lord, in loving and joyful obedience to his way.

* The Israelites wanted a new type of government system. After the first victory was won by Saul, they believed they had made a good decision. Yet they were no different than those before them.

* Human tendency is to believe that we are better than those before us. Yet, we are no different. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)

* Human nature is to forget the Lord. How can the Holy Spirit remind us of Jesus and his teaching if we don't know or study the Bible? (John 16:1-13) How can we expect to grow in a relationship with Jesus if we don't pray continually? (1 Thess. 5:17) How can we remain in Jesus grow spiritually if we don't practice what Jesus taught? (John 15:9-10) How can we remain when we die if we don't have him in us now?

* The Israelites believed that the social chaos of the time before a king could be stopped if there was a king. Since then people so democracy, socialism, a monarchy, etc. will solve social chaos. However, if people forget God, and live in sin, then there is social chaos. The problem of mankind is not the form of government over us, the problem is these sins, forgetting the Lord and doing evil in the sight of the Lord. This is not to say one form or government is better than other, for that is the case. I am only saying that without solving sin, no form of government will be good for us and/or save us from ourselves.

III. Fear the Lord and Serve and Obey Him (12-25)

>6. When the generation of Israelies before Samuel were faced with enemies what did they do? (12-13)

* 1 Samuel 12:12-13 "But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule over us'--even though the Lord your God was your king. Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you."

* "Ammonites" -Descendants of Lot.

* "the Ammonites was moving against you" -This is not mentioned in chapters 8-12. However, those chapters are a long period that is condensed. The call for a king goes back to Gideon days (Judges 8:22, 18:1, 19:1, 21:25; and 1 Sam. 8:3) and the Ammonites were always attacking the tribes east of the Jordan. So even though 1 Samuel does not say it was the Ammonites that caused them to ask for a king, it still was true. In fact, every tribe as constantly attacked by different neighboring nations and the judges only delivered certain tribes and regions at different times. See the chart concerning the judges by clicking the link at the top to see more about this.

>What was the underlying problem in their request?

* They had rejected God as their King, Leader, and Lord.

>7. What warning did Samuel give? (14-15)

* 1 Samuel 12:14-15 "If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God--good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers."

* "fear the Lord" -Fear of the Lord will stop us from sinning and keep us in his blessings. (Psalms 19:9, 33:18, 34:7-15, 111:10) Fear of the Lord was part of the covenant. (Exodus 19:5-6; Deut. 8:19, 11:13-15, 22-28, 30:17-18; Joshua 24:20) The new arrangement would not take away this requirement. Fear of the Lord is part of the new covenant as well. (Acts 9:31, 19:17-20)

* "serve and obey him" -We all need to do what the Lord requires of us? What does Jesus command us? Love each other, preach the gospel, and be holy.

* "do not rebel against his commands" -We are to know what Jesus commands and understand them so that we can obey them.

* "you and your king" -Just because a person is a leader does not mean that they are above the law. Just because God calls us to mission does not mean that we are any different than our brothers.

* "If... you follow the Lord your God- good" -God allowed them to have a king even though they rejected him as their king. The requirements with or without a king was still the same. God can work in any situation we put ourself in. God expectation for us is the same no matter the life circumstance we are in. We are to obey him.

* "his hand will be against you" -What is the point of God putting his hand against us when we sin? Because in doing so he hopes we will acknowledge our need for him, repent and return to him.

>What proof was given? (16-18a)

* 1 Samuel 12:16-18a "Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king." Then Samuel called upon the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain."

* "wheat harvest" -The wheat harvest was during the Hebrew calendar's sixth month, our May to mid-June. This was the dry season.

* "he sent thunder and rain" -The Lord demonstrates his existence and power and authenticates the truthfulness and seriousness of Samuel's words.

>Why? (18b)

* 1 Samuel 12:18b "So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.

* God wanted the people to understand that he not only didn't like their desire for a king, but that he had not left them and gave them another chance as he always had done for Israel.

>Explain what this reaction means.

* "in awe of the Lord" -Awe of the Lord is an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, and fear. C.S. Lewis goes into great detail of what it means to have awe in the Lord in his book The Problem of Pain. It is quite remarkable, logical, and revealing. Get a copy and read it if you can.

* Jeremiah 2:19 "Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me," declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty."

>8. How did the people respond?

* 1 Samuel 12:19 "The people all said to Samuel, "Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."

* "Pray to the Lord your God" -The Bible teaching that Samuel gave, when confirmed by the Lord with the storm lead them to awe of the Lord and a great guilt. Guilt can lead to repentance.

* "we have added to all our other sins" -They realized that they had added to their ancestors sins, and more than that they had broken other commandments as well.

* "evil" -The definition is to sin against the Lord.

>Why can't a human king have this kind of ministry?

* A human king cannot produce miracles that will induce awe of the Lord.

* A human king is not a mediator between God and man. A human king is a servant of the people. The prophets and the priests are messengers and mediators between God and man. (Job 33:23-25: Gal. 3:19-20)

* Samuel, as prophet and priest was acting as a mediator between the Lord and Israel.

>9. Why would the Lord not forsake his people? (20-22)

* 1 Samuel 12:20-22 "Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own."

* "Do not be afraid" -Awe of the Lord is good, and yet we can be assured that while in this world we can put our trust in his love. He will forgive those who repent.

* "useless idols" -Idols cannot save anyone. Yet even in this day people idolize people and things. what are you devoted to? What do you abhor? What do you pay honor? What do you worship? If it is not the Lord Jesus and His Father, then it is useless idols.

* "For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people" -The Lord will remain their God for his name, nor for anything they had done.

* Paul says that God did not cast off his people in Romans chapters 9 to 11. For example Romans 11:1-5 says, "I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace."

>How was this fulfilled in Christ Jesus?

* "the Lord was pleased to make you his own" -Jesus Christ shed his blood for the punishment of every sin, including the sins now being confessed by Israel.

* Jesus said, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:28)

* Acts 2:38-39 "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."

* Acts 5:30-31 "The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel."

* Acts 10:39-43 "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen--by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

>10. What personal commitment did he make to God and to them?

* 1 Samuel 12:23 "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right."

* "sin against the Lord" -Samuel as priest would sin if he didn't pray for the people. The Israelites had said the same to Moses and Moses prayed. (Num. 21:7)

* "I will teach you the way that is good and right" -As prophet he would teach the word of God.

* We too are called as a priestly nation, shepherds of God's people. As such we should pray and teach the word of God to people once they have repented and agreed to follow the Lord's way.

>What final warning did he give?

* 1 Samuel 12:24-25 "But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."

* "fear the Lord" -Repeated.

* "serve him faithfully with all your heart" -Given to Israel through Moses. Jesus also confirmed this is the greatest commandment.

* "consider what great things he had done for you" -Jesus instituted the breaking of bread and drinking of wine to remember him and what he did for us. We should keep this always. If a congregation calls themselves Christ followers and yet do not keep this commandment, then they are outside of obedience to Christ.

* "both you and your king will be swept away" -This is exactly what had happened to them, first the northern kingdom, then the southern kingdom.

>What can we learn from him?

* The advice given by Samuel to Israel is good advice to this very day.


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