The Journey Brought Forth "1 Samuel"
This blog series is focused on God’s word bringing people through their journeys in His intentional way that He has set in front of them thereby bringing them through to His completion.
Exodus through Malachi is the section of scripture that most Christians find themselves living in its revolving pattern of realization, but once they receive its revelation, the Third Stage of Life is what their lives are built upon instead of attempting to achieve. 1 Samuel brings God’s word into an era of earthly kings leading His people. God told His people when they entered the land and possessed it they would ask for a king and what the requirements would be for him to be one, but read on to find out what they actually did and who they picked to be their king.
The Book of 1 Samuel begins with a woman desiring to give birth to a child and promising to God if He gave her one she would give him back to God for all of his life. God heard her prayer and sent Samuel through her. Samuel grew up in the house of the Lord with Eli. One-night Samuel was awakened three times by what he thought was Eli calling him and Eli finally realized it was God calling Samuel. Samuel was instructed how to respond to God’s voice by Eli and did so the next time God called him that night. God told Samuel that Eli and his two sons would die in one day; because of the wickedness of the sons and Eli’s lack of correction of them. Eli asked what God had told Samuel in the morning and Samuel told him everything. What God said would come to pass did, and Samuel was the next leader of the Israelites. God has sent His people at the right time to accomplish His purpose and when people do evil they are removed from the situation to make room for others who will do what God commands.
The Israelites were at war with the Philistines, and they lost a battle; so, they decided to take the Ark of the Covenant into the battle ground with them. They lost the next battle, and the Philistines took the Ark as well. When they took the Ark and set it up in their idols house next to their idol, they found the idol face down the next morning, and the following morning they found it beheaded and without its hands attached to its torso. They decided that God’s Ark was against them after they had physical issues and sent it to two other cities for a total of seven months that they possessed it with death and physical issues accompanying it in each of the other cities it entered. The people of the other lands were not desiring to have a relationship with God; they only desired to take Him from the ones who had a relationship with Him. They found it was not advantageous to them to have possession of the Ark without a relationship with God; because it only brought death and destruction; so they sent it away as properly as they knew how to do so with a peace offering. Even though they realized the Lord was stronger than their gods, they still waged war against the Israelites because they knew they were not perfectly joined with God.
Israel now demands a king to rule over them like all of the surrounding lands had even though God had been their effective leader who had given them everything they needed. God had told them when they asked for a king what his requirements would be, but now that it was time for them to do so He told them they had rejected Him when they did so. God leading His people gives them the things they need and earthly rulers take from the people to redistribute. When God’s people look toward earthly leaders for their direction, they are telling God He is not enough, and it is insulting to Him, but God allows people to get what they want and to learn from their experiences.
Saul was the first king appointed by God for Israel. Saul was very humble and thought of himself as not being worthy of the position that he was given, but soon after becoming king, he started doing things as he thought instead of how God had instructed him through Samuel. The first thing Saul did wrong was to sacrifice an animal to God after Samuel told him not to do anything until he returned and the second thing he did was to not destroy everything in accordance with Samuel’s instruction after a battle. These two things are things that God’s people deal with today. The first is to stay calm and still to obey the Lord and the second is to fully follow Him through the completion of the command given.
After these incidents, God had Samuel take Saul’s position away from him and give it to a young man named David. David did not ask for the position of being a king, but God placed him in it and David waited to assume the position until after Saul’s death years later, and the general population was unaware of the anointing until he had taken the position; however, during this transitional period, the people were drawn to David through his great attributes of being a mighty warrior and a fierce leader.
The first thing David did in front of the people was to slay a giant warrior of their enemy with a sling stone. God’s way of doing the improbable and allowing His people to attain victories to give Him honor is still active today.
Saul gets people to bring David into his house to play music for him; because he is continuously worried about his losing the kingdom as Samuel had told him. This allows David to see the inner workings of leading the people and get accustomed to what living in the king’s house was like before he took the office of being king; however, Saul hated David at the same time; because he was envious of him since the people and even his own son, loved and honored David more than him. One-time David fled from Saul, and he and his people ate the consecrated bread that only the priests were entitled to eat. His statement to the priest that supplied the bread was, “Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.” Denoting that when God’s people are holy, they are worthy to receive their food straight from Him and are as holy as any of the priests. This might seem backward and blasphemous until the realization of David’s revelation that God’s righteousness was his righteousness instead of his own.
Saul pursues David throughout Israel and can never catch him, but David has two opportunities to slay Saul and does not because he knows Saul is God’s anointed until God removes him. God says David is a man after His own heart and this shows how God’s people are to trust in Him. This exercise of fleeing from Saul helps David become an even better strategical leader than he was.
Saul and Jonathan die in battle after going to a medium and learning of his future through raising the spirit of Samuel from resting. Going to mediums is straightly forbidden by God, but Saul was in such distress that he did not care what God wanted. This again shows how Saul, like most people, only think about themselves and don’t care what God wants when they get into situations that are not comfortable. This is not the way God’s people are intended to live and is not the way they must live.
The enemy took Saul and Jonathan’s bodies and displayed them for their sign of victory; then valiant men went and retrieved their bodies and planted them under a tree. This is the final statement in the book of 1 Samuel and makes way for David to receive the position of being king in the first portion of 2 Samuel.
The Book of 1 Samuel brings us through the understanding that God anoints leaders as He desires, life is not easy while He is equipping His chosen people, and listening and wholly obeying is what He demands of them. The righteous life is about actively receiving the things He has set in His people's futures in their proper way.