A Dejected Leader – Samuel’s Sorrow
Book of 1 Samuel Chapter 7-8
The theme of this lesson:
1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: [for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them].
Israel had a great desire to desire to have a king though God had demonstrated many times His capacity to protect His people.
God would soon allow a king but God had some rules for any king of Israel, They are not to be like those of the other nations!
God had already laid out His guidelines for any king of Israel and given them to Moses:
Deu 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
Deu 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
Deu 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
1) This king would have to be a Jew of the family of Jacob
2) He was not to multiply horses, this was a sign that he trusted in his flesh and not in God.
3) He was not ever to send Israel back to Egypt, for any reason.
4) He should have only one wife.
5) He was not seek riches for himself, only for the people.
6) He was have his own copy of the Word of God from the preserved text. (Such as we are today as KJV)
7) He was to read the Bible daily and not only learn God’s Word but be a doer of the Word of God.
8) He must teach his children to obey God’s Word.
*****1Sa 7:1 And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.
When we left off last week the Ark was back in possession of Israel but it had not returned to Shiloh and it would never make it back to Shiloh.
Kirjathjearim was a city that belong to Benjamin. Eleazar was a priest of the Tabernacle and since he and all his house treated the Ark with reverence no harm came to him nor to his household during the years that the Ark remain there.
They knew what had happened to the men of Bethshemesh.
*****1Sa 7:2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.
The Ark was not removed from Abinidab’s home until after the judgeship of Samuel, which was 40 years, the time of King Saul, which was 40 years, and probably at least eight or more years into the reign of King David.
This would be 90-100 years.
But, this is still not a mistake in the Bible!
This verse simply states that all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord for 20 more years after the Ark was in this place.
The 20 years mentioned in this verse represent the time until Samuel called the people together at Mizpeh, and their victory over the Philistines which we are about to read.
*****1Sa 7:3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
It had taken 20 years for Israel to come to this point of repentance.
But this could not be a symbolic gesture because it had to come from the heart.
We know that God looks into the heart!
In later years the prophet Joel reminded Israel of this same thing:
Joe 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joe 2:13 "And rend your heart", and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Another thing we can see here, is that Samuel has now become the spiritual leader of the nation of Israel, something Eli had never been able to do.
And we will soon see that Samuel could also be the military leader of Israel.
And it is a fact that we must serve the Lord only!
There is no room in our lives to place any other god before our Lord!
The Bible teaches us with these words:
Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
We seem to forget these things that can cause us to have more bad days than good days sometimes!
*****1Sa 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
The worship of Baal and Ashtaroth, who were the false gods of the Canaanites, had been a snare to Israel, since the death of Joshua.
Baalim is the plural of the title Baal and means that there were many such false gods, as was Baal.
Remember Baal was the supreme false god of the Middle East and today is remembered as Allah.
These things show us the need for a strong godly leader in every nation!
We can see that Israel, after Joshua, had not had such a leader until this time of Samuel, even though the worship of all idols would not be totally removed until Israel was carried into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
We should also be able to see that what the Ark represented to Israel, Jesus represents to the Church!
Jesus Christ must be first in our lives to receive the blessings of God!
*****1Sa 7:5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.
1Sa 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
It is not enough just to put away the false idols that we place in front of The Lord Jesus Christ.
We must also repent of our sin!
BUT, There can be no deliverance without repentance.
The Bible teaches us:
Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, "the Lord will not hear me":
Samuel understood this very well and he gathered Israel as a nation to Mizpeh.
Repentance must begin with sincere motives but "if there is no action that follows", then there has been no repentance!
Repentance is not only a change of mind but it is also a change of direction!
King or no king, there is no nation that can stand without the Lord Jesus Christ!
The drawing of the water and pouring out before the Lord was a sign of humility.
The Bible teaches us:
Isa 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Isa 12:3 "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation".
Remember what Jesus said to the woman at the well:
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; "but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life".
*****1Sa 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
We learned in chapter 4:1 that the place where Israel had battled and lost to the Philistines, would be named Ebenezer.
We learned in chapter 5:1 that in this same place the two sons of Eli and been killed and the Ark of the Covenant had been stolen by the Philistines.
We now learn that it was Samuel who had given this place the name of Ebenezer.
That word Ebenezer means "the stone of help"!
The people of Israel had put away their false gods and declared to serve the Lord only and God had helped them.
The Bible teaches the Church:
Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
If Jesus is not your Lord of all, then He is not your Lord "at all"!
Who is Ebenezer to the Church?
1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Not only is Christ Jesus our "well of salvation", He is our "Rock of offense". Our stone of help.
The Philistines did not bother Israel anymore during the time of Samuel.
And there was even peace with all the Amorites which were all the people left in Canaan.
But every man, and every woman born on this earth has a short life time so time passed as it always does!
*****1Sa 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
The people of Israel had again placed their faith in a man and not in the God of that man. This time it was Samuel.
They had again forgotten their Maker!
These years had passed quickly and at this time Samuel would have been about 75 years old
*****1Sa 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges Beersheba.
1Sa 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
Samuel had been allowing his sons to stay in Beersheba to see how they would judge Israel and they were not judging according to the Law of God, "which they would have known".
Deu 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
Deu 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
These two sons neither served the Lord nor did they do justice to men as their father Samuel had done.
In fact that word "lucre" means they plundered the people and gained in personal wealth by being dishonest and in some cases by being violent toward the people.
They took bribes to sway truthful judgment!
They were crooked judges that were for hire!
This is much like the world is in our day!
*****1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,
1Sa 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
Samuel was getting old but God had not removed him as judge and prophet of Israel.
A true servant of God serves until their death!
A God called prophet is God’s man until he dies!
The people came to the home of Samuel and demanded something be done, in fact they demanded a king.
Israel wanted to have a king like the nations that were around them!
Notice these people did not even ask Samuel to remove his two sons as judges.
They only acknowledged that Samuel was getting old and before he died they wanted a change in their government.
We usually get in serious trouble when we want to be like everybody else!
The Lord teaches us:
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, "and be ye separate", saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
God does not promise to be a "Father" to those in the world but only to those that separate themselves form the world.
The "world" refers to those that reject the Lord Jesus Christ!
Israel had always been different from all other nations because they had a special relationship with Jehovah God.
They depended on God for their existence!
They depended on God to defend them when their enemies approached!
Most of the time our strength "comes from our differences" and not by conforming to this world!
To be a Christian is to be totally unlike the world and we should never compromise on the Word of God.
To be Christian is to be like Jesus Christ!
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, "a peculiar people"; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
*****1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
We do not read where Israel went to the Lord in prayer but we do read that is the first thing that Samuel did.
We must realize that it is not God’s will for us to get everything that we desire!
That word "displeased" means that they broke the heart of Samuel.
And, Samuel certainly was not going to approve this request!
The Apostle Paul had this same problem with the Galatians:
Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Why would anyone that knows the truth want to be in bondage to some other form of government?
*****1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
Israel had not needed a king to judge them.
Israel had not needed a king to fight their battles.
We have already read that Moses had instructed them on how a king should rule and how he should be chosen.
We began our lesson with scripture from Deuteronomy 17.
God had plans for a future King of Israel but it was not at this time!
We will soon see as a result of their complaining, and instead of being grateful in obeying God, God would grant their request.
But that is not all God gave them!
The book of Psalms reads this way:
Psa 106:15 And he gave them their request; "but sent leanness into their soul".
In other words while God pampered them giving in to their request, their souls would be starving for God’s guidance.
*****1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
Even until this day we live in now 2013 Israel has never fully trusted in the Lord.
In America our national motto has always been "In God We Trust" but we know that there is a movement today to remove these words from everything that involves our government.
Foolish, America does not want God to rule over our government.
Just like Samuel, this breaks my heart!
In our Pledge of Allegiance we have always said we are "One nation under God".
But there are those it want these words removed also.
America is headed in the same path that Israel took this day with Samuel!
America wants a King and we are getting a taste of what I King will be like today with our existing government!
Our Creator, and Our Maker, has been rejected and has been replaced by "evolutionary uniformitarianism" or also called The Evolutionary New Age Movement.
And this is the false theory that completely dominates the scientific and educational establishments of every nation in the world today.
*****1Sa 8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
God told Samuel to do what they had asked.
But God also told Samuel to do so under protest by showing them that "evilness" was behind their request.
Samuel laid out for Israel exactly what would happen.
1) Their sons would be drafted as soldiers for the military and for many other things, like slaves.
2) The military would be ruled by the king and not by the people.
3) The king would build his military war machines and weapons of mass destruction at his own discretion, n not influenced by the people.
4) A king would take their daughters for cooking, baking and other things in support of his government.
5) A king would take their own possessions to be his own and make them to be his own servants.
6.) A king would cause a great taxing to support the government.
7) A king would take whatever he thought would be necessary to run his government, this included personal freedoms and human rights.
8) He would control their means to make their own living.
9) A king would take away everything that rightfully belonged to the people, the will of the people would be ignored!
10) Kings are not for the people, kings are for their own selves and will do most anything to remain in power!
*****1Sa 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
Many people say that this sounds harsh and God would not do such a thing.
But the Bible says that any nation that rejects the Lord and follows after man will then not be heard of God when they cry out.
In our day God deals with individuals!
We must have a personal relation with the Lord!
God will deal with individuals who trust in His holy name!
God will not deal with nations of communism or socialism or any nation that rejects His Word!
This is the age of the Laodicean church and Jesus is on the outside of the door knocking trying to get back in.
*****1Sa 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
Israel believes that a King will bring relief from injustice but instead they will experience oppression by his hand.
Remember God had just answered the prayer of Samuel and delivered Israel from the Philistines.
But God would no longer answer a rebellious Israel who cried out because of their king.
The people refused to listen to Samuel.
In other words when we read this portion of the Bible we should see that our Lord had no wrongdoing in this matter!
God only gave this people what they asked for!
*****1Sa 8:20 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.
We read in this verse the underlying reason for the people’s demand.
In their minds the Ark had failed them in their battles with the Philistines!
They wanted a king to lead them into battle.
They had soon forgotten that it was the Lord that had led them in the time of Moses and the time of Joshua to victory in many battles.
*****1Sa 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
1Sa 8:22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
These people wanted to be like their neighbors.
They want a king who would not only fight their battles but would also be there judge.
We never read in the Bible where an enemy of Israel had ever prevailed while they were following the Word of God!
To be quite honest this same thing would happen today if Israel would follow the complete Word of God!
Israel still has this promise from the Lord!
SO, God told Samuel to make Israel a King!
As Christians our first priority is to please the Lord!
Everything else has to be second in our lives and this includes family.
We can never turn our backs on the Lord and survive in this world!
You see, we can never influence the decisions that the Lord makes!
But in Israel’s mind they felt like they might be able to influence some king who they allowed to rule over them but they never could.
They wanted some input into their own government but they never got the opportunity.
We should be very careful when we pray because if our prayers are not in the will of God, He may actually allow some of the things we ask, so we can learn some valuable lesson!
Every prophecy of Samuel came to pass but the people of Israel did not even notice!
In our day most all the prophecies of the Bible have come to pass and there are some that time has not allowed them to happen but they will, but the world has not even noticed.
God is not through with Israel even in our day.
God has promised a True King for Israel but that King will not come until the time of Church Age has passed.
That King is our Savior, King Jesus!