A Preaching Prophet Samuel’s Warning
Text: Book of 1 Samuel Chapter 12
We did not get into Chapter 11 last week but Israel, led by their new King Saul had a major victory over the Ammonites.
God in His permissive will had allowed certain things to come to pass. The nation of Israel got what they wanted, a King, but they would now have to live with the result.
We will see as we go further into the Book of Samuel that Israel was not prepared for the outcome of their request.
Israel had been lax in their prayer life and it is important that we as the children of God consider our choices and decisions "through much prayer" to the Lord and God’s Word.
Although Israel had sinned and continue to do so, "repentance and confession" will still assure God’s forgiveness and God’s continued blessings upon them.
To the church we must realize that Jesus not only paid our sin debt with His blood, but "it was the Cross" that opened the door into the throne room of God for our prayers to reach into Heaven.
Remember the Veil was ripped into exposing the Mercy Seat to all that believe!
Repentance, God’s grace, and faithful service, are the theme of Samuel’s message in this chapter.
This was the message that Israel needed to hear.
This is also the message that the Church needs today!
If we pay attention will see that the term LORD is used 24 times in this passage.
The Hebrew word for Lord used here is "Jehovah" and it is used 6528 times in the Old Testament.
Jehovah means the eternal self existing God, The Great "I Am" of Exodus 3:14.
Jesus said in the Book of Revelation:
Rev 1:8 "I am" Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
*****1Sa 12:1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
What we see recorded in this passage is Samuel’s last public message to Israel. We will see Samuel do several things in this passage.
1) Samuel will first vindicate his life and his ministry.
2) Samuel will then step aside and turn the leadership of Israel over to King Saul.
3) But Samuel emphasizes that it is essential for Saul and Israel to remain faithful to God.
The fact that Saul had led the Army in a great victory over the Ammonites did not change the fact that their future success rested in trusting in Jehovah, Our Lord.
The Lord had made it very clear that any King of Israel was not to be like the foreign kings Israel had faced in their battles!
*****1Sa 12:2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
Samuel would certainly not be the last of the prophets but he would be the last of the Judges of Israel. The rule of Israel by Monarchy would begin with King Saul the first king of Israel.
This part of Samuel’s work was done!
But Samuel was still Prophet to Israel and would be until his death!
The two sons of Samuel had not been like their father but Samuel had still given them to Israel and Samuel had given his entire life to serve his nation that he loved so much.
*****1Sa 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
Samuel had, had a long and blameless life.
In our day when the lives of our politicians are spread before the world to see, none of them are found guiltless, but Samuel would have been found innocent of any wrong doing.
No one could find any fault in Samuel!
In many ways from his birth until this day in Gilgal we can see Samuel as a type of Christ.
Remember Gilgal is where Joshua had set up camp and Israel had began to occupy the land and it would be at Gilgal where they would get their new beginning under King Saul.
This should remind us that Jesus Christ is our placve of a new beginning. Jesus says we must be born again.
When Luke wrote of the Sermon of the Apostle Peter we find that Samuel had foretold of the Jesus the Messiah.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets "from Samuel" and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
Samuel was indeed instrumental in announcing the gospel!
Samuel’s childhood looked forward to that of Jesus, and his loyal ministry under Eli the high priest, is an example for all of us in service before our faithful High Priest, Christ Jesus!
Later we will even see where Samuel will anoint King David, "a type" and an ancestor of our great King who will return to judge this world, King Jesus.
And We know that Samuel’s prayers could reach into Heaven and was heard of Our Lord:
Psa 99:5 Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Psa 99:6 Moses and Aaron among his priests, "and Samuel" among them that call upon his name; "they called upon the LORD, and he answered them".
Psa 99:7 He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.
Samuel had a great testimony this day and Israel only recognized part of it.
*****1Sa 12:4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.
1Sa 12:5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
Israel admitted before the Lord that they had no grounds for any dissatisfaction with Samuel and they way he had judged them.
The life of Samuel had provided a standard for King Saul and any future king to meet.
Verse five states that Saul had also witnessed this testimony of Samuel.
Again we see Samuel as "a type" of Christ.
You see when we give our testimony, King Jesus is also our witness to the truth of that testimony.
Listen to the words of Jesus in His testimony:
Joh 8:46 "Which of you convinceth me of sin"? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
Joh 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Their was not one witness to any sin in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Samuel was giving Israel and King Saul the truth of God, just as Jesus gives us the truth of God’s Word.
To the world we live in, Jesus ask this question. Why do you not believe me?
And just like Israel we have no excuse!
*****1Sa 12:6 And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
1Sa 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
Now Samuel explains to these people that it was God and not any man, that had done so many great things for them.
It was the Lord who had raised up Moses and Aaron and made them the deliverers of Israel from the bondage of Egypt.
There are those that think they can work there way into Heaven, but if God had chosen us for our good merits, then we would also have the fear that He would casts us away.
Those that believe in works, live in fear of losing their salvation!
But God chose us in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of this world we live in, "For His Names Sake".
HE CANNOT LOSE ANY OF US!
But our Lord does work through humans!
Israel owed it’s entire existence to Jehovah God but they also owed Him their blessings and their sincere worship!
We seem to forget proper worship also comes with salvation.
God deserves our praise!
The Lord had given Samuel to Israel from his childhood and he had led them in the ways of the Lord and had not faulted in any way.
We need to remember all those who the Lord has placed in our lives to lead and guide us in the ways of salvation!
The Lord always knows who we need and what we need but He also knows where we need Him!
The Bible teaches us:
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need "according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus".
You see, we all need Jesus Christ to be a complete Christian!
*****1Sa 12:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
Samuel reminds Israel that God had always raised up deliverers in their times of trouble.
They had been made slaves in Egypt.
They had suffered intensely under a tyrant who took all their personal freedoms and had broken their spirits.
But God had heard their cry and sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them.
Moses has led them to the land promised to Abraham and Joshua had led them into that promised land.
But they had soon forgotten again what the Lord had done!
*****1Sa 12:9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
1Sa 12:10 And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
They had forgotten God’s deliverance and had gone back to their old ways of worshiping idols and false gods and again they came under the control of foreign powers.
Many think America is too strong for this to ever happen but they have forgotten "Who Actually Sits On The Throne" just as Israel had forgotten!
Joshua had defeated Hazor, but while Israel fell into false worship, another king, King Jabin came into power and sent Sisera to capture Israel.
BUT, Israel repented again and God sent Barak along with Deborah to deliver them.
God had delivered them many times from the hands of the Philistines.
And, God had delivered Israel out of the hands of King Eglon of Moab.
*****1Sa 12:11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
In the time of the Judges, God had sent Gideon to deliver Israel.
God had sent Bedan. No one is sure if this was Samson, Barak, or Abdon but God sent another deliverer.
And, God sent Jephthah who again defeated the Ammonites, and now Samuel had been their deliverer until the time of King Saul.
*****1Sa 12:12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
1Sa 12:13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
Samuel has reminded the children of Israel that it was God who had delivered them all these times, and Samuel drove home the point that it is the Lord who is ultimately Israel’s Savior and not any of these men he mentioned.
Israel’s security depends on the Lord and not on some human leader. It did then and it does now!
And Samuel says "behold"!
Samuel says since I have reminded you that God shall deliver, look upon your king that you have desired.
Samuel was saying that this king cannot do the things of God!
But because you have demanded him, the Lord has set a king over you.
During the time of the Apostle Paul, he also reminded Israel of this day:
Act 13:19 And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot.
Act 13:20 And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.
Act 13:21 And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
Paul was telling Israel that they had not changed in their ways all these years!
The Lord Jehovah had chosen to be Israel’s king back in the Book of Exodus:
Exo 15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
And the Prophet Hosea gave us these words:
Hos 13:9 O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.
Hos 13:10 "I will be thy king": where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?
Hos 13:11 I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
The Lord will be the King of Israel on this earth but that time has not yet come!
King Jesus is coming!
But we can go ahead and sing His Praises now!
The Bible teaches us in the Book of Psalms with these words:
Psa 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: "sing praises unto our King", sing praises.
Psa 47:7 "For God is the King of all the earth": sing ye praises with understanding.
Psa 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
Psa 47:9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.
*****1Sa 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
1Sa 12:15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
Now Samuel gives God’s warning to Israel.
Samuel warned the people of Israel against substituting the honor and fear of Jehovah, their true King, with that of a man who was some earthly king.
Saul was just a human, just like everyone that met that day in Gilgal and they were encouraged to never forsake the fear of the Lord because that will always bring the judgment of the Lord!
God would bless Israel "in plain sight of their enemies" but if they forsake the Lord God would also punish Israel "in plain sight of their enemies" and they would be a great price!
AND, History has borne this out!
*****1Sa 12:16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
1Sa 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
We know that throughout time Israel has required a sign!
Israel was born out of signs and wonders!
Israel became a national entity when God brought them out of Egypt, with many great signs and wonders that occurred at that time.
The Bible teaches us:
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
The Jews had always been used to miracles to confirm the word of the prophets!
Samuel knew this and told them he would call on the Lord.
Today we would say that "thunder and rain" was not much of a sign.
But rain usually fell in Judea only twice a year and was called "the former rain" and "the latter rain" but rain never fell on the days of the harvest.
During harvest days the skies were clear and cloudless.
So, Israel did not question that this was a great miracle that could only have come form Jehovah at the request of Samuel!
*****1Sa 12:18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
1Sa 12:19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
This was such an unusual thing that came by the prayer of Samuel, that the people of Israel knew it was a miracle came from God.
The power of God has and is often shown in the elements!
God is the Creator and the Sustainer of this universe we live in!
The entire universe is under the control of our Lord!
It was possible that this one storm could have destroyed the entire wheat harvest of Israel.
The Bible does not say that God destroyed that wheat harvest but in that brief moment the people stood in awe of both Samuel and Jehovah God.
But Israel still had a reoccurring problem and the Book of Psalms describes this problem.
Psa 106:12 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.
Psa 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:
Israel believed the Word of God and gave Him Praise, BUT they soon forgot God’s "grace" and went back to doing things their own way!
This happened over and over again.
But for us to look upon Israel in judgment would be wrong because we that are saved have this same problem!
We soon forget how good the Lord has been to us in our salvation and many slip back into their old ways and all of us are still sinners being saved only by the "Grace" of God!
*****1Sa 12:20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
1Sa 12:21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
There is only one reason God will not abandon this people!
"For His Name’s Sake!
Psa 106:8 Nevertheless he saved them "for his name’s sake", that he might make his mighty power to be known.
Not because it was true that they were worthy, for they were not.
Not because they were righteous, because they were certainly a rebellious and disobedient people.
But "For His Name’s Sake"!
Six times the Bible says that Jehovah God is the God of the Hebrews!
God is still the God of the Hebrews but he is also the God of the Church!
Got had made Himself known to Israel by bringing them out of Egypt and He would not abandon them now because He is still the God of the Hebrews.
The "power of God" is in His grace and His mercy, and in His justice and His Holiness, and in His Almighty power, and in His goodness, and most important in His truth!
It is important for the world to understand that God will save His people!
BUT, Everything we put before God is a vain thing just as any idol.
*****1Sa 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people "for his great name’s sake": because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
We will make mistakes after our salvation but remember God will not abandon His people!
Let’s remember these words of Jesus:
Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, "but I have chosen you", and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Jesus chooses all that believe upon Him to be saved!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Saints in Rome these words:
Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Salvation is the free gift of God!
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And we have this promise:
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you "will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ":
But Israel also has this promise:
Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
During the time of the Church all that call of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved.
After the end of church age, or after the Rapture of the church, which is the same thing, Israel will be saved at the Second Coming of Christ.
God took great pleasure in saving us:
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; "who for the joy that was set before him" endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
And God will take great pleasure in coming after His chosen people, the Church and Israel.
*****1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
What we should see here is that we are in sin when we do not pray for all of God’s people!
We need to pray for the church, for the church is God’s people!
But we also need to pray for Israel as we have just proven, that they are still God’s people!
And we must not forget, we must pray for "the lost" that they will come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and become God’s people.
It is a terrible sin to not pray!
God had been rejected by Israel and replaced by King Saul.
Samuel had been rejected by Israel and would no longer be judge of Israel but would still be God’s called prophet.
BUT, it was still Samuel’s job to teach the good and right way to reach the Lord!
And that will also, always be our number one job!
*****1Sa 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!
But we must serve the Lord with all our heart.
We must serve the Lord faithfully!
This was true for Israel then and this is true for the church today!
There is no guess work when it comes to serving the Lord!
God gives us His Bible, which is the Word of Truth.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
We are to obey the Word of the Lord for what it says and "not for what we think it says"!
*****1Sa 12:25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.
The people of Israel had sinned in desiring a King but God would help them if they feared Him and obeyed Him.
There is no king or ruler of any nation and no government that we should place before the Lord!
Israel had received what they asked for!
Israel would now have to live with the request that they had made!
But God will not ever abandon Israel.
And, God will never abandon His Church!
We will make many mistakes as we serve the Lord!
And God will sometimes give us things that are not in our best interest.
No matter how we fail Him, the Lord expects us to repent, take our chastisement, and get back in the fight because the work of the Lord must go on until He returns!
And He Will Return!