1 Samuel 14
1 Samuel 11:14-12:25
Upon crowning Saul as king of Israel, Samuel calls Israel together for a public covenant renewal service one last time as their leader. The people repent of their folly as Samuel presents a trial of sorts, calling himself, Yahweh, and the people to the witness stand to see whose unfaithfulness is to blame for the recent chaos. The faithfulness of both Samuel and Yahweh are vindicated, leaving only the people to blame. At this point all of Israel is renewed, and at their head, standing as their representative before God is a new man with a new heart. It is as if we are in a new Eden, with a fresh start. The question remains, how will our new Adam behave?
1 Samuel:10:17 – 11:15
Whenever there is an anointing or a calling or a commissioning in the Bible, we should expect to see a challenger right away. Some threat will appear to ruin everything and the anointed is called upon to take courage and faithfully defeat the challenger. Saul is no exception. As soon as Saul is anointed to be the next king of Israel, Nahash, an Ammonite king, (whose name is literally “serpent”) comes to challenge Israel. Saul is a faithful man who rises to the challenge, defeats the enemy in the name of the Lord and once again proves that God is capable of defeating His enemies, and crushing the heads of serpents through His faithful servants.
I Samuel 9:1-10:16
Returning to our 1 Samuel study we meet the king that Israel was promised. After reading Samuel’s description of what a king might be, we expect to see an arrogant monster. Instead, when we meet Saul, he is humble, he cares for his father’s animals and he is respectful. We learn through this that while God could really stick it to Israel and give them the worst man for the job, instead He gives them the best man for the job. This shows us the care and patience God has for His very wayward and impatient people.
The basis of all human love, concord and unity is found in the eternal covenant relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is only in covenant with this Triune God that we can begin to understand the bonds of human friendship and love. On this Trinity Sunday we explore the mysteries of the relationship of the members of the Godhead.
On this Pentecost Sunday we reflect on all the ways that the Holy Spirit continues to minister to the Church. We are often a little fuzzy on the operations of the Holy Spirit – sometimes thinking that the word “spiritual” means “not real”. But as we see today, we often need to capitalize that “s” and see talk about not just “spiritual” things but “Spiritual” things in terms of the gifts the Holy Spirit gives to His people.
1 Samuel 8
One of the ways that the Lord demonstrates His love for us is giving us what we ask for in prayer. Another way that He demonstrates His love is by not giving us what we ask for, because He knows that we ask for things that are not good for us. At this point in the book of 1 Samuel, Israel asks for a king who will fight for them, a king like all the nations, ignoring the way that Yahweh has been fighting for them, and ignoring the good shepherd that Samuel has been. God is going to give obstinate Israel what they ask for, but this is going to come as more of a judgment than a blessing, and Samuel details all the ways a king like the nations would take advantage of them and abuse his power. God relents and gives them what they ask for, even though they are asking in ignorance.
1 Samuel 7
So far in our study of 1 Samuel we have seen Israel attempt to defeat the Philistines by demonstrations of strength and power, and employing the Ark of the Covenant as kind of a mystic weapon to strike fear in the hearts of their enemies. But it isn’t until the people come together to repent and renew covenant with Yahweh, that the Philistines are finally and completely driven out of the land. When Samuel places the sacrifices on the altar, Yahweh thunders at the Philistines and drives them back. It isn’t through the strength of military might or political power that God’s enemies are defeated. God thunders at our enemies when we are faithful to please Him in our worship and obedience, just as He did here.