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Samuel’s Heartbreak

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1 Samuel 13:5-14, 15:1-23 We cannot look at the life of Samuel without considering the life of Saul. The coronation of Saul marked a transition in the life of Samuel. Samuel was judge over Israel until Saul became king. With Saul’s ascension to the throne, Samuel’s role changed, but he continued to serve as prophet to the king, speaking God ’ s word so that the king would know the will of the Lord. In this way, Samuel ’ s life and work became closely connected to Saul ’ s.  The ideal man for the job soon revealed that he was unfit for the task. Today, we will look at two incidents in Saul ’ s life that marked the trajectory of his reign as king. The first one is an unlawful sacrifice that he made, and the second one is an occasion of incomplete obedience. Saul made the unlawful sacrifice early in his reign. When he had been king two years, he gathered three thousand men and attacked the Philistines. As a result, both the nation of Israel and the Philistines gathered for battle.

Only Fear the Lord

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1 Samuel 12 1 Samuel 12:24 (NKJV) Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The elders of the nation then gathered together and came to Samuel and said, 1 Samuel 8:5 (NKJV) Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.   We know that this was not the real reason. God said, 1 Samuel 8:7 (NKJV) Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. They did not want God to rule over them. We see more of the reason behind their demand for a king when Samuel said to them, 1 Samuel 12:12 (NKJV) And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘ No, but a king shall reign over us. ’ Here we have four reasons they desired a king. Samuel was old. Samuel ’ s sons

A Leader for God’s People

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1 Samuel 9-10 The nation of Israel was governed by judges for 320 years. The last verse in the book of Judges, describes this period of time this way: Judges 21:25 (NKJV) In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Under Moses, the people took an oath to seek the Lord and be faithful to Him, but it never worked that way. The pattern of turning away from the Lord and being disciplined by Him continued until the people asked for a king, thus rejecting God as their ruler.  God listened to their demand for a king and chose a man for them. The man God chose for them was an ideal candidate. He came from an influential family. Also, he was handsome and a choice young man. 1 Samuel 9:1-2 describes him. 1 Samuel 9:1–2 (NKJV) 1 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. 2 And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Sa

The Altar and the Crown

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1 Samuel 8 1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV) “Be holy, for I am holy.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world. A soldier escaped the battle and ran into Shiloh with dust on his head and his clothes torn. Everyone knew that this meant tragedy, and the city was immediately in an uproar. Somebody took the man directly to Eli. Eli was old, he had judged Israel for forty years, and now he listened to the news he dreaded. His two sons were dead, and the Ark of the Covenant was in the Philistines’ possession. The boy Samuel had told Eli that this would happen. Eli fell off his stool at the news that the Ark had been captured and broke his neck. Samuel was still a boy, so he went back home to Ramah, where his father and mother were. For twenty years, the Ark did not return to the tabernacle in Shiloh, nor did the people seek God. When Samuel was about thirty years old, he became judge of Israel, but he did not return to Shiloh. He made Ramah his home base for his entire life. 1