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Breezin’ Through the Bible, #10B, Samuel and Saul

December 3, 2013

Samuel, the last of the judges who were priests and prophets, led his people and listened to them clamoring for a king. Samuel’s sons did not walk in God’s ways, but accepted bribes and perverted judgment. Samuel knew God was not pleased that his people wanted a king to become like their neighbors and lead them into battle. He reminded them of the greatness of God in their battles when they obeyed him. He warned them a king would take their sons for his armies and their daughters in his household. A king would reap the harvests of their crops and take their fields and vineyards. He would take their workers, and they would become his servants, but the people would not listen to the warnings.

From the tribe of Benjamin, Saul was tall, strong and a choice young man. God, perhaps disappointed, told Samuel to anoint Saul with oil and announce him as king, and Samuel obeyed God. But Saul was a jealous, impatient, and impetuous man, and he did not improve with age.Before battling the Philistines, he could not wait for Samuel to burn offerings to God, and assumed the duty of the priest for himself. Again Saul disobeyed the Lord when he kept some choice sheep, goats and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel reminded Saul that obedience  is better than sacrifice and submission better than offerings. Rebellion is sinful, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. “The Lord has rejected you as king.” Samuel told Saul and mourned for the king who had never accepted God, nor followed his ways. 

Saul, the first of the kings, ruled for 40 years, from 1050 B.C. to 1010 B.C. In 450 years, the Israelites had 41 kings. Only 11 remained faithful to God. A king cannot fix the heart of the people, and when leaders follow the ways of the world, they are limited to what the world can provide. When leaders trust in God, they receive overwhelming blessings. Leadership is dangerous without God.

Could Samuel find a new king with a heart full of love for God?

to be contd.

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