CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE BEGINNING OUR 100TH DAY OF READING THE BIBLE TOGETHER!!!!?????? WHAT AN AWESOME BLESSING!!!
Chapter 9 — Saul was a Benjamite. If you think back to the end of the book of Judges … the Benjamintes were almost wiped out….remember there was a civil war and the remaining 11 Tribes of Israelites thought it was “right” to steal women (because they had made a rash vow to the Lord about the Benjaminites not having women from their tribes) so the Benjamintes could have a way to have wives?? God knew then, that of that line we would begin our Monarchy and HE gave them wives to continue their line. As we meet Saul, he is a humble man and through Divine Appointment Saul will be made king. God prepared Samuel for Saul’s visit. Samuel knew about Saul’s asses being lost (makes me think of Balaam.) These asses were Saul’s father’s, they were a sign of wealth … not something he would want to have to tell his father that they were gone or lost.
Chapter 10 — Saul is so humble and his kingship really started on the right path. He was tall, handsome, and the perfect “picture” of a king. Israel’s king was under the AUTHORITY of the ONE true God. Whereas pagan kings were under NO god….they saw themselves AS THE god!!
In verse 9 we are told that “As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these things were fulfilled that day.” In verse 10 “…the SPIRIT of GOD came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.”
I think about verse 9 when God changed Saul’s heart kind of like when each of us are saved. The day we are saved God changes our hearts so we WANT more of HIM, so we not only desire but can do HIS will in our lives. I think this is a beautiful verse of the change God can do when we ALLOW HIM to!!
Verse 19 –“But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said,NO appoint a king over us.” So now present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.” ISRAEL basically demanded a king, a human king like all the nations that surrounded them. However, Israel’s true king was God. God gave them their request….but God still felt rejected by their request.
Interestingly, Saul hid when Samuel was about to present him to the people. Possibly Saul was afraid of his new position and all the responsibility. Once he came out, he wrote down his duties and “deposited” them before the Lord. Samuel anointed his head and kissed him (no not that way.)
Chapter 11—we have this thing happening between the Ammonites (booooo hisssss , descendants from Lot) and the men Jabesh Gilead. Why did the Ammonites pick them to pick on? Because they were sure that Israel would Never come to their rescue. Recall back to the end of Judges, when they called a war by pony expressing the body parts of that poor raped woman. One tribe did not show. (This is also the same tribe the women were “stolen” from to marry the Benjamites after the civil war.)
Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly. For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there. (Judges 21:8-9)
The book of Judges ended with judgment on the the Benjaminites. It was done and handled. So the Ammonites were wrong…all the Israelites DID come to their rescue. Saul had the SPIRIT OF GOD COME POWERFULLY UPON HIM…sends a message to the Ammonites with pieces of dead oxen. Then 330,000 men of Israel were organized and the next day Saul lead them in to battle and slaughtered the Ammonites.
Samuel made Saul king in the presence of the Lord. There (Gilgal) they sacrificed fellowship offerings before the Lord, and Saul and all the Israelites held a celebration.
Chapter 12 This chapter is like a recap of things that have happened. If you didn’t get a chance to read or review the last few books, it is all right here in 1 small chapter. Samuel is making his farewell speech. And like all the greats before him, he reminds Israel of how great their God is … all HE has done for them. He reminds them of where God brought them from. Samuel reminds them of their prosperous times but more importantly of the times they FORGET about God. And then there it is…the ending. At the end of every Farewell Speech we see we have a CHOICE once again. We are told to pick a path… the path of GOD or the path without HIM. The If’s…
Now here is the king YOU have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you. IF you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you AND the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God-good! But IF you do not obey the LORD, and IF you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (14-15)
God made it clear through Samuel that the Israelites will get the king … they asked for…and they ALL (the Israelites and the king) MUST follow HIM if they want all to go well with their lives. God also brought a thunderstorm during the wheat harvest. This could have been disastrous because if the storm was too big then it could destroy the wheat. God was showing them as a reminder of HIS power.
Why did God allow Israel to pick their own king? Their request was totally expected by God. Look back at Deut 17:14-20. Saul is fulfillment of the Scriptures. Each King can be measured against this standard. This all points forward to JESUS as the Only King that will be appointed that WILL not fail us.
SOOOO many nuggets to chew on about WHO our God is in this chapter!! If you bible has cross references and if you have time and feel the Lord leading… check them out.
Sharing HIS love,