1 Samuel 7-8: “The Israelites Get Right With The Lord, Then Request A King”
In our last study, we looked
at chapters 4-6. We saw in that study how that
1.1.1. We saw that
1.1.2. The Philistines who had
1.1.3. A plague of big tumors or
hemorrhoids also breaks out among the Philistines after the
1.1.4. The wise men of the Philistines are finally consulted about what to do about the Ark and they recommend to the Philistine lords that they try to send the Ark back to Israel, and, then they come up with a test to see if indeed it is the Lord who is causing these calamities among them wherever the Ark resides.
1.1.5. We saw that the Lord reveals through the calamities He brought upon the Philistines after they captured the Ark that He can defend Himself and doesn’t need anyone’s help.
1.1.6. Finally, the
1.1.7. Finally, the
1.2. In our study today, we are going to look at chapters 7-8.
1.2.1. We will see in chapter 7
that the next generation of the children of
1.2.2. In chapter 8, we see though that the children of Israel suddenly decide that they must be as the other nations and have a king to rule over them as a nation, and they come to Samuel and request that he appoint a king to rule over them.
2. VS 7:1-6 - “1 And the men of
Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord
and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar
his son to keep the ark of the Lord.
2 From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the time was
long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of
We saw in our last study how that the children of Israel had lost the
Ark to the Philistines because they had taken it into the battle with them
thinking that if the Ark came into the battle that the Lord would be with them
and give them the victory. However, they
learned from that experience that just having the
In our last study, we also commented upon the fact that erroneously
many Christians even in our day think that if they observe various external
rites or possess Christian artifacts that they also will have the Lord’s
favor. However, just as the Israelites
thought that by having the
2.2.1. We saw likewise that many Christians even today do many religious sorts of things thinking that by doing them that they will have the Lord’s favor. Thus, they may make signs of the cross, wear a cross around their neck, wear a Saint Christopher, wear holy underwear (in the case of the Mormons), repeat certain prayers, put off committing certain sins during Lent, etc., etc.
2.2.2. However, we concluded that the only way to gain the Lord’s favor is to surrender your whole life to Him, trust in the promises of His word, and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. This is the same thing that we see the Israelites doing in these verses. They are getting their hearts and lives right with the Lord.
We see here that Samuel on this day leads the children of
2.3.1. When we as God’s people who are in a backslidden condition want to get right with the Lord, the first step that we must take is to put away all of the idols in our lives. An idol for us is anything that we put ahead of the Lord or that we give the attention to that belongs to the Lord.
Just putting away their false gods isn’t enough for the children of
2.4.1. We Christians must realize that in our lives that it is not enough for us to be right with the Lord if we only recognize that we have sins in our lives and yet we do not confess and repent of those sins before the Lord. This is the great truth of 1 John 1:9, which also assures us that, “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
184.108.40.206. When we Christians have committed any sins, the Lord expects us to repent of those sins, confessing each and every one as well as memory permits us.
220.127.116.11. Our repentance and confession of our sins allows the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of our sins and to remove the guilt for those deeds from our consciences, and this is a very freeing thing for us.
18.104.22.168. King David wrote in Psalm 32:1-6 about what happens when we do not confess the sins that are in our lives, “1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! 2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah. 6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.”
3. VS 7:7-12 - “7 Now when the
Philistines heard that the sons of
3.1. Here we see that the Philistines were afraid that Israel had come together to mount an attack against them and so they decided to make a surprise attack against Israel before the Israelites had the chance to strategize and begin a war campaign. This plan by the Philistines proved to backfire on them however.
3.2. The Israelites were terrified now that the Philistines had drawn up against them for battle. They cry out to Samuel not to cease praying for them as a nation.
3.3. We saw in the previous sections of scripture that the Israelites had at this point put away their idols from them, and they had also confessed their sins. Now, Samuel will make a sin offering for them.
3.4. The mere offering of sacrifices will not cause anyone to gain the Lord’s favor, for there must be an internal brokenness before the Lord consistent with genuine repentance, as Ps. 51:17 tells us, “17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
A sacrifice must be offered however.
The children of
3.5.1. People today will sometimes pretend to have a relationship with God, claiming even to have faith in God and even to try to live in obedience with the Lord. However, without the sacrifice of Christ no one is able to come into relationship with the Lord for our sins separate us from God and only application of the blood of Christ shed for our sins upon Calvary’s cross can atone for our sins so that we can have a relationship with the Lord.
22.214.171.124. There must be “an offering for sins.” The blood of Jesus upon the cross of Calvary was the once for all time offering for our sins that alone can provide for mankind’s sins to be paid and atoned for, for Heb. 9:22 tells us that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins, “…and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
126.96.36.199.1. The blood sacrifices in the Old Testament looked forward to that day when the blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would be shed once for all for all sins, and it is only by looking forward that those sacrifices could be effective in people’s lives in providing atonement for their sins.
188.8.131.52. These verses tell us that not just any sacrifice for sins will work, but only that which was provided for us by the Lord Himself, the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son from all eternity:
184.108.40.206.1. 1 Tim. 2:5-6, “5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”
220.127.116.11.2. John 14:6, “6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way , and the truth , and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
3.6. Because the people had truly repented to the Lord from their hearts, the Lord accepted the sacrifice of Samuel, who was now acting as a priest to the people. He also accepted Samuel’s intercession in prayer for them. The people were now right with the Lord and so now He was free to act mightily on their behalf in delivering them.
The Lord fights for
4. VS 7:13-14 - “12 Then Samuel took a
stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus
far the Lord has helped us.” 13
So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the
In the book of Joshua we saw that six times the children of
This “Ebenezer” stone was set up by Samuel between Mizpah and Shen so
that the children of
The word “Ebenezer” means “stone of help.” This name is a reminder of how that the Lord
helped the children of
5. VS 7:15-17 - “15 Now Samuel judged
5.1. We see here how that throughout his life that Samuel traveled a regular circuit as a judge deciding legal matters for all of the tribes of the children of Israel west of the Jordan.
5.2. We see here how that Samuel was a hard worker functioning faithfully in his God-given calling as a servant of the Lord.
6. VS 8:1-9 - “1 And it came about
when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over
6.1. Samuel’s two sons were named Joel (“Jehovah is God”) and Abijah (“Jehovah is my Father”), however they did not live up to their name for they proved to be wicked sons just as were the sons of Ely, the high priest when Samuel was a boy.
These boys acting as judges over
6.3. Samuel was given completely to his work for the children of Israel as was mentioned, and this is possibly at least part of the reason that his sons, whom he appoints as judges, were rebellious and did not follow the Lord.
6.3.1. When we as God’s people are serving Him in the ministry, whether fulltime or not, we must realize that our first and most important ministry is at home and with our own family. Paul wrote that we are immediately disqualified from ministry if we cannot first keep our home in order and be an example as a leader there.
6.4. Samuel was a faithful man and yet his sons were wicked, and thus I believe that we must learn from this and be careful not to judge Christians because of the fact that their kids do not grow up to follow the Lord. Even good and faithful men and women, such as Samuel, sometimes raise up children who because of their own free will choose to be rebellious against the Lord.
We see here in these verses that all of the elders of
6.5.1. The era of the judges was a dark time and every man was just doing what was right in his own eyes (we saw that written a few times in the book of Judges), and the people wanted better and more uniform justice for themselves.
6.5.2. Samuel’s sons whom he had appointed as judges were corrupt and thus the Israelites weren’t getting their cases determined justly and fairly.
18.104.22.168. Samuel surely must have known that his sons were rebelling, but this complaint of the people about his sons must have pained him greatly.
6.5.3. The children of
6.5.4. The children of
22.214.171.124. They were desiring the wrong things for their lives, and this was a grave sin on their part, one which they would one day live to greatly regret.
6.6. This request of the people to have their own king was very displeasing and discouraging to Samuel on many levels. He knew that the people’s hearts were not in the right place and that they were desiring the wrong things, but their request of a king was also a rejection of him (Samuel), the leader that the Lord had raised up and appointed.
6.7. When Samuel prays about the people’s request to have a king, the Lord tells him to go ahead and heed their request and give them a king. Then, the Lord comforts Samuel by telling him that the people hadn’t really rejected him, they had rejected the Lord from ruling over them.
6.7.1. It is a comfort to us as Christians and Christian leaders to know that when people reject us, and our ministry and godly counsel, that they are really rejecting the Lord. Knowing this helps us from taking things too personally, for we are God’s representatives.
Warren Wiersbe writes about how that the scriptures reveal that the
Lord had intended in time to give them a king, “There is every evidence in
the Pentateuch that
6.9. So, the desire to have a king wasn’t really where Israel had gone astray from the Lord, it was the fact that they wanted this king and they wanted him NOW, and, they wanted a king for the wrong reasons, so that they could have a king like all of the other nations had a king.
6.9.1. God is going to give them a
king in Saul, but he won’t be the one He would have for them. That would be king David, but it was not yet
the Lord’s timing to raise up David, His man, as king over
The children of
Refusing to follow the Lord and have His “perfect” will for their
lives, the children of
6.12. The Lord’s “permissive will” is a place where the Lord sometimes allows His children to live. He won’t disown or reject them living in His “permissive will,” however they will miss all of the great blessings of being in His perfect will and calling for their lives, and in that place He will use the circumstances of their lives to discipline and correct them.
6.13. Warren Wiersbe makes the following profound comment about the Lord’s discipline in our lives when we leave His “perfect will” for us and come to live in His “permissive” will, “The greatest judgment God can give us is to let us have our own way. “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (Ps. 106:15).”
6.14. Many times we as Christians act as the Lord’s counselor telling Him what He needs to be doing, or even by claiming things in prayer that may not be the Lord’s “perfect” will for our lives. We should in these times instead just be asking for the Lord’s “perfect” will for our lives.
6.14.1. Pastor Chuck Smith has told us that he has an agreement with the Lord that if he ever asks anything from the Lord that is not His “perfect” will for him that the Lord would just ignore his prayer.
6.15. Have you ever given the Lord an ultimatum, “Answer this by such and such a time or else I’ll …?” Doing this is also foolish for it puts the Lord to the test and places us in God’s “permissive” will for our lives, and in that place we will experience the discipline of the Lord to correct us.
The Lord tells Samuel to ‘solemnly warn’ the children of
7. VS 8:10-18 - “10 So Samuel spoke
all the words of the Lord to the
people who had asked of him a king. 11 He said, “This will be the
procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place
them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will
run before his chariots. 12 “He will appoint for himself commanders
of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his
harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 “He
will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 “He
will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and
give them to his servants. 15 “He will take a tenth of your
seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16
“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best
young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 “He
will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18
“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have
chosen for yourselves, but the Lord
will not answer you in that day.”” - Samuel
leads the children of
Kings always require a lot from their subjects. Samuel enumerates for the children of
7.1.1. Their sons will be drafted into the military.
7.1.2. Their sons will work and harvest the king’s fields.
7.1.3. Their daughters he will take to become cooks and bakers.
7.1.4. He will take the best of their fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his servants.
7.1.5. He will exact a 1/10th tax of their seed and vineyards to pay his officers and servants.
7.1.6. He will take their male and female servants for his own work.
7.1.7. He will take the best of their young men and donkeys for his service.
7.1.8. He will take 1/10th of their flocks.
7.1.9. He will make them his servants.
7.1.10. One day they will cry out to the Lord because of their king, but He will not hear or answer their prayers.
126.96.36.199. The children of Israel do cry out to the Lord because of the kings that were placed over them, for the kings not only exact much from them, as indicated here, but the kings were also an instrument of the enemy to lead them astray from the Lord as a nation.
8. VS 8:19-22 - “19 Nevertheless, the
people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there
shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the
nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our
battles.” 21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people,
he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing.
22 The Lord said to
Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the
8.1. Even though Samuel had laid out for the children of Israel all that it would cost for them to have a king over them, and the cost would be great, and even though he told them that one day they would greatly regret demanding a king, the children of Israel insist that this is exactly what they want to do.
8.2. Sometimes people just have to learn the hard way the importance of obedience to the Lord and His word.
8.2.1. We parents see this same thing happen with our children regarding the things that we try to teach them. When children reach adolescence they suddenly begin to think that they know better than their parents and that the rules that their parents place over them are stupid. However, time has a way of correcting kids, for after they have experienced the hard knocks in life because of going their own way, then they realize the wisdom of their parents.
8.2.2. God will use trials to correct us if necessary, but its much easier for us if we will just learn from the Lord telling us from His word what we should or should not do.
9.1. Child of God, today do you find yourself in the Lord’s “perfect” or His “permissive” will for your life?
9.2. If you are in His “permissive” will for you and living under the Lord’s hand of discipline, there is only one way to get back into His “perfect” will so that you can enjoy all of the great blessings of being there. It is to get right with the Lord.
9.3. As we saw the Israelites in chapter 7 lamenting that they no longer had the Lord’s favor, and then they sought out Samuel to lead them in repentance to the Lord, I want to ask you if you are right with the Lord today?
9.3.1. Have you removed the idols from your lives?
9.3.2. Have you confessed all of your sins to the Lord?
9.3.3. Have you trusted in the blood of Jesus and the completed work of Christ on the cross ALONE to atone for your sins?