Notes: June 29, 2008 – 1 Samuel 8 & 9

Meditation Points:

  • Like Hophni and Phineas, the rebellious and wicked sons of Eli the priest, Joel and Abiah, sons of Samuel, were in position to take over the office of judge after the death of their father Samuel. But, in both cases, God had other plans (1 Samuel 8:2-5).
  • Samuel was displeased when the people demanded a king (6); but God assured him that it was not against Samuel but against the Lord that the people rebelled (7). Before you protest that the people had a legitimate complaint because Samuel’s sons were wicked, remember that they didn’t ask God to regenerate the boys or even to replace them with men after God’s own heart. Instead they demanded a king of their own approval. Isn’t that like today’s voters?
  • God agrees to give them a king; but first they must be told that an earthly king will conscript their children and their employees and their animals,  and tax their wealth at a rate of 10%. Still the people demanded a king. Earthly men will give anything to have leadership that they approve. Societies haven’t changed, even though tax rates have risen to 40% and more.
  • A Benjamite named Saul will be the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 9:1-2). Note his qualifications. Did you see anything about his relationship to God?
  • When Saul was ready to go home, his servant suggested consulting a man of God about the lost animals. Saul protested that they hadn’t a gift for the prophet and therefore could not expect an answer (1 Samuel 9:6-7). It is sad that people won’t consult the proper help because they believe that they must pay for God’s services.  Isn’t it more sad when people actually MUST pay before preachers and priests will “serve” them in God’s name?
  • The day before Saul’s arrival, God had told Samuel that he who would be king was to arrive. When Saul arrived, God voiced His approval of Saul to Samuel (1 Samuel 9:15-17).
  • Saul received a royal welcome feast with 30 honored guests (9:22); later he remained behind with Samuel to learn the word of God (1 Samuel 9:27).