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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Samuel and Saul Page One

Samuel was a very special child.  His mother was barren for many years before he was born.  In other words, she was not able to have children for many years.  This really hurt her.  As a result, she prayed for a child and vowed to give him back to the service of the Lord if God blessed her with him (1 Samuel 1-2).  So, Samuel actually was holy to the Lord from a very early age.  He lived with Eli.  Eli was the High Priest of the Tabernacle.  The Tabernacle was the place of worship for the children of Israel at the time.  Saul was the first king of Israel.  The lives of Samuel and Saul were interconnected for many years.  Saul was a king who quickly fell into disfavor with God due to disobedience.  Here are some highlights from the lives of these two men; starting with Samuel:

 

  1. Samuel was a young boy and was asleep when God spoke to him for the first time in his life (1 Samuel 3:1-14).

    1. Samuel thought it was Eli calling him out of his sleep.

    2. So, he ran to Eli three times, but each time Eli told him that it was not he that called Samuel.

    3. The third time, Eli revealed to Samuel that it was God who was calling him.

    4. As a result, he advised Samuel to listen to God (Samuel 3:1-9)

    5. Samuel did as Eli told him to do (1 Samuel 3:10-14)

      1. Unfortunately, the news from God was not good for Eli.

      2. God was upset with Eli, because Eli did not do his job as High Priest in a way that was pleasing to the Lord.

      3. His sons were priests and Eli failed to control them.

      4. They were wicked and Eli did not stop them from abusing God’s people.

      5. So, God was going to end his son’s lives for corrupting the House of God at the time.

      6. He was also going to take Eli’s position of High Priest away from him (1 Samuel 2:27-36).

  2. Samuel had to deliver the bad news to Eli (1 Samuel 3:15-21).

    1. This was a hard thing for Samuel to do.

    2. He was scared to tell Eli what God said.

    3. However, Eli encouraged him to tell the bad news.

    4. Samuel told him that God was going to punish Eli and his family for their sins.

    5. Eli accepted the bad news from Samuel without being mean to him.

    6. This was the beginning of Samuel’s prophetic ministry.

    7. This just means that God would use Samuel as His preacher the rest of his life.

    8. God would give His Word to Samuel.

    9. In turn, Samuel would tell God’s Word to the children of Israel.

    10. Thus, Samuel had to learn to be brave, because people do not want to always hear the truth.

    11. What do we learn from Samuel for today?

      1. Sometimes, we as Christians must try to convince other Christians to stop living sinfully.

      2. However, there are three things we must keep in mind when doing so.

      3. First, we cannot be a hypocrite (Matthew 7:21-23).

      4. No one will listen to a hypocrite.

      5. So, if we are living sinfully, we must stop our own sinful behavior before trying to stop others (Matthew 7:1-5).

      6. Second, we must make sure we tell the whole truth like Samuel did even if the other person does not want to hear it.

      7. A true friend cares enough about others to try to stop them from doing things that make God upset with them.

      8. Besides, some spiritual advice will actually save their earthly lives as well.

      9. For example, if our Christian friend becomes a heavy drinker or drug user, we need to confront the friend about it to get them to change.

      10. If the friend stays in these types of lifestyles long enough, they can become a two time loser.

      11. In other words, these lifestyles can cause them to end up in the grave yard due to a drug overdose and not make it to heaven as well.

      12. Any sin we do not repent of will cause us to miss heaven (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7-10).

      13. So, we should care enough about our Christian friends to warn them to stop sinful behavior to save them in both ways!

      14. Third, we must be gentle when we confront others (Galatians 6:1).

        1. We must understand that everyone makes mistakes (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:7-10).

        2. We are going to make mistakes from time-to-time ourselves.

        3. So, when we make mistakes, we want others to treat us with love, respect, and kindness.

        4. Since this is the case, we must correct others with love, respect, and kindness as well!

  3. In 1 Samuel 4, we see that God’s Word through Samuel came true (1 Samuel 4:1-21).

    1. The children of Israel were defeated by the Philistines.

    2. They killed thousands of the children of Israel.

    3. Included in the number killed were Eli’s sons - Hophni and Phineas.

    4. Just as God foretold would happen by the words of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3, God punished Hophni and Phineas for their sins.

    5. However, the day would get worse.

    6. The Bible says that Eli was 98 years old.

    7. A messenger sent the news of Israel’s defeat, the death of Eli’s sons, and the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines.

    8. Remember, the Ark of the Covenant was God’s presence in the Old Testament days.

    9. So for Eli, the capture of it was devastating.

    10. So devastating that Eli fell from his chair, broke his neck, and died.

    11. Remember, the death of Eli was also a part of prophecy.

    12. Now, the Words of God from 1 Samuel were beginning to be fulfilled in that God would replace him with a new High Priest.

    13. Unfortunately, the replacement also meant that Eli would die for his sins.

  4. In 1 Samuel 5, a lot of bad things happened to the Philistines for taking the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 5:1-12).

    1. The first incident was when the Philistines put the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of their false god (1 Samuel 5:1-5).

      1. This false God was named “Dagon.”

      2. Unfortunately for Dagon, the Ark of the Covenant was placed right by this statue.

      3. The Philistines noticed that the statue had been tipped over.

      4. They put the statue back up.

      5. However, God caused the statue to fall again.

      6. This time, the head and the hands were broken from the statue.

        1. The falling of the Dagon statue was God showing that He is the only true God.

      7. We cannot worship any other god than the Lord.

      8. This is why we do not bow down to false gods called “idols” today.

      9. Idols have no power.

      10. They are only manmade statues that appear to have power, but are nothing but nonsense.

      11. If idols were powerful, then there is no way that the Dagon idol would have fell over and broken.

      12. This is true today.

      13. People still worship statues, such as Buddha, in vain.

      14. God is offended when we worship statues.

      15. It is also sinful even though idolatry is practiced all over the world.

      16. Do not be impressed by numbers.

      17. Just because there are many idol worshippers in the world does not make idol worship right.

      18. Only God is right and mankind are liars.

      19. Trust in the Lord always and do not practice idol worship!

      20. Worshipping idols will cause one to lose his or her salvation (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

    2. The second incident upon the Philistines was the striking of the people with tumors and death (1 Samuel 5:6-12).

      1. The suffering of the Philistines for keeping the Ark of the Covenant for themselves was so great that they demanded it be returned to the children of Israel.

    3. After 7 months, the Philistines sent the Ark of the Covenant back to the children of Israel on a cart pulled by two cows.

      1. They also put gold tumors and gold rats in a chest to be taken back with the Ark to give honor to God.

      2. Thus, the Philistines were not able to hold the Ark of the Covenant, which shows us that no man can contain God.

      3. He is more powerful than any man, country, military, and all things that human beings can do.

      4. He is all-powerful and no one can stop His Will from being done.

      5. Remember, the Ark of the Covenant was the presence of God among His people of the time.

      6. So, God showed the Philistines His own power by judging their false god “Dagon” and them with the plague of tumors!

      7. This teaches us today that God is control not only of His own people, but even those who do not know Him (1 Samuel 6).

      8. Jesus has said that all power belongs to Him in haven and earth (Matthew 28:18-20).

      9. Thus, He is more powerful than any government or person on the planet.

      10. He can make a difference in your and my life.

      11. Trust in Him always, because He can help in any situation you find yourself in (Hebrews 4:14-16)!

  5. God blessed Samuel to be a very effective preacher (1 Samuel 7:3-6).

    1. After the Ark of the Covenant was returned to the children of Israel, the Bible says, “2 Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only” (1 Samuel 7:2-4 New International Version).

    2. Why did God use Samuel to tell the children of Israel to serve Him only by throwing out the idol gods they had with them?

      1. Well, it is just like Jesus said in Matthew 7:21.

        1. It reads, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (New International Version).

        2. As young Christians and adults, you must realize that God does not accept hypocrisy.

        3. In other words, we cannot live double lives and expect to make it to heaven.

        4. Thus, we must choose one lifestyle over the other.

        5. We will be either good or evil in this life.

        6. Fortunately, the only saving lifestyle is the righteous one of obedience to God’s Word.

        7. So, don’t live a double life, because God will judge you for it later (Revelation 20:11-15).

        8. Instead, mortify the deeds of the flesh.

        9. This means that as a Christian, you are always trying to daily kill all of the bad habits you may have.

        10. The Bible says, “5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:5-10 New International Version).

    3. Returning to Samuel’s story, not only did the children of Israel repent of their sins of idolatry, they actively confessed their faults to God (1 Samuel 7:5-6).

      1. The Bible says, “5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah” (1 Samuel 7:5-6 New International Version).

      2. If you have been following along in this series of messages entitled, “Teenage Wisdom Series,” you are no stranger to the concept of forgiveness for a child of God.

      3. In the Old and New Testament, God requires repentance (i.e. change), confession of one’s fault, and prayer for forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:7-10).

      4. So, if you have done something wrong and are already a Christian, God is still the God of second chances.

      5. He will forgive you again if you would repent, confess your fault, and ask Him to forgive you!

      6. He is a merciful God and loves you dearly (john 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9)!

  6.  Moving on, the evils of the Philistines continued against the children of Israel (1 Samuel 7:7-18).

    1. The Philistine army assembled to attack them.

    2. Samuel sacrificed a lamb and prayed to the Lord.

    3. The Lord answered in a very different, surprising, and miraculous way.

    4. He thundered from heaven so loud that the Philistines panicked.

    5. This gave the children of Israel the advantage on the battle field and they defeated the Philistines.

    6. The Bible says the Philistines stopped oppressing the children of Israel after that battle!

    7. This victory was also a fulfillment of a promise to the children of Israel for their obedience to Him (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).

    8. They would defeat all of their enemies and prosper in the land as a reward from God!

    9. This is another reason we trust all promises from God to us.

    10. He has never lied and has never failed to honor a promise He has made!

    11. Thus, this victory in Samuel’s time is further proof of the trustworthiness of God as an example to us today!

    12. He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).

  7. 1 Samuel 8 is a very sad passage of Scripture for the children of Israel where they asked for a king (1 Samuel 8:1-22).

    1. Please keep in mind that they never had a king before.

    2. The only King they had was God, Himself!

    3. One of the reasons the children of Israel wanted a king was because Samuel’s sons were corrupt.

    4. Samuel appointed them as leaders of the children of Israel, but they decided to treat the people unfairly, became greedy of dishonest gain, and accepted bribes (1 Samuel 8:1-3).

    5. Due to the corruption of Samuel’s sons and to imitate the other nations around them, the children of Israel requested a king (1 Samuel 8:4).

    6. Samuel was distressed by this request from the children of Israel.

    7. The Bible says, “6 But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights” (1 Samuel 8:6-9 New International Version).

    8. As you can see, God took the request for a king personally.

    9. In other words, God was offended by the request, but allowed them to have a king anyway.

    10. Unfortunately, having a human king would cost the children of Israel dearly.

    11. The Bible says, “10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day” (1 Samuel 8:10-18 New International Version).

    12. As you can see, the Lord was showing the children of Israel that having a human king would cause hardship for them.

    13. The human king’s leadership over them would not be the loving, kind leadership God had shown them for hundreds of years.

    14. Instead, the human leadership would oppress and take advantage of the children of Israel.

    15. Unfortunately, even with this information known, the children of Israel still demanded a human king.

    16. The Bible says, “19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:19-20 New International Version).

    17. God advised Samuel to give them one.

    18. As you will learn in later Bible history, this would be one of the greatest mistakes the children of Israel would make, because most of their kings would lead them away from God and cause them to be conquered and enslaved by the Assyrians and Babylonians due to their sins (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; 2 Kings 18:1-12; 25:1-21).

    19. What lesson for today can we learn from the children of Israel’s demand for a human king?

      1. Remember, one of the reasons the children of Israel wanted a king was to be like the other nations around them.

      2. They did not appreciate the fact that God’s leadership was better and He had certainly taken care of them greater than any human being could.

      3. He also fought their battles for them and gave them the land they were living in.

      4. He defeated numerous enemies for them, but the children of Israel just would not put their trust in the Lord no matter how good He was too them.

      5. It was a shame to see them treat God so badly!

      6. Thus, the children of Israel’s lack of faith is something we should never imitate!

      7. His superior leadership is always what we want in this life!

      8. Furthermore, be an individual!

      9. You will experience a lot of peer pressure in this life to persuade you to take the wrong path in life!

      10. Stay with God even if friends are lost!

      11. Your goal is to get to heaven and to take as many others as you can (Matthew 16:26; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20).

      12. Unfortunately, we must sacrifice some friendships in this life if they are toxic relationships that pull us away from God instead of closer to Him!

      13. Remember, the best friend you will ever have is Jesus (John 15:13-14).

      14. He will love you to the end and stick by you no matter what!

      15. Even when so called “friends” abandon you for choosing to do the right thing, always remember that there are other people in the world who are trying to do the right thing too and will accept you as you are (Acts 2:42)!

  8. In 1 Samuel 9, the Bible introduces us to Saul (1 Samuel 9:1-14).

    1. The Bible says that he was a tall, handsome man.

    2. The Bible pictures Saul as wandering around the country looking for his family’s lost donkeys.

      1. They were nowhere to be found.

      2. Fortunately, they knew about a man who had a Divine gift that could help them.

      3. That man was Samuel.

      4. He was called a Seer, which means that God would talk through him.

      5. Another name for a Seer in the Old Testament days was “prophet” (1 Samuel 9:1-14).

      6. This visit of Saul to Samuel was another example of God’s providence in the lives of mankind.

      7. Saul had no idea that God was setting him up to meet the prophet Samuel to become the first king of Israel!

      8. Thus, the loss of the donkeys was a blessing in disguise for Saul!

      9. He was looking for donkeys, while God was using the lost donkeys as a tool to change his life!

    3. Do not be surprised when things that seem unrelated turn into big blessings in your life somewhere down the line.

      1. God uses the ordinary to make extraordinary things happen in our lives.

      2. This is why we trust Him always.

      3. Often, the good and the bad things that happen in our lives move us to blessings that God wants to give us.

      4. The Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) (“The Gospel,” n.d).

  9. However, the arrival of Saul was no surprise to Samuel, because God told him in advance that Saul would be coming (1 Samuel 9:15-27).

    1. The Bible says, “15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.” 17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people” (1 Samuel 9:15-17 New International Version).

    2. Again, this conversation between God and Samuel shows that the loss of the donkeys, which caused Saul to come to the right place for his blessing, was the providence of God!

    3. In other words, God was behind these wandering donkeys and used them to make Saul a king!

    4. Never underestimate the little things, because it just may be God manipulating things behind-the-scenes to bless you!

    5. Some blessings you will never see coming!

    6. God is just that God to His own!

    7. Getting back to the story of Samuel, the chapter concludes with Samuel and Saul dining together that night!

  10. The next Biblical scene pictures Samuel anointing Saul as the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1-27).

    1. The Bible says, “1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance? 2 When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”’ 3 “Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. 4 They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. 5 “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. 6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do” (1 Samuel 10:1-8 New International Version).

    2. Notice, God gave Saul the lost donkeys.

    3. Most importantly though, He empowered Saul with the Holy Spirit.

      1. God was with Saul to help him as king.

    4. The Holy Spirit is alive today.

      1. He is God within this earth.

      2. He is God dwelling among us (Acts 5:3-4).

      3. After you are baptized, the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to you as a Christian.

      4. The Bible says so in Acts 2:38, which reads, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (New International Version).

      5. As you can see, the Holy Spirit is given to all Christians after their conversion.

      6. This is to our advantage.

      7. The Bible says, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” (Ephesians 3:16 New International Version).

      8. He is in this earth to make us stronger Christians.

      9. He does this by building strong Christian character within us.

      10. Galatians 5:22-23 talks about this and reads, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (New International Version).

      11. He is the reason we have the Bible, because He moved the men of God from the past to speak to us (2 Peter 1:20-21).

      12. Their Words were captured in the Bible for us to learn from, obey, and be saved (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

      13. He dwells in our hearts as long as we are obeying Him by obeying His Words in the Bible (Galatians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Romans 8:14).

      14. Appreciate the Holy Spirit, because He is God and makes us stronger Christians!

    5. Lastly, regarding Samuel’s story, we find out that when he presented Saul to the people, he let them know they were rejecting God.

      1. However, he let them know that Saul was God’s chosen man despite their rejection of the Lord.

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