we study the lesson today, watch for how Samuel, who was a prophet, priest,
and judge of Israel, took his concerns to God. Samuel judged the children
of Israel all his life. When he became an old man and knew that he could
not be their judge much longer, he made his two sons judges. They were
not like their father, for they loved money and took bribes, and they
did not judge honestly. One day some of the leaders in the nation came
to Samuel. They said, “You are old now and will not be with us much
longer. Your sons are not like you and we do not want them to rule over
us. We want a king like all the nations around us.” At first Samuel
felt very sad about this. He thought the people were turning against him
and did not love him any more. So he prayed and asked God what he should
do. Samuel believed that God heard his prayer, that God would answer,
and that God would work in his life.
The Lord said to him, “The people are not turning against you, Samuel,
but they are turning against Me. They do not want Me to rule over them.
Give them a king as they ask, but tell them first what it will mean for
them to have a king,”: Samuel went back to the people and told them
what God had said. He said to them, “When you have a king you may
be sorry. He will take your sons and daughters to work for him. There
will be heavy taxes to pay to keep up an army and a palace. He will take
a part of your grain and your fruit and all that you have. It will cost
you something to have a king.”
But the people said, “We want to be like the other nations around
us, and they all have kings. We want one too.” Please read in the
Bible at 1 Samuel 8:19, 20, and let’s see how many times the pronouns
“we” and “us” are used. Raise your hand each time
you hear the word “we” or the word “us.”
Although Samuel prayed to God for direction, there is nothing here to
show that the children of Israel had committed their way to God. God had
told them that they were not to be like the heathen nations around them.
They were to be a holy people, obeying God’s Word and serving Him,
so that the nations around them would come to know of the living God whom
they worshipped. To be like other nations was contrary to God’s
purposes, but God permitted them to have their way.
God often talked with Samuel as with a friend. Some time after this He
spoke to Samuel and said, “Tomorrow about this time I will send
you the man who is to be king over my people and deliver them from their
The next afternoon Samuel was coming out of his house to go to the place
of worship. Coming toward him were two men. One was young, handsome, head
and shoulders taller than anyone else. The other man was his servant.
When Samuel saw this tall, kingly-looking man, the Lord again spoke to
Him in his heart and said, “This is the man who is to be king.”
Samuel spoke to the young man, whose name was Saul. He said to him, “I
would like you to go with me to worship and then come back to my house
to supper and stay all night.” So they went to Samuel’s house
to a feast. Other guests were present, and Saul was given the seat of
honor beside Samuel and treated as the honored guest. Saul could not understand
why Samuel should be treating him as if he were an important person when
he was just a country boy. Saul and his servant stayed at Samuel’s
home all night. The next morning they started home, and Samuel went with
them to the edge of the city. Then he asked Saul to send his servant on
ahead so that they could be alone. Then he did a very strange thing. He
took a bottle of oil and poured it on Saul’s head. He kissed him
and told him that God had chosen him to be king over the people.
Soon after this, Samuel called all the people together unto the Lord.
Samuel was a prophet as well as a judge. A prophet is one who comes to
the people with a message from God. The people listened to Samuel and
knew that He brought to them God’s message. Samuel reminded them
of all that God had done for them as a nation. He said, “You have
now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses,
and you have said “No, set a king over us.” In insisting upon
a king, the people had really turned against God. The people were insisting
on their own way.
Is it important for you and me to seek God in prayer, to listen to the
Word of God and to obey Him? Yes, it is. Are there consequences when you
don’t? Yes. Choosing your own way is a sin. It is rebellion against
God. God allows us to go our own way which is contrary to His will, but
we experience the consequences. We will learn more about this next week.
We are told in God’s Word to “Trust in the Lord with all your
heart and lean not on your own understanding.” To “trust”
means “treat as reliable,” “commit to the care of.”
Have you learned to talk with God? Does He answer your prayers? Do you
spend time reading God’s Word to learn more about what pleases Him?
Maybe you have not yet put your trust in Jesus as your Saviour. That comes
first. May God give you grace to call upon Jesus right now for the forgiveness
of your sins. You will want to thank God the Father for sending Christ
to die on the cross for sinners.
If you have received Jesus a Saviour, tell him what is on your heart.
Today, let’s bow our heads in reverence. Close your eyes and pray
silently. We will wait quietly for you to pray your own prayer.
Father, we thank you that we can come to you in prayer. May we honor you
as Lord and King in our lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Copyright Material BCM International