1 Samuel 12

1 Samuel 12 has Samuel before the people of Israel a bit irritated with their attitude.  He challenges them to point out any areas where he has not been righteous with them:

  • Whose ox have I taken?
  • Or whose donkey have I taken?
  • Or whom have I defrauded?
  • Whom have I oppressed?
  • Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it?

Samuel says that he has been forthright and done no one any harm.

He goes on to remind them that “the Lord sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety”.  That didn’t happen because they deserved it, but because God loved them.  And Samuel reminds them that he himself is one of those sent to save God’s people.  They have asked for a king, and now they have one they had better obey and follow his leading.  As is always the case, it comes down to obedience.

If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well”.  The people are charged with obeying their king, and ultimately God.  They will pay a price for disobedience.  And if they obey, Samuel tells them to “stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes”.  God works through his chosen leaders.  But to drive home the point that God is in control, Samuel tells them he will do a miracle just to cinch the deal.  “Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord”.

Obedience is the way to receive God’s blessing, and he warns them “do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart….do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty”.  If we choose to turn away from God, it does not go well.  There was some fear that Samuel might also turn away from the people but he assures them “far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way”.  Samuel doesn’t act on his own feelings, he acts in obedience to God!

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