Epistles of Thomas

May 28, 2009

1 Samuel 7-9

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 16:49
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In chapter seven the Israelites, under the leadership of Samuel, turn back to Yahweh and rid themselves of their idols. The Philistines came to fight them but they were defeated through Yahweh’s intervention: “that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites” (7:10). It is recorded that the “hand of the Lord” was against the Philistines throughout Samuel’s lifetime. Unfortunately, like Eli’s sons before him, Samuel’s two sons did not follow the Lord but accepted bribes and perverted justice. The people used this as a reason to demand that he appoint a king for them, like the other nations had.

God recognised that the people were rejecting him as king and he told Samuel to warn them about the toll a human king would exact from them. The people refused to recognise the warnings, saying “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” (8:20). This is ironic given that God has led them to victory over their enemies countless times and has literally fought for them on numerous occasions such as 7:10. No human king can come close to accomplishing their desires. Nevertheless, God instructs Samuel to anoint a king over them. Chapter nine recounts how Saul was looking for some lost donkeys and made his way to Samuel. God had prepared for his arrival and they dined together.

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