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In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is our Trusted Prophet
1 Samuel 12:13b
Jesus is God's anointed King
In First and Second Samuel, we read how the kings came about for the nation of Israel. God gave Samuel, the prophet, the divine wisdom in choosing each king that was chosen. But, one thing to remember is that Jesus, the Christ is the ordained and anointed King given by God.
To be anointed means to make something or some one holy. To be ordained means to establish some thing or some one for a high office or calling.
Jesus, the Lord, is our King. Samuel told the Israelites this as well when the people begged Samuel to beseech God to allow a king to rule over them. 1 Samuel 12:12b--"--even though the Lord your God was your king." The Israelites wanted to be like the nations around them, and instead of maintaining their faith in the Lord, and bringing to memory all the miracles that were seen since leaving Egypt, they begged and begged to have a king set over them. They were even warned about what an earthly king would do; 1 Samuel 8:10-18 talks of all the things the king would do the nation should an earthly king be chosen...this king would take the sons of the people and turn them into soldiers, he would take the daughters of the people and have them work for him making perfumes and such, he would take a portion of the produce from the crops that the people would harvest, etc. Instead of remembering the One True King, Jesus, they wanted someone on earth that they could see and touch and who could deliver them from the hands of their enemies. How very much like the people of old are we today? We want someone to come in and take care of every need in our lives, to make the heavy decisions for us, to rule us so that we will stay true and right. We only have to look to Jesus for those things, not to an earthly king, lord, president or what have you.
1 Samuel 11:15a
First Samuel opens up with a woman named Hannah, who was one of two wives of Elkanah, an Ephraimite (of the tribe of Ephraim). Hannah was very much loved by her husband; but, tormented by the second wife because Hannah had not had any children. Hannah often found herself at the House of the Lord praying that the Lord would grant her the blessing of a child. On one such occasion, Eli, the priest at the time, saw her praying silently and thought she might be drunk. She told him, when Eli asked her about it, that she was not drunk, only "deeply troubled" (1 Samuel 1:15).
When Hannah realizes that she is with child, she dedicates his life wholly to the Lord who granted her the blessing of the child. When Samuel was around six years old or so, Hannah presented him to Eli as her vow to the Lord dictated her to do. From that time on, Samuel was reared in the House of God.
Every year, Hannah, Samuel's mother, would bring to Samuel a new coat, a bigger coat than the one she gave him the previous year. He was a growing boy after all. Not only did Samuel grow physically, though; Samuel also grew in wisdom and in stature in the Lord during his time in the House of the Lord.
Because of Hannah's faithfulness in maintaining her vow to the Lord (following through with the vow as well as making the vow), the Lord granted her another five children, three more sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21).
As Samuel grew, he became more and more in tuned with what God had appointed him to do in life. One night, Samuel kept hearing someone call his name, and thought it was Eli calling for him. Three times, Samuel disturbed Eli's sleep before Eli figured out what was going on. Eli told Samuel that the next time his name was called, Samuel was to reply "Here I am. You called me." (1 Samuel 3:9). When the Lord called Samuel again, Samuel heeded the words of Eli and answered the Lord with "Here I am. You called me." (1 Samuel 3:10). Samuel was such a faithful servant that his word was in all of Israel (1 Samuel 3:21).
The most poignant of events in theses chapters tells of Israel's begging Samuel to beseech God to give them an earthly king. One reason for this was because Samuel's sons, Joel and Abijah, were wicked and greedy and accepted bribes; the people did not want such men to be their judgers, or leaders (1 Samuel 8:3; 8:5). But, also, they wanted to be like the nations around them, who had kings to protect them and lead their armies. They very quickly forgot all the miracles the Lord performed when delivering them from the hands of the Egyptians, or even how he led them in their defeat of so many other enemies.
Samuel was set to the task, by God, to anoint the man God chose to be king of Israel. God was very specific with Samuel about who His chosen king would be; Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin.
Chapter 12 gives way to Samuel making a farewell speech. Samuel told the people of Israel that he had been faithful to God and to the nation of Israel. He never stole, he never cheated, he never oppressed any one person and he never accepted any bribes (1 Samuel 12:2-3). He goes on to name several judges; Gideon, Barack, Jephthah and himself (1 Samuel 12:11). Then he reminded the people that it was them who wanted a king, and that they and the king must always follows God's laws and commands. If they obeyed God, they would continue to be blessed as a nation, if they went against God then the hand of God would be against them.
These final chapters of First Samuel talk mostly of the next major character that we come across, Saul, a Benjamite (of the tribe of Benjamin). Saul was chosen of God and anointed by Samuel. But, like many other power-hungry men, Saul began to take charge of the things he should not have messed with. There was some major skirmishes going on between the Israelites and the Philistines, and Saul was at Gilgal, awaiting Samuel to arrive to make the sacrifices. After waiting for seven days, Saul took it upon himself to make the burnt offering and the fellowship offering sacrifices. Just as they were finishing up, Samuel arrived, and was very concerned and upset over the scene he arrived upon. It was at this time that Samuel let Saul know that because of this act of sacrificing, Saul's kingdom reign would not endure and that there was another on whom God was putting His anointing.
In chapter 15, it tells of yet another stumbling block in a long list of stumbling blocks at Saul's feet. Saul led the Israelite army against the Amalekites; but, was told to utterly destroy them, including the men, woman and children, even their animals. Saul disobeyed as he took as a prison of war Agag, king of the Amalekites, as well as the best of the animals. There was a big to-do when Samuel again arrived in obedience to the Lord. Samuel told Saul that since Saul had rejected God and God's commands, God had now rejected Saul. As Samuel turned to leave, Saul grabbed hold of Samuel's clothing and tore it, which gave Samuel these words, "The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors-to one better than you." (1 Samuel 15:28). At this time, Samuel, himself, put Agag, king of the Amalekites, to death. Samuel did not see Saul again after this incident.
Before too much more time passed, God sent Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem. [Surely, you remember who Jesse is. Jesse's father was Obed, whose parents were Boaz and Ruth.] Upon arriving at the home of Jesse, Jesse had his sons come before Samuel one by one. Each one was somehow more impressive than the previous one; but, God reminded Samuel that the heart is what mattered most, not the appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). After Jesse's seven sons were paraded before Samuel, all of them being rejected, Samuel asked if Jesse had anymore sons...enter David.
The first battle we see David fighting as a young man (maybe 16, give or take; the Bible does not specify his age) is with Goliath. David, as always, gave the glory and honor to God for all that he had. When Saul and the fighting men were returning home, they were met with women who were singing and dancing with joyful sounds and musical instruments. The words they sang were, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." This was enough to push Saul over the edge into fits of anger and jealousy, and even after giving his daughter, Michal, to David in marriage, Saul still sought to kill David every chance he could. And while Saul tried time and time again to kill David, David never lifted a finger against Saul, because Saul was still God's anointed. There was even a time during Saul's many travels on the road to kill David that Saul killed all the priests at Nob because they gave a safe haven to David (1 Samuel 22).
First Samuel ends with chapter 31, and the death of Saul. The Philistines overpowered the Israelite army and the Philistines archers critically wounded Saul. To be able to "save face", as it were, Saul took his own life instead of being killed outright by the Philistines. The Philistines, even in his death, showed no mercy for Saul. The Philistines cut Saul's head off and hung Saul's body at the wall of Beth Shan. The Israelites, in their mourning, gathered the dead bodies of Saul and his sons and buried then at Jabesh.
2 Samuel 18:9b
After Saul's death, along with the death of his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua, David took a time to mourn. Jonathan and David had become so close, they were more like brothers than brothers-in-law (David was married to Jonathan's sister, Michal). They were so close, in fact, that one of the many times that Saul had gone after David to kill him, Jonathan helped David flee the area. David always professed God's anointing on Saul as king, even when Saul tried to kill David.
Following David's time of mourning, the Lord sent him to Hebron, where David was anointed as the king of Judah. It was during his time in Hebron, that a great feud broke out between the house of David and the house of Saul; however, one must remember from 1 Samuel 15:28 that when Saul tore part of Samuel's garments, the Lord at the time made known to Saul that the kingdom would be torn from Saul and his sons, and descendants. After seven and a half years, the men from the tribes of Israel (Judah was known as known as the Southern Kingdom and Israel was known as the Northern Kingdom), came to King David in Hebron and anointed him king of Israel, where his throne was established in Jerusalem and he reigned for another 33 years.
During his reign, David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and set it in the tent David had prepared for it. While the Ark of the Covenant was entering into Jerusalem, David led the people in praise and worship and dancing before the God of Heaven; but, his wife, Michal, daughter of Saul, rebuked him by saying quite sarcastically, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" (2 Samuel 6:20b) David reprimanded her reminding her that he had been appointed and anointed of God and it was his priority to celebrate the return of God's Covenant to all of Israel (Judah included). He also pointed out that in his humiliation there would be honor (2 Samuel 6:21-22). So it is with us, today, we must bear all, everything we are, in humble prostration before the throne of God; becoming "naked" as it were in front of our maker. At the end of their discourse, God proved Michal barren and she had no children.
Upon settling his himself in the palace of a king and putting to order his house, David divulged to Nathan, the prophet, that he (David) wished to build a house for the Lord to reside in. David reasoned that he, himself, had a permanent dwelling and that the Lord also needed a permanent dwelling. God spoke to Nathan and told Nathan to relay to David that, no, David was not to build such a place for the Lord. But, David was given a promise; his throne would be established forever. It is from David's lineage, from the descendants of Judah, that King Jesus was born. Now to note, David did not throw a fit or whine and beg to be the one to build the House of the Lord, instead he gave praise to God for God establishing a promise, an oath, a covenant with him, an eternal covenant as Jesus is of the house of Judah through David's lineage.
David never for a moment forgot his brother, son of Saul, Jonathan. He sent out across his kingdom for any of Jonathan's remaining relatives. A servant of Saul's, Ziba, was brought before David for inquiring as to who might be left of Saul's household. Ziba told King David that Jonathan had a surviving son, who was crippled in both of his feet. David sent for this son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, and showered him with kindness because Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul and the son of Jonathan. Mephibosheth stayed in Jerusalem and was always welcome at the king's table when the king ate (2 Samuel 9:13).
King David counted many victories to this point; the Philistines, the Moabites, Hadadezer son of Rehob who was the king of Zobah, the Arameans, the Edomites and the Ammonites.
David and Bathsheba. Why was it so easy for David to commit adultery with Bathsheba? Because he did not go off to war with his men as he should have. It is this author's personal opinion that had David went with his fighting men, the sin of adultery between him and Bathsheba might not have happened. But as it were, it did happen. In their act of infedility, one to the other, a child was conceived. Now, not only is there a sinful act to hide; but, there is a pregnancy that is needed to be somehow covered up. David immediately called for Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, to come home from the warring area, and sent Uriah home to his wife. Uriah refused to go into his home to be with his wife on the basis that his fellow soldiers were off at war risking their very lives for their country, and he (Uriah) could not sleep in comfort in the arms of his wife. "Plan A" hds failed. David was hoping Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba and would thereby give credence to Uriah being the father of the baby who was from David's own seed. Onto "plan B". David had Uriah placed on the front lines of the battle where Uriah was sure to be killed. And, in fact, arrows from the enemy archers hit their mark in Uriah. After the required time of mourning, Bathsheba was summoned to David and she then became David's wife. However, there is no sin, though it may be hidden from man, that is ever hidden from God. Nathan was sent by God, to David, to give David, and Bathsheba (they were both party to the sin of adultery), the consequences of the multitude of sins that started with the king remaining at his home and not going to war with his fighting men. Much was said to David about his and Bathsheba's sin, ending with David's repentance and God granting David forgiveness. There was still the matter of a consequence, though; the son that Bathsheba bore to David was to die. For seven days, David fasted and pleaded with God for the life of the baby; but, God was steadfast in His punishment. When the baby did indeed die, David cleaned himself up and had a meal. This perplexed David's servants; David's answer was, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?" (2 Samuel 12:22-23) Again, after a time of mourning, Bathsheba and David, together, conceived another son, Solomon.
Much trouble began following the house of David. One son of David's, Amnon, raped David's daughter, Tamar. Absalom, another son of David, who was Tamar's full-blood brother, killed Amnon because of it, forcing Absalom to flee for his life, which caused David much sorrow. When King David finally sent for Absalom to return Jerusalem, Absalom made himself a judge in the land. He had it within himself to set himself up as king and overthrow King David, his own father. David ended up fleeing to safety; but a battle soon ensued, and Absalom, upon meeting up with some of David's men, got his hair stuck in the branches of a large Oak tree(Absalom had very thick, beautiful hair [2 Samuel 14:26]). David had instructed his men to not harm Absalom in any way; but, Joab, who commanded 1/3 of the king's troops, killed Absalom while he was hanging in the tree by his hair. And, thus, David returned again to Israel.
At the ending of Second Samuel, David commits yet another grievous sin. God allowed Satan to tempt David's pride (the parallel of this account can be found in 2 Chronicles 21:1). David was led to count his fighting men; but the fighting men of Israel did not belong to David nor should David have counted them without God's blessing to do so, Israel belonged to God. Only a census could have been commanded of and given tribute to God. Exodus 30:12--"When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them." Once the census had been taken, David was stricken with guilt and he realized his sin. He begged the Lord for forgiveness; but, as we learned from earlier episodes in David's life, a punishment is usually given. This time was no different. God gave David a choice of three punishments; three years of famine in the land, three months of fleeing from their enemies or three days of plague in the land. 70,000 people throughout the land were killed in a plague before the Lord, Himself, could take no more and commanded His angel to stop. David also begged for mercy for the people, he knew the punishment should have been his as he was the one who sinned, and not the citizens of all Israel.
In Kings and Chronicles, He's sovereign...
The Books of First and Second Chronicles gives a more detailed account of the kings of Judah and of Israel. The Books of First and Second Kings replays and relays God's promises, details the apostasy (or turning away from the faith) of the kings who succeeded David on the throne and the ensuing judgment placed on Israel for its disobedience.