Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 76 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Samuel 9 today and our focus is on Samuel the prophet and how he attempted to mentor Saul, the first king of Israel. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan
Perhaps you’ve heard the expression before that some of God’s greatest mercies to us are in the prayers He does not answer in the affirmative. I know that there are requests that I have made of God that were not the right thing, and I’m glad He didn’t answer those requests – that is grace. But sometimes, God does allow us to have our desires – even when those desires are not the right thing. We see an example of this in the first king of Israel, Saul. Samuel was the de-facto human leader in Israel prior to the institution of the monarchy, and he was a mighty man of God. Almost nothing negative is said about Samuel in the Bible – he walked in integrity and loved God greatly. However, as he got older, his sons Joel and Abijah were preparing to lead/judge the people in the place of their father. Unfortunately, for reasons the Bible never tells us, Joel and Abijah were corrupt and wicked – terrible leaders. This was something of a catalyst for the people of God to ask for a king to lead them instead – like the other nations around them. Samuel disagreed with this request and made this known to God in 1 Samuel 8:
6 When they said, “Give us a king to judge us,” Samuel considered their demand wrong, so he prayed to the Lord. 7 But the Lord told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king. 8 They are doing the same thing to you that they have done to me, since the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, abandoning me and worshiping other gods. 9 Listen to them, but solemnly warn them and tell them about the customary rights of the king who will reign over them.” 1 Samuel 8:6-9
God and Samuel both knew that this request would bring great trouble to Israel. What God knew, but Samuel didn’t was that God was going to work through this flawed monarchy system to bring the advent of His son into the world – the son of David, the real King of Kings – Jesus. So, Samuel was opposed to the idea of Israel having a king -knew it would go badly, but still obeyed the Lord. Further, he endeavored to mentor and serve and help King Saul, and seemed to genuinely love him. How often, when things don’t go our way, do we act whiny and pout and make things worse? Samuel wasn’t like this. I heard an interview on a sports podcast I listened to this week that has some similarities to this situation. Jon Kitna was the starting qb for the Bengals in 2003 when they drafted Carson Palmer first overall at quarterback. Rather than whine and complain, Kitna mentored Palmer, and helped turn him into a great quarterback who took the job from Kitna in 2004. It was great to hear Kitna talk about his Christian faith on this secular podcast on sports, and obvious that the host was impressed at how Kitna put the team first and didn’t behave in a selfish way. (Note: Kitna wasn’t tooting his own horn, but the host did.)
Samuel served Saul well, and tried to show him the way to go. We see the very beginnings of this in the last verse of our chapter, so pay close attention to that verse as we read.
Here is our verse of the day, in the KJV, because I love the rendering there:
27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. (1 Samuel 9:27)
And here is Spurgeon on the reverence that Samuel gave to God’s Word, and how you and I should listen to it also:
[Samuel and Saul] had been walking quietly down the hill till they came to the last house in the town, and when they had come fairly into the fields he said, “Stand thou still a while”: as much as to say—I have somewhat important to say, and you will catch it better if you are quiet and motionless as to your body, but especially if your mind can be still. Forget the asses that you sought after, and your father’s house, and all home concerns, and calmly listen to me. It is a very desirable thing when we are listening to the gospel to let it have its full effect upon us, to give our minds up to it, and say,—“Let it come like the dew, and soak into my mind as the dew into Gideon’s fleece. Let it come like a shower, and let it enter into my very nature as the rain into the clods which are softened by the gentle influence of the showers.” I pray you bask in the gospel as men do in the sunlight when they would be warm. Let the gospel have its own legitimate effect upon you. Lay bare your bosom to it. Ask that your soul may have no stone of carelessness laid upon it, as though it were a dead thing in a sepulchre, but that it may come forth in resurrection life through the quickening word of the divine Spirit.
Is not this what the word of God deserves? Should it not have our living, loving attention? When God speaks let all be silent. Hush, ye senators, if God speaks. Sit still, ye princes, if the King of kings lifts up his voice. Quiet, even ye choirs celestial, if Jehovah speaks. An obedient homage should be paid to the voice of God by the deep awe and reverence of the spirit. Do you ever get alone and sit still, and say, as Samuel did, in the dead of night, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth”? If you never do that, the little child Samuel may well rebuke you. He was willing that God should speak to him. But, oh! we are so busy! so busy! so sadly busy! I have heard that the great clock at St. Paul’s can scarcely be heard in Cheapside, by reason of the traffic that is going by; and so the most solemn voices are drowned amidst the din and uproar of our business, and we do not often hear God’s voice, unless we are accustomed to give ourselves a little quiet and holy stillness, and sit in our chamber alone, and say, “Now, Lord, commune with me.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Samuel and the Young Man Saul,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 26 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1880), 394–395.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”
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