Week 4: 1 Samuel 10-12
Day 1: 10:1-8
Think of how difficult it was for Samuel to pass the reigns of leadership onto Saul! How challenging and how beautiful of Samuel to humble himself before the Lord.
These are some pretty specific prophecies! How amazing that the Lord had all this planned out well in advance. I love reading stories like this of how God intervenes in the affairs of men.
Day 2: 10:9-27
Is Saul among the prophets? This reminds me of John Wesley and his Methodists. When he was younger, he started a Bible Study in college where others taunted him as a “methodist” because he was so rigid and structured in how he forced everyone to study the Word. The derided him with that word, “methodist.” Later, he wore the term as a badge of honor, saying that Jesus was the new method to grow closer to God (as opposed to the fruitless works of man).
When Saul was anointed king, he hid as if he wanted to say he wasn’t worthy. At the end of the chapter, however, Saul stays silent, but takes note of the people who refused to honor him as their leader. This kind of false humility doesn’t add up, and we’ll see the real Saul come out later.
Samuel wrote down all the duties and rights of a king, as Moses had outlined in Deuteronomy. This is important because it was required for the king to hand-scribe the entirety of God’s Word that had been revealed up to that point. We don’t see Saul do it, but we expect that it was at least required of Saul.
Day 3: 11:1-15
Saul freed the town of Jabesh Gilead, the very trouble that inspired the Israelites to ask for a king in the first place. We must understand that laying siege to a city took months, if not years. This had been going on for some time now. The people of Israel were very afraid that after Gilead was conquered, they would be next.
This is a monumental victory by Saul, and we see a token of the goodness in his character by not putting to death those who had opposed him. Samuel then gives everyone another chance to recognize Saul as king and thereby unify the nation.
Day 4: 12:1-11
Samuel lets the people of Israel have it over rejecting him and the Lord’s system of judges so they could have a king. Samuel specifically points out that it was repentance that brought about the deliverance of Israel from her enemies in the past, but now they asked for a king.
Day 5: 12:12-25
Samuel explains that the reason they asked for Saul was because the Ammonites were laying siege to Jabesh Gilead. It was their fear and desire for a leader that didn’t require repentance that they asked for a king.
The Lord showed a great sign to Israel that day and made them realize how wicked they were for refusing to repent before the Lord. The people realized their sin and repented once again.
Samuel’s humility is shown again by telling the nation that had rejected him as their leader that he would never stop praying for him. How many lesser men would have rooted for their defeat?