1 Samuel 12:5
1 Samuel 12:6
1 Samuel 12:7
1 Samuel 12:8
1 Samuel 12:9
1 Samuel 12:10
1 Samuel 12:11
1 Samuel 12:12
1 Samuel 12:13
1 Samuel 12:14
1 Samuel 12:15
1 Samuel 12:16
1 Samuel 12:17
1 Samuel 12:18
1 Samuel 12:19
1 Samuel 12:20
1 Samuel 12:21
1 Samuel 12:22
1 Samuel 12:23
1 Samuel 12:24
1 Samuel 12:25
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
1 Samuel Chart from Charles Swindoll
|1 Samuel||2 Samuel||1 Kings||1 Kings||2 Kings|
1 Chronicles 10
Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.
Map on Left ESV Global Study Bible, on right Jensen's Survey of the OT
CLICK TO ENLARGE
1 Samuel 8
1 Samuel 9
1 Samuel 10
1 Samuel 11
1 Samuel 12
BGT 1 Samuel 12:1 καὶ εἶπεν Σαμουηλ πρὸς πάντα ἄνδρα Ισραηλ ἰδοὺ ἤκουσα φωνῆς ὑμῶν εἰς πάντα ὅσα εἴπατέ μοι καὶ ἐβασίλευσα ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς βασιλέα
KJV 1 Samuel 12:1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
NET 1 Samuel 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, "I have done everything you requested. I have given you a king.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:1 Then Samuel said to all Israel, "I have carefully listened to everything you said to me and placed a king over you.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:1 And Samuel said to all Israel, "Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:1 Then Samuel addressed all Israel: "I have done as you asked and given you a king.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, "I have listened to you in all that you have said to me, and have set a king over you.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:1 And Samuel saith unto all Israel, 'Lo, I have hearkened to your voice, to all that ye said to me, and I cause to reign over you a king,
Behold: 1Sa 8:5-8,19-22
- I have appointed a king over you: 1Sa 10:1,24 11:14,15
One might also subtitle this chapter "SSS - Samuel's Swan Song." Wikipedia says "The swan song (Ancient Greek: κύκνειον ᾆσμα; Latin: carmen cygni) is a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement. The phrase refers to an ancient belief that swans sing a beautiful song just before their death since they have been silent (or alternatively not so musical) for most of their lifetime. The belief, whose basis has been long debated, had become proverbial in ancient Greece by the 3rd century BC and was reiterated many times in later Western poetry and art.
Robert Bergen writes that in this chapter Samuel's career "reached its zenith at the Gilgal assembly" and he used "the occasion to unleash his full prophetic arsenal; he proclaimed stern warnings, called forth portents from nature, and issued one of the most sobering assessments of Israel’s past, present, and future found in biblical Hebrew narrative. On the whole, the chapter represents one of the theological climaxes of the Former Prophets, and takes its rightful place alongside such similarly toned sections as Joshua 24, Judges 2, 1 Kings 8, and 2 Kings 17. The thematic significance of this section is underscored by the fact that three of Samuel’s six longest recorded utterances are presented here, including his lengthiest speech (205 words in Hebrew)." (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
Then - When is then? In the preceding passage in 1Sa 11:14-15 Samuel had gathered all Israel at Gilgal for Saul's official coronation followed by sacrifices and a time of thanksgiving and rejoicing. Since all Israel is also present in this verse, the then marks a progression in the narrative and apparently still occurs at Gilgal.
Brian Bell makes a great point - In 1 Samuel 11 Saul & the people rejoiced over the deliverance of Jabesh-Gilead from the Ammonites, & Saul was careful to give the glory to the Lord.(11:13b) The fact that Saul led the army in a great victory would tempt them to put their faith in their new king. Samuel wanted them to know their future success rested in trusting Jehovah alone. Samuel will mention the Lord 30 times in this message. Rousing speeches on big occasions can change human behavior. (JFK; MLK) Yet, Samuel’s speech is not underwritten by clever rhetoric, it’s a speech underwritten by the Lord himself who is responding to a rebellious people. It’s a coronation address, a revival sermon, & a farewell speech. Outline: Our theme this morning is Faithfulness! Samuel’s Faithfulness; The Lord’s Faithfulness; & The People Faithlessness. In 1912 William Borden, a graduate of Yale University, left one of America’s greatest family fortunes to be a missionary to China. He got as far as Egypt and died of cerebral meningitis. He died - and was only in his 20s - but there was “no reserve, no retreat, no regrets” in his consecration to God. 2. Was he unsuccessful? I think he was radically successful because he was wholly faithful. 3. I think of David Livingstone, the pioneer missionary to Africa, who walked over 29,000 miles. His wife died early in their ministry & he faced stiff opposition from his Scottish brethren. And, he ministered half blind. Words in his diary: Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever me from any tie but the tie that binds me to Your service & to Your heart
Samuel said to all Israel - This is Samuel's last public address and in fact the entire chapter is Samuel's address to Israel. Samuel "closes the books" on his role as Israel's national leader. It is as if he is passing the baton to King Saul, but before he does, he offers some words of warning. Samuel's point is a king does not free them from their need to obey the LORD's revealed will.
"Behold, (hinneh; idou = aorist imperative) I have listened (shama) to your voice in all that you said to me and I have appointed (set, placed) a king over you - The Hebrew literally = Heb “I have listened to your voice.” ESV has "I have obeyed your voice." He is saying he had cooperation with Israel, even though he did not believe that was the best for them. Samuel obeyed God Who had told him to obey the people declaring "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them." (1Sa 8:7+, cf 1Sa 8:9) Despite his reservations, it was Samuel who had appointed Israel's first human king.
Spurgeon reminds us that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"
Stevenson summarizes Samuels actions in this chapter - Samuel’s Call to Commitment. - This call is presented in the legal terms of a covenant. Samuel begins by calling for witnesses against himself. Having shown that he is a qualified judge, he then places the nation of Israel "in the dock." The witnesses are from Israel’s past. Moses and Aaron. Jerubbaal (Gideon). Bedan (Barak). Jephthah. All are men who were used by God to deliver His people.
Behold (02009) hinneh is an interjection meaning behold, look, now; if. "It is used often and expresses strong feelings, surprise, hope, expectation, certainty, thus giving vividness depending on its surrounding context." (Baker) Hinneh generally directs our mind to the text, imploring the reader to give it special attention. In short, the Spirit is trying to arrest our attention! And so hinneh is used as an exclamation of vivid immediacy (e.g., read Ge 6:13)! Hinneh is a marker used to enliven a narrative, to express a change a scene, to emphasize an idea, to call attention to a detail or an important fact or action that follows (Isa 65:17, Ge 17:20, 41:17). The first use of hinneh in Ge 1:29 and second in Ge 1:31 - "And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Hinneh is often used in the idiom "Here I am" in Ge 22:1, 7,11 Ge 27:1,18, Ge 31:11, Ge 46:2 Ex 3:4 1Sa 3:4, 3:16, 12:3, 2Sa 1:7, Isa 52:6, Isa 58:9. Hinneh is used most often to point out people but also to point out things (Ge 31:41, 17:4). God uses hinneh to grab man's attention before He brings destruction (Ge 6:13, 17). God uses hinneh when He establishes covenants (Ge 9:9, 15:12, 17 [when Jehovah cut the Abrahamic covenant], Ge 17:4, cp Ge 28:13, 15), when He provided a sacrificial substitute for Isaac (foreshadowing His giving us His only Son!) (Ge 22:13). Hinneh marks the "chance (The Providence of God)" arrival of Boaz at the field where Ruth was gleaning (Ru 2:4-read about this "chance romance" - Indeed, "Behold!"). Hinneh is used to announce the Lord’s sending of a child as a sign and a prophecy of Immanuel-Emmanuel, the Messiah (Isa. 7:14-note). In fact W E Vine says that it is notable that when behold (hinneh) is used in Isaiah, it always introduces something relating to future circumstances.
Listened (obeyed, understood)(08085) shama means to hear (Adam and Eve hearing God = Ge 3:8, 10, Ge 18:10 = "overheard"), to listen (Ge 3:17, Ge 16:2 [= this was a big mistake and was the origin of Jews and Arabs!] Ex 6:9,16:20, 18:19, Webster's 1828 on "listen" = to hearken; to give ear; to attend closely with a view to hear. To obey; to yield to advice; to follow admonition) and since hearing/listening are often closely linked to obedience, shama is translated obey (1 Sa 15:22, Ge 22:18, 26:5, 39:10, Ex 19:5, disobedience = Lev 26:14, 18, 21, 27) or to understand. KJV translates shama "hearken" (196x) a word which means to give respectful attention. Of God's hearing in general or hearing our prayers (Hab 1:2, Ps 66:18, click here for more in the Psalms, cf God's hearing in Zeph 2:8, Ge 16:11, 17:20, 30:17, 22, Ge 21:17, 29:33, 30:6, 17, 22; Ex 2:24, Ex 16:8, 9, 12, Nu 11:1, 12:2). Shama means “to hear intelligently and attentively and respond appropriately." In other words to hear does not convey the idea of "in one ear and out the other!" The most famous use is the so-called "Shema" in Dt 6:4 "Hear (a command, in Greek Lxx = present imperative - habitually, continually - ultimately continually keeping this command would call for dependence on the Holy Spirit to obey) O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." While the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers permanently in the OT, He was still "alive and well," and only believing Israelites could truly fulfill all the all's in this charge! Remember that God never gives frail humans a command to obey that He does not also provide the power or ability to obey!
The greatest significance of the use of shama is that of relation of man to God, especially where the context speaks of obedience. Obedience is the supreme test of faith and reverence for God. The Old Testament conception of obedience was vital. It was the one important relationship which must not be broken. While sometimes this relation may have been formal and cold, it nevertheless was the one strong tie which held the people close to God. The significant spiritual relation is expressed by Samuel when he asks the question, “Hath Yahweh as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying (shama) the voice of Yahweh? Behold, to obey (shama) is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sa 15:22). It was the condition without which no right relation might be sustained to Yahweh. This is most clearly stated in the relation between Abraham and Yahweh when he is assured “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed (shama) my voice” (Ge 22:18). In prophetic utterances, future blessing and prosperity were conditioned upon obedience: “If ye be willing and obedient (shama), ye shall eat the good of the land” (Isa 1:19). After surveying the glories of the Messianic kingdom, the prophet assures the people that “this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey (shama) the voice of Yahweh your God” (Zec 6:15). On the other hand misfortune, calamity, distress and famine are due to their disobedience and distrust of Yahweh.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:2 καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεὺς διαπορεύεται ἐνώπιον ὑμῶν κἀγὼ γεγήρακα καὶ καθήσομαι καὶ οἱ υἱοί μου ἰδοὺ ἐν ὑμῖν κἀγὼ ἰδοὺ διελήλυθα ἐνώπιον ὑμῶν ἐκ νεότητός μου καὶ ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης
KJV 1 Samuel 12:2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
NET 1 Samuel 12:2 Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, though my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:2 Now you can see that the king is leading you. As for me, I'm old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have led you from my youth until today.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:2 And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and gray; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:2 Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:2 Your king is now your leader. I stand here before you-- an old, gray-haired man-- and my sons serve you. I have served as your leader from the time I was a boy to this very day.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:2 See, it is the king who leads you now; I am old and gray, but my sons are with you. I have led you from my youth until this day.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:2 and now, lo, the king is walking habitually before you, and I have become aged and gray-headed, and my sons, lo, they are with you, and I have walked habitually before you from my youth till this day.
- Now, here is the king walking before you: 1Sa 8:20 Nu 27:17
- I am old: 1Sa 8:1,5 Ps 71:18 Isa 46:3,4 2Ti 4:6 2Pe 1:14
- my sons: 1Sa 2:22,29 3:13,16 8:3
- I have walked: 1Sa 3:19,20
Joshua 23:1-2+ Now it came about after many days, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years, 2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, “I am old, advanced in years.
SAMUEL AFFIRMS HIS
Now - This will mark the end of Samuel's long tenure as Israel's judge and prophet and the beginning of Israel's monarchy.
Robert Bergen sets the stage nicely - Holding court one last time with the people of Israel, Samuel’s final act as judge was to put himself on trial. In this case Samuel was the defendant, the people were prosecutors, and “the Lord and his anointed” (v. 3) were the enforcing authorities. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
Warren Wiersbe - Samuel was a man of integrity; Saul would turn out to be a man of hypocrisy & duplicity.
Here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray - Samuel begins like one of his great predecessors Joshua (Joshua 23:1-2+ - see above) stating he was old and gray. This was one of the prime reasons Israel desired a king, for they knew he was on the way out. In this first section Samuel is asking all Israel to judge his judgeship. And remember this was no small thing for Samuel, for he had been the titular leader of Israel for decades and Israel was asking him to relinquish his right as leader and transfer it to another who would not be in his lineage. Most fathers desire to pass on their wealth and prestige to their sons, but Samuel is perfect example of an OT saint who "died to self!"
And behold my sons are with you - Because of the transfer of power to a monarchy, Samuel's sons would not be over Israel but with Israel. This was the other reason Israel wanted a king because of his corrupt sons! It is interesting he doesn't specifically describe their evil character here, but he knew that all Israel knew what it was (1Sa 8:3, 4, 5+). Samuel knew full well that his sons with them was not something they desired.
And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day - Walked depicts Samuel's manner of life, indeed as he will elaborate on, an exemplary walk his entire life. Samuel is truly one of the great men of God whether in the Old or New Testaments. Recall as youth "Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba (WHERE HIS SONS WOULD LATER SERVE AS CORRUPT JUDGES) knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD." (1Sa 3:19-20+)
Brian Bell - Samuel, a man of integrity: If Ethics are your personal beliefs & values (what you say you believe); And, Morals are your ways of living your life (what you actually do); Then, Integrity is when your ethics are proven by your morals (thats, when what you say you believe, is matched by how you choose to live your life).
1 Samuel 12:3 "Here I am; bear witness against me before the LORD and His anointed. 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? I will restore it to you."
BGT 1 Samuel 12:3 ἰδοὺ ἐγώ ἀποκρίθητε κατ᾽ ἐμοῦ ἐνώπιον κυρίου καὶ ἐνώπιον χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ μόσχον τίνος εἴληφα ἢ ὄνον τίνος εἴληφα ἢ τίνα κατεδυνάστευσα ὑμῶν ἢ τίνα ἐξεπίεσα ἢ ἐκ χειρὸς τίνος εἴληφα ἐξίλασμα καὶ ὑπόδημα ἀποκρίθητε κατ᾽ ἐμοῦ καὶ ἀποδώσω ὑμῖν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
NET 1 Samuel 12:3 Here I am. Bring a charge against me before the LORD and before his chosen king. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a bribe so that I would overlook something? Tell me, and I will return it to you!"
CSB 1 Samuel 12:3 Here I am. Bring charges against me before the LORD and His anointed: Whose ox or donkey have I taken? Whom have I wronged or mistreated? From whose hand have I taken a bribe to overlook something? I will return it to you."
ESV 1 Samuel 12:3 Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. 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? Testify against me and I will restore it to you."
NIV 1 Samuel 12:3 Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the LORD and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these, I will make it right."
NLT 1 Samuel 12:3 Now testify against me in the presence of the LORD and before his anointed one. Whose ox or donkey have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong."
NRS 1 Samuel 12:3 Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. 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? Testify against me and I will restore it to you."
YLT 1 Samuel 12:3 'Lo, here am I; testify against me, over-against Jehovah, and over-against His anointed; whose ox have I taken, and whose ass have I taken, and whom have I oppressed; whom have I bruised, and of whose hand have I taken a ransom, and hide mine eyes with it? -- and I restore to you.'
- anointed: 1Sa 12:5 10:1 24:6 2Sa 1:14-16 Mt 22:21 Ro 13:1-7
- whose ox: Nu 16:15 Ac 20:33 2Co 12:14 1Th 2:5,10 1Pe 5:2
- blind my eyes:Ex 23:8 De 16:19
- I will: Ex 22:4 Lev 6:4 Lu 19:8
1 Samuel 3:4 that the LORD called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” (SAMUEL'S "WATCHWORD!" SO TO SPEAK)
SAMUEL PRESENTS HIMSELF
AS AN "OPEN BOOK"
Here I am - These words could have been stamped on Samuel's "business card," for they emphasized his availability first to God and then to service to God's people (see 1Sa 3:4, 5, 6, 8, 16+). Samuel the judge of all Israel is placing himself on trial before all Israel.
THOUGHT - I don't know your position (pastor, elder, teacher, usher, etc), but Samuel's example begs the question - Would I be willing to voluntarily (that's redundant I realize) place myself on "trial" before the congregation? Just a thought to ponder and to motivate all of us to "Pursue (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) peace with all men, and the sanctification (holiness) without which no one will see the Lord." (Heb 12:14+) and to "cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." (2Cor 7:1+) Amen? Amen!
bear witness (testify) against me before the LORD and His anointed - Samuel challenges the people to lay a charge against him and to do so in the presence of God and God's anointed king.
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? I will restore it to you - He asks two essentially rhetorical questions and even affirming he would restore anything he might have taken. Samuel would have made a good overseer for he was truly a man "above reproach." (1Ti 3:2+)
Robert Bergen - If he had failed to live up to Moses’ example (cf. Nu 16:15) or had violated the Torah’s standards of conduct (cf. Lev 6:2, 4 [Hb. 5:21, 23]; Deut 16:19), he would “make it right” (v. 3) at this time. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
BGT 1 Samuel 12:4 καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς Σαμουηλ οὐκ ἠδίκησας ἡμᾶς καὶ οὐ κατεδυνάστευσας καὶ οὐκ ἔθλασας ἡμᾶς καὶ οὐκ εἴληφας ἐκ χειρὸς οὐδενὸς οὐδέν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.
NET 1 Samuel 12:4 They replied, "You have not wronged us or oppressed us. You have not taken anything from the hand of anyone."
CSB 1 Samuel 12:4 "You haven't wronged us, you haven't mistreated us, and you haven't taken anything from anyone's hand," they responded.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:4 They said, "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand."
NIV 1 Samuel 12:4 "You have not cheated or oppressed us," they replied. "You have not taken anything from anyone's hand."
NLT 1 Samuel 12:4 "No," they replied, "you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken even a single bribe."
NRS 1 Samuel 12:4 They said, "You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from the hand of anyone."
YLT 1 Samuel 12:4 And they say, 'Thou hast not oppressed us, nor hast thou crushed us, nor hast thou taken from the hand of any one anything.'
- Ps 37:5,6 Da 6:4 3Jn 1:12
THE PEOPLE AGREE
SAMUEL IS "SPOTLESS"
They said, "You have not defrauded (ashaq; Lxx - adikeo - done [no] wrong) us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man's hand." (contra his sons 1Sa 8:3+) - All Israel unanimously attested to Samuel's integrity. That in itself is an amazing statement! Very few of us could attain such status with everyone.
Bergen points out the prophetic implications of Samuel's claim of innocence as Israel's judge - The example of Israel’s last Judge would thus contrast sharply with that of Israel’s kings, who would often cheat and oppress them and would take the people’s sons, daughters, produce, and animals (cf. 1Sa 8:11-16; 14:52). (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
Defrauded (oppressed) (06231) ashaq means to oppress, to extort, to defraud. The root word is concerned with acts of abuse of power or authority, the burdening, trampling, and crushing of those lower in station (half the uses are in the context of poverty). Ashaq speaks of harshness or roughness and often embodies use of force or violence. Ashaq is used especially of oppression of the disadvantaged members of society causing them to suffer unjust, ill treatment and, in a number of contexts, doing so for monetary gain (1Ch 16:21; Job 10:3; Ps 72:4; 105:14; 119:121, 122; Pr 14:31; 22:16; 28:3; Eccl 4:1; Isa 23:12; 52:4; Jer 7:6; 21:12; Ezek 22:29; Am 4:1; Zec 7:10). The connection between ashaq and divine justice is made clear in Ps 103:6.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:5 καὶ εἶπεν Σαμουηλ πρὸς τὸν λαόν μάρτυς κύριος ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ μάρτυς χριστὸς αὐτοῦ σήμερον ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὅτι οὐχ εὑρήκατε ἐν χειρί μου οὐθέν καὶ εἶπαν μάρτυς
KJV 1 Samuel 12:5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
NET 1 Samuel 12:5 He said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his chosen king is witness this day, that you have not found any reason to accuse me." They said, "He is witness!"
CSB 1 Samuel 12:5 He said to them, "The LORD is a witness against you, and His anointed is a witness today that you haven't found anything in my hand." "He is a witness," they said.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:5 And he said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."
NIV 1 Samuel 12:5 Samuel said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." "He is witness," they said.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:5 "The LORD and his anointed one are my witnesses today," Samuel declared, "that my hands are clean." "Yes, he is a witness," they replied.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:5 He said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand." And they said, "He is witness."
YLT 1 Samuel 12:5 And he saith unto them, 'A witness is Jehovah against you: and a witness is His anointed this day, that ye have not found anything in my hand;' and they say, 'A witness.'
- The Lord: Job 31:35-40 42:7
- His anointed: 1Sa 26:9
- have: Joh 18:38 Ac 23:9 24:16,20 1Co 4:4 2Co 1:12
- in my hand: Ex 22:4 Ps 17:3
HIS HANDS ARE CLEAN
He said to them, "The LORD is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand." And they said, "He is witness." - Samuel calls on 2 witnesses to defend his testimony. The people receive Samuel's testimony and acknowledge that God Himself has witnessed it. It is a true, believable testimony.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:6 καὶ εἶπεν Σαμουηλ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν λέγων μάρτυς κύριος ὁ ποιήσας τὸν Μωυσῆν καὶ τὸν Ααρων ὁ ἀναγαγὼν τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν ἐξ Αἰγύπτου
KJV 1 Samuel 12:6 And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
NET 1 Samuel 12:6 Samuel said to the people, "The LORD is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:6 Then Samuel said to the people, "The LORD, who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors up from the land of Egypt, is a witness.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:6 And Samuel said to the people, "The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:6 Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your forefathers up out of Egypt.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:6 "It was the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron," Samuel continued. "He brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:6 Samuel said to the people, "The LORD is witness, who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of the land of Egypt.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:6 And Samuel saith unto the people, 'Jehovah -- He who made Moses and Aaron, and who brought up your fathers out of the land of Egypt!
- It is the Lord: Ex 6:26 Ne 9:9-14 Ps 77:19,20 78:12-72 99:6 105:26,41 Isa 63:7-14 Ho 12:13 Mic 6:4
SAMUEL REMINDS THEM
OF GOD'S APPOINTMENTS
Beginning in v6 through v17 is the longest discourse of Samuel in the Bible and it is one of his most dramatic and powerful!
Brian Bell - The 1 thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history, & Samuel didn’t want his people to make that mistake! 1. But this wasn’t just a lecture from history; It was also a court trial! 2. In 1Sa 12:7 Samuel uses words with a judicial flavor: a) Stand still - carries the idea of “stand up, court is in session.” b) Reason - means “to decide a case of litigation.” (1) Samuel was going to prove to the people that the Lord had been righteous & faithful in all His dealings w/Israel, but that the Jews had been faithless & disobedient.
Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt - It was God not the people, who appointed Moses and Aaron and Who enabled them to do the mighty works they did for the people of Israel.
This is similar to 1 Samuel 10:18 "and he said to the sons of Israel, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I brought Israel up from Egypt, and I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the power of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ Notice the pattern that God accomplished the deliverance (God's sovereignty) using human instruments (Man's responsibility)! And note He did not need a human king to accomplish His ends!
BGT 1 Samuel 12:7 καὶ νῦν κατάστητε καὶ δικάσω ὑμᾶς ἐνώπιον κυρίου καὶ ἀπαγγελῶ ὑμῖν τὴν πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην κυρίου ἃ ἐποίησεν ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ἐν τοῖς πατράσιν ὑμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
NET 1 Samuel 12:7 Now take your positions, so I may confront you before the LORD regarding all the LORD's just actions toward you and your ancestors.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:7 Now present yourselves, so I may confront you before the LORD about all the righteous acts He has done for you and your ancestors.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:7 Now therefore stand still that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your fathers.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:7 Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts performed by the LORD for you and your fathers.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:7 Now stand here quietly before the LORD as I remind you of all the great things the LORD has done for you and your ancestors.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:7 Now therefore take your stand, so that I may enter into judgment with you before the LORD, and I will declare to you all the saving deeds of the LORD that he performed for you and for your ancestors.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:7 and, now, station yourselves, and I judge you before Jehovah, with all the righteous acts of Jehovah, which He did with you, and with your fathers.
- plead: Isa 1:18 5:3,4 Eze 18:25-30 Mic 6:2,3 Ac 17:3
- righteous acts:Jdg 5:11
SAMUEL BEGINS A PANORAMA
OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUS ACTS
So now - Samuel begins his prophetic panorama (Greek pas "all" + horama "view") which "is any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space, whether in painting, drawing, photography, film, seismic images, or 3D modeling. The word was originally coined in the 18th century by the English painter Robert Barker to describe his panoramic paintings of Edinburgh and London. The motion-picture term panning is derived from panorama. Samuel is now going to present a divine "panavision" of God's acts in Israel's history.
take your stand, that I may plead with you before the LORD concerning all the righteous acts of the LORD which He did for you and your father - NIV = Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence' NLT = Now stand here quietly before the LORD as I remind you of all the great things the LORD has done for you and your ancestors." Samuel is going to replay for Israel God's greatness which heightens their sin of rejecting Him. All the righteous acts of the LORD he will now present to his listeners were all accomplished WITHOUT a human king.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:8 ὡς εἰσῆλθεν Ιακωβ καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς Αἴγυπτον καὶ ἐταπείνωσεν αὐτοὺς Αἴγυπτος καὶ ἐβόησαν οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν πρὸς κύριον καὶ ἀπέστειλεν κύριος τὸν Μωυσῆν καὶ τὸν Ααρων καὶ ἐξήγαγεν τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν ἐξ Αἰγύπτου καὶ κατῴκισεν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ τόπῳ τούτῳ
KJV 1 Samuel 12:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
NET 1 Samuel 12:8 When Jacob entered Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the LORD. The LORD sent Moses and Aaron, and they led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:8 "When Jacob went to Egypt, your ancestors cried out to the LORD, and He sent them Moses and Aaron, who led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:8 When Jacob went into Egypt, and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your fathers cried out to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:8 "After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:8 "When the Israelites were in Egypt and cried out to the LORD, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:8 When Jacob went into Egypt and the Egyptians oppressed them, then your ancestors cried to the LORD and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your ancestors out of Egypt, and settled them in this place.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:8 'When Jacob hath come in to Egypt, and your fathers cry unto Jehovah, then Jehovah sendeth Moses and Aaron, and they bring out your fathers from Egypt, and cause them to dwell in this place,
- Jacob: Ge 46:5-7 Nu 20:15 Ac 7:15
- cried: Ex 2:23-24 Ex 3:9
- sent Moses: 1Sa 12:6 Ex 3:10 4:14-16,27-31 6:26
- brought: Ex 12:51 14:30,31
- settled them: Jos 1:2-4,6 3:10-13 Ps 44:1-3 78:54,55 105:44
Exodus 2:23-24+ Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (MARK IT DOWN - ALL OF GOD ACTS FOR HIS PEOPLE ARE BASED UPON HIS COVENANTS - ABRAHAMIC IN OLD, NEW COVENANT IN THE NEW!)
Exodus 3:9+ “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
SUMMARY OF GOD'S ACTS
FOR THE NATION
When Jacob went into Egypt and your fathers cried out to the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place - Samuel sweeps from the Exodus to the entrance of Israel into the promised land, emphasizing the strong arm of the LORD rescuing them over and over. Note Samuel's emphasis of Yahweh's sufficiency -- Israel cried, God rescued and God planted them in the promised land, all without their having a human king, again emphasizing the foundational truth of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility (privilege).
1 Samuel 12:9 "But they forgot the LORD their God, so He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
NET 1 Samuel 12:9 "But they forgot the LORD their God, so he gave them into the hand of Sisera, the general in command of Hazor's army, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:9 But they forgot the LORD their God, so He handed them over to Sisera commander of the army of Hazor, to the Philistines, and to the king of Moab. These enemies fought against them.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:9 But they forgot the LORD their God. And he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab. And they fought against them.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:9 "But they forgot the LORD their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:9 But the people soon forgot about the LORD their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor's army, and also to the Philistines and to the king of Moab, who fought against them.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:9 But they forgot the LORD their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of King Jabin of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
RSV 1 Samuel 12:9 But they forgot the LORD their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Jabin king of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:9 and they forget Jehovah their God, and He selleth them into the hand of Sisera, head of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fight against them,
NJB 1 Samuel 12:9 They then forgot Yahweh their God and he sold them into the power of Sisera, general of the army of Hazor, and also into the power of the Philistines and of the king of Moab, who made war on them.
NAB 1 Samuel 12:9 But they forgot the LORD their God; and he allowed them to fall into the clutches of Sisera, the captain of the army of Jabin, king of Hazor, into the grasp of the Philistines, and into the grip of the king of Moab, who made war against them.
LXE 1 Samuel 12:9 And they forgot the Lord their God, and he sold them into the hands of Sisara captain of the host of Jabis king of Asor, and into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the king of Moab; and he fought with them.
- forgot: De 32:18 Jdg 3:7 Ps 106:21 Jer 2:32
- sold: De 32:30 Jdg 2:14 3:8 4:2 Isa 50:1,2
- Philistines: Jdg 10:7 13:1
- into the: Jdg 3:12 Isa 63:10
Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that (PURPOSE) you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
Deuteronomy 4:23 “So watch yourselves, that (PURPOSE) you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you.
Deuteronomy 6:12 then watch yourself, that (PURPOSE) you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 8:11-14 “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, (APATHY OF SATISFACTION!) 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then (PROPHECY THAT ISRAEL WOULD FORGET YAHWEH) your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 8:19 “It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.
Deuteronomy 9:7 “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.
Deuteronomy 25:19 “Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget.
Deuteronomy 32:18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF
FORGETTING THEIR HUSBAND!
But - Tragic term of contrast. Despite all that God had done for them, they forgot! Not just once, but over and over! Meditate on some of the passages above and remember many times the behavior of Israel in the Old Testament is a "picture" of our fallen flesh! Prone to wander, Lord I feel it...!
They forgot (shakach/shakah; Lxx = epilanthanomai = completely forgot!!!) the LORD their God - They forgot God but He did not forget Israel, nor His covenant with Israel. Recall that Israel is depicted as His wife (See Israel, the Wife of Jehovah) and when they said "I will" (actually doing do TWICE!) at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:3, 7+), they entered into what in effect was their "marriage covenant" with Jehovah. This covenant bound them to be obedient to His commandments, but too soon (Ex 32:1-6+ just after they had said "We will"!) and too often (Nu 25:1-4+ just before they entered the "Promised Land") they forgot Who their Husband was, forsook Him and went a whoring (Exodus 34:15-16KJV) after the false "lovers" (the pagan gods) of this wicked nations around them.
THOUGHT - Forgetfulness of God's person, power, favor, mercy and great acts in our lives is ever (at least potentially) our spiritual "achilles heel!" A good antidote to forgetfulness is continual thankfulness (1Th 5:18+)! What can you (I) tell Him you are grateful for right this very moment? You've just done a little "preventative maintenance" on your (my) fleshly default mode of forgetfulness! An attitude of gratitude is a great way to begin your morning prayers because it immediately get your focus off self and on God!
So - This conjunction serves as a term of conclusion, in this case demonstrating the axiomatic conclusion of the consequences of sin against the Almighty God.
THOUGHT - It was true in Israel's case and it is true in our lives, beloved follower of Jesus. Do not ever presume on His grace and mercy when you are tempted to commit a presumptuous sin! Pray (often as I do because I need to) the prayer of David in Psalm 19:13+ "keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins. Let them not rule over me (NOTE WHAT SUCH SIN SEEK TO DO IN OUR LIFE - RULE AND REIGN - see Ro 6:12+). Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression."
He sold (gave) them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them - He sold them into the hand means God gave Israel over to the power of the pagan nations. God actually "sold" His treasured possession (Ex 19:5NIV) to the pagan, idol worshipping nations. Can you see the dynamic? Israel sought pagan lovers, so He gave them over to those "lovers" even "selling" them or as the Septuagint says giving them up (apodidomi) to the pagan nations, time after time!
Robert Bergen - the prophet was careful to clarify the reason for Israel’s need of rescue. It was not because Israel served a weak god; rather, it was because Israel served a jealous and just God (cf. Exod 20:5; Deut 32:4). The nation had broken the first and most important requirement of the Sinai covenant—” they forgot the Lord their God” (v. 9; cf. Deut 8:11). Having done so, the Lord brought upon them one of the prescribed penalties of the covenant, foreign oppression (cf. Deut 28:25, 29, 33); (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
Forgot (07911) shakach/shakah means to forget, ignore, to cease to care, (Niphal) to be forgotten, (Piel) to cause to forget, (Hiphil) to make or cause to forget, (Hithpael) to be forgotten. Shakach/shakah "indicates that something has been lost to memory, or a period of time has softened the memory of it....It is an especially important word with respect to God and His people: God never forgets them (Isa. 49:15); they are not to forget their God, His covenant, and His deeds (Deut. 4:9, 23, 31; 6:12; 8:11; 9:7; 25:19; 32:18). But God does not pass over, wink at, or forget the wickedness of His people (Lam. 5:20; Amos 8:7). Those who forget God wither away (Job 8:13), as well as all the nations who forget Him. The helpless must not be left alone (Ps. 10:12). God’s Law must not be forgotten (Ps. 119:61, 83, 93). Wisdom’s teachings are not to be forgotten (Prov. 3:1; 4:5)." (Warren Baker - The Complete Word Study Dictionary: OT)
Shakach - 101x in 95v - ever forget(1), forget(47), forgets(3), forgot(10), forgotten(39), who forget(1). Gen. 27:45; Gen. 40:23; Gen. 41:30; Deut. 4:9; Deut. 4:23; Deut. 4:31; Deut. 6:12; Deut. 8:11; Deut. 8:14; Deut. 8:19; Deut. 9:7; Deut. 24:19; Deut. 25:19; Deut. 26:13; Deut. 31:21; Deut. 32:18; Jdg. 3:7; 1 Sam. 1:11; 1 Sam. 12:9; 2 Ki. 17:38; Job 8:13; Job 9:27; Job 11:16; Job 19:14; Job 24:20; Job 28:4; Job 39:15; Ps. 9:12; Ps. 9:18; Ps. 10:11; Ps. 10:12; Ps. 13:1; Ps. 31:12; Ps. 42:9; Ps. 44:17; Ps. 44:20; Ps. 44:24; Ps. 45:10; Ps. 50:22; Ps. 59:11; Ps. 74:19; Ps. 74:23; Ps. 77:9; Ps. 78:7; Ps. 78:11; Ps. 102:4; Ps. 103:2; Ps. 106:13; Ps. 106:21; Ps. 119:16; Ps. 119:61; Ps. 119:83; Ps. 119:93; Ps. 119:109; Ps. 119:139; Ps. 119:141; Ps. 119:153; Ps. 119:176; Ps. 137:5; Prov. 2:17; Prov. 3:1; Prov. 4:5; Prov. 31:5; Prov. 31:7; Eccl. 2:16; Eccl. 8:10; Eccl. 9:5; Isa. 17:10; Isa. 23:15; Isa. 23:16; Isa. 49:14; Isa. 49:15; Isa. 51:13; Isa. 54:4; Isa. 65:16; Jer. 2:32; Jer. 3:21; Jer. 13:25; Jer. 18:15; Jer. 20:11; Jer. 23:27; Jer. 23:40; Jer. 30:14; Jer. 44:9; Jer. 50:5; Jer. 50:6; Lam. 2:6; Lam. 5:20; Ezek. 22:12; Ezek. 23:35; Hos. 2:13; Hos. 4:6; Hos. 8:14; Hos. 13:6; Amos 8:7
1 Samuel 12:10 "They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.'
BGT 1 Samuel 12:10 καὶ ἐβόησαν πρὸς κύριον καὶ ἔλεγον ἡμάρτομεν ὅτι ἐγκατελίπομεν τὸν κύριον καὶ ἐδουλεύσαμεν τοῖς Βααλιμ καὶ τοῖς ἄλσεσιν καὶ νῦν ἐξελοῦ ἡμᾶς ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν ἡμῶν καὶ δουλεύσομέν σοι
KJV 1 Samuel 12:10 And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
NET 1 Samuel 12:10 Then they cried out to the LORD and admitted, 'We have sinned, for we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the images of Ashtoreth. Now deliver us from the hand of our enemies so that we may serve you.'
CSB 1 Samuel 12:10 Then they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned, for we abandoned the LORD and worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths. Now deliver us from the power of our enemies, and we will serve You.'
ESV 1 Samuel 12:10 And they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.'
NIV 1 Samuel 12:10 They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.'
NLT 1 Samuel 12:10 "Then they cried to the LORD again and confessed, 'We have sinned by turning away from the LORD and worshiping the images of Baal and Ashtoreth. But we will worship you and you alone if you will rescue us from our enemies.'
NRS 1 Samuel 12:10 Then they cried to the LORD, and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served the Baals and the Astartes; but now rescue us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.'
YLT 1 Samuel 12:10 and they cry unto Jehovah, and say, We have sinned, because we have forsaken Jehovah, and serve the Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and now, deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we serve Thee.
- And they: 1Sa 7:2 Jdg 3:9,15 Jdg 4:3 6:7 10:10,15 Ps 78:34,35 106:44 Isa 26:16
- Baals Jdg 2:13 Jdg 3:7
- deliver: Jdg 10:15,16 Isa 33:22 Lu 1:74,75 2Co 5:14,15
Judges 2:10-16+ All that generation (THE ONE CONTEMPORANEOUS WITH JOSHUA) also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know (SPEAKS OF INTIMATE PERSONAL KNOWING OF) the LORD (THEY WERE NOT BELIEVERS FOR THE MOST PART), nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then (WHEN? WHEN THEY FORGOT GOD!) the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals, 12 and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 So they forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed. 16 Then (WHEN? WHEN THEY CRIED OUT) the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them
A DESCRIPTION OF
THE BOOK OF JUDGES
They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned because we have forsaken ('azab; Lxx = egkataleipo = abandon completely) the LORD and have served (abad; Lxx = douleuo) the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver (natsal; Lxx = exaireo - rescue) us from the hands (~power) of our enemies, and we will serve (abad; Lxx = douleuo) You (cf Mt 6:24+) - For the diagnosis of national sin, the prescription is to cry out! (DO YOU HEAR THAT AMERICA - 2023?) See representative passage above for more detail. Yahweh rescued Israel in response to their prayers and repentance (read also 1Sa 7:3-14+). This passage recalls the repetitive "sin cycle" (see diagram above) in which Israel fell into idolatry, were enslaved by the idols, and came to realize their only escape was to humble themselves and cry out to God for deliverance. Note they vow we will serve God, but after a variable period they would fall back into the trap of idolatry! And these cycles of sin lasted for almost 300 years which is about 25% of Israel's entire history in the Old Testament! Sin is deceptive and costly!
THOUGHT - Are you currently experiencing the discipling hand of the LORD? CONFESS, REPENT, CRY OUT TO THE HEAVENLY FATHER!
Forsaken (left) (05800) 'azab basically means to depart from something -- to leave, to forsake (48x), to leave (26x; "left" 22x), to loose, to depart, to abandon. Things that can left behind or forsaken include persons (Ge 44:22; Nu 10:30; Ru 1:16; 2Ki4:30), people who should left behind (Ge 2:24); places (2Ki 8:6; Jer 18:14; 25:38) and objects (Ge 39:12,13; 50:8; Ex 9:21). Men can forsake God (apostatize) (Dt 28:20, 31:16, Jer 1:16), can abandon qualities of virtue (1Ki 12:8, 2Chr 10:8, 13), the way (of righteousness) (Pr 15:10), instruction/wisdom (Pr 4:2, 6), reproof (Pr 10:17 - "ignore" = forsake), kindness (lovingkindness, faithfulness) (Pr 3:3). God promises to not forsake His people (Ge 24:27, 28:15, Dt 31:6,7 contrast what God's people will do = Dt 31:16). In a use similar to Pr 28:13, we are instructed to "forsake wrath." (Ps 37:8) To abandon, reject, desert or leave a former association (1Ki 18:18). Abandoned, deserted or rejected, forsaken (Isa 6:12; 10:14; 17:2, 9; 54:6; 60:15; 62:4; Jer 4:29; Zep 2:4).
1828 Webster - Forsake = To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from. 2. To abandon; to renounce; to reject. 3. To leave; to withdraw from; to fail. In anger, the color forsakes the cheeks. In severe trials, let not fortitude forsake you. 4. In scripture, God forsakes his people, when he withdraws his aid, or the light of his countenance.
Served (become enslaved, worshiped) (05647) abad means to work (to cultivate, till - Ge 2:5, 15 - Lxx = ergazomai before the fall! Ge 3:23 after the fall, Lxx = ergazomai), to serve (be enslaved or hold in bondage - Ex 6:6 - Lxx = katadouloo = make a slave; Lev 25:38, 39 Lxx = douleuo)(Ge 14:4, 15:13, 14 - Lxx = douleuo), worship. Labor (as when Israel was in Egyptian bondage - Ex 1:13,14 but same word abad translated worship after redemption Ex 3:12, 7:16, 8:1, 8:20, 9:1, et al where Lxx = latreuo).
BGT 1 Samuel 12:11 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν κύριος τὸν Ιεροβααλ καὶ τὸν Βαρακ (TRANSLATED = BARAK) καὶ τὸν Ιεφθαε καὶ τὸν Σαμουηλ καὶ ἐξείλατο ὑμᾶς ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν ὑμῶν τῶν κυκλόθεν καὶ κατῳκεῖτε πεποιθότες
KJV 1 Samuel 12:11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
NET 1 Samuel 12:11 So the LORD sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hand of the enemies all around you, and you were able to live securely.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:11 So the LORD sent Jerubbaal, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel. He rescued you from the power of the enemies around you, and you lived securely.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:11 And 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.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:11 Then the LORD sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:11 Then the LORD sent Gideon, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel to save you, and you lived in safety.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak, and Jephthah, and Samson, and rescued you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:11 'And Jehovah sendeth Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivereth you out of the hand of your enemies round about, and ye dwell confidently.
Then - Praise God for this "then," marking sequence!
The LORD sent Jerubbaal and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around, so that you lived in security - Samuel mentions only a few of the judges who God sent to deliver Israel, Jerubbaal identical with the better known name, Gideon (Jdg. 6:25–32+).. The judge Bedan is not mentioned in the book of Judges, suggesting the possibility there were other judges in that 300 year dark period, but there is another possibility that this was a copyist's error because the Septuagint and Arabic versions both have the name for Barak which is the more likely reading and thus used in the ESV, NET and NIV versions (see above). Samuel of course is the last judge and God used him to provide deliverance Israel experienced in 1 Samuel 7:1-17, so that Israel lived in security for "the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel." (1Sa 7:13+).
JERUBBAAL [ISBE] - jer-u-ba'-al, je-rub'-a-al (yerubba`al, "let Baal contend"): The name given to Gideon by his father, Joash, and the people in recognition of his destruction of the altar of Baal at Ophrah (Jdg 6:32). For this name the form "Jerubbesheth" (2 Sam 1:21) was substituted after the analogy of "Ishbosheth" and "Mephibosheth," in which bosheth, the Hebrew word for "shame," displaced the word ba`al, no doubt because the name resembled one given in honor of Baal.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:12 καὶ εἴδετε ὅτι Ναας βασιλεὺς υἱῶν Αμμων ἦλθεν ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς καὶ εἴπατε οὐχί ἀλλ᾽ ἢ ὅτι βασιλεὺς βασιλεύσει ἐφ᾽ ἡμῶν καὶ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν βασιλεὺς ἡμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
NET 1 Samuel 12:12 "When you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites was advancing against you, you said to me, 'No! A king will rule over us'– even though the LORD your God is your king!
CSB 1 Samuel 12:12 But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was coming against you, you said to me, 'No, we must have a king rule over us'-- even though the LORD your God is your king.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' when the LORD your God was your king.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:12 "But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule over us'--even though the LORD your God was your king.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:12 "But when you were afraid of Nahash, the king of Ammon, you came to me and said that you wanted a king to reign over you, even though the LORD your God was already your king.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:12 But when you saw that King Nahash of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' though the LORD your God was your king.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:12 'And ye see that Nahash king of the Bene-Ammon hath come against you, and ye say to me, Nay, but a king doth reign over us; and Jehovah your God is your king!
- Nahash: 1Sa 11:1,2
- No: 1Sa 8:3,5,6,19,20 Jdg 9:18,56,57
- when the Lord: 1Sa 8:7 10:19 Ge 17:7 Ex 19:5,6 Nu 23:21 Jdg 8:23 Ps 74:12 Isa 33:22 Ho 13:10
1 Samuel 8:3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.
1 Samuel 8:5-6 and they said to him, “Behold, (#1) you have grown old, and (#2) your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”6 But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1 Samuel 8:19-20 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, (#3) that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
SLITHERS INTO ISRAEL
When you saw that Nahash ("serpent") the king of the sons of Ammon came against you, you said to me, 'No, but a king shall reign over us,' although the LORD your God was your king - The previous pattern was enemies invade, Israel cries out to God for deliverance, but this time it was cry out to God for a king! This was rebellion and sin against God! This passages takes us back to chapter 8 when Israel told Samuel they wanted a king. This was one of the additional reasons for Israel's desire for a king. In the passages above note the (#1, 2, 3) designations of the 3 reasons Israel wanted a king. Notice #3 is that the "king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” This latter reason appears to be motivated by the stirrings of Nahash who was beginning to come against Israel. They forgot that God their King had delivered them from the hand of the Philistines in 1Sa 7. They also forgot their own history in the book of judges, where God repeatedly raised up a judge to be their deliverer. But they were determined to have a king to reign over them. They were not to be deterred from their stubborn desire.
Bergen comments that Samuel pointed out to the people "that fear of an earthly king—Nahash of the Ammonites—had caused the Israelites to turn away from their heavenly King and seek an earthly king to lead them. This lack of trust in their ultimate King was a sin." (Borrow 1 & 2 Second Samuel - Shepherd's Notes)
BGT 1 Samuel 12:13 καὶ νῦν ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς ὃν ἐξελέξασθε καὶ ἰδοὺ δέδωκεν κύριος ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς βασιλέα
KJV 1 Samuel 12:13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
NET 1 Samuel 12:13 Now look! Here is the king you have chosen– the one that you asked for! Look, the LORD has given you a king!
CSB 1 Samuel 12:13 "Now here is the king you've chosen, the one you requested. Look, this is the king the LORD has placed over you.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:13 Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the LORD has set a king over you.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:13 All right, here is the king you have chosen. You asked for him, and the LORD has granted your request.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:13 See, here is the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; see, the LORD has set a king over you.
RSV 1 Samuel 12:13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:13 And, now, lo, the king whom ye have chosen -- whom ye have asked! and lo, Jehovah hath placed over you a king.
- here is the king: 1Sa 10:24 11:15
- whom you have chosen: 1Sa 8:5 9:20
- whom you have asked for: Ps 78:29-31 Ho 13:11 Ac 13:21
Psalms 78:29-31 (So they ate and were well filled, And their desire He gave to them. 30 Before they had satisfied their desire, While their food was in their mouths, 31 The anger of God rose against them And killed some of their stoutest ones, And subdued the choice men of Israel.
Now therefore - This introduces a strong warning to Israel (1Sa 12:13-25) that speaks to their faithfulness to Yahweh.
here is the king whom you have chosen, whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you - Samuel says God gave you what you wanted. This reminds us of Ps 106:15 "So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them."
Utley interprets the first phrase (whom you have chosen and whom you have asked for) as sarcasm.
1 Samuel 12:14 "If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:14 ἐὰν φοβηθῆτε τὸν κύριον καὶ δουλεύσητε αὐτῷ καὶ ἀκούσητε τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ μὴ ἐρίσητε τῷ στόματι κυρίου καὶ ἦτε καὶ ὑμεῖς καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ὁ βασιλεύων ἐφ᾽ ὑμῶν ὀπίσω κυρίου πορευόμενοι
KJV 1 Samuel 12:14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:
NET 1 Samuel 12:14 If you fear the LORD, serving him and obeying him and not rebelling against what he says, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the LORD your God, all will be well.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:14 If you fear the LORD, worship and obey Him, and if you don't rebel against the LORD's command, then both you and the king who rules over you will follow the LORD your God.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:14 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.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:14 If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God--good!
NLT 1 Samuel 12:14 "Now if you fear and worship the LORD and listen to his voice, and if you do not rebel against the LORD's commands, then both you and your king will show that you recognize the LORD as your God.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and heed 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;
RSV 1 Samuel 12:14 If you will fear the LORD and serve him and hearken to 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;
YLT 1 Samuel 12:14 'If ye fear Jehovah, and have served Him, and hearkened to His voice, then ye do not provoke the mouth of Jehovah, and ye have been -- both ye and the king who hath reigned over you -- after Jehovah your God.
- If: Lev 20:1-13 De 28:1-14 Jos 24:14,20 Ps 81:12-15 Isa 3:10 Ro 2:7
Deuteronomy 30:15-19+ See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
First the good news, or analogous to the closing speech of Moses when he gave Israel a solemn series of curses and blessings (Dt 28:1-30:20, read Dt 30:15-20+). Samuel's point is that even though Israel had sinned in asking for a king, God would still bestow His favor on them, but there were conditions that he now elucidates.
If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen (see shama) to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD - Samuel begins with a positive prophetic promise. IF...THEN identifies this as a conditional promise. There are 4 conditions, 3 positive and 1 negative - fear God, serve God, listen to (obey) God, do not rebel against God. While the king is not mentioned in the first clause, clearly the 4 conditions apply to him as well as the people. The king was not immune from God's standards for His people.
THOUGHT - A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. Thus, There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ! - Vance Havner
Then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God - If Israel and their king met the conditions, all would be well with them.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:15 ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀκούσητε τῆς φωνῆς κυρίου καὶ ἐρίσητε τῷ στόματι κυρίου καὶ ἔσται χεὶρ κυρίου ἐπὶ ὑμᾶς καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν βασιλέα ὑμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.
NET 1 Samuel 12:15 But if you don't obey the LORD and rebel against what the LORD says, the hand of the LORD will be against both you and your king.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:15 However, if you disobey the LORD and rebel against His command, the LORD's hand will be against you and against your ancestors.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:15 But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:15 But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:15 But if you rebel against the LORD's commands and refuse to listen to him, then his hand will be as heavy upon you as it was upon your ancestors.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:15 but if you will not heed the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:15 'And if ye do not hearken to the voice of Jehovah -- then ye have provoked the mouth of Jehovah, and the hand of Jehovah hath been against you, and against your fathers.
- But: Lev 26:14-30 De 28:15-68 Jos 24:20 Isa 1:20 3:11 Ro 2:8,9
- against: 1Sa 12:9
Exodus 23:21 “Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him (Ex 23:20).
SAMUEL'S STERN CONCLUDING
If you will not listen to (see shama - heed, obey) the voice of the LORD, but rebel (marah) against the command of the LORD - Notice that these are prophetic declarations (identified by "will"). Not listening is tantamount to not obeying God. His voice would include His written word and in the OT days would include His prophets who spoke His words to the people. The opposite of to not listen and obey is to disobey and rebel, to resist authority, in this case the authority of the Almighty God!
Moses had warned the First Generation of Israel who had been delivered from bondage in Egypt - “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you (see Dt 28:16-68+): (Dt 28:15+, see similar warning by Moses in Lev 26:14-30+)
Joshua gave a similar warning to the Second Generation of Israel who had entered the promised land - “If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.” (Jos 24:20+)
Then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers - If they fail to obey and instead rebel, then they will reap the promise of God's strong hand of discipline will be against Israel as clearly elucidated in the covenant curses in Leviticus 26+ and Deuteronomy 28+. In other words, Samuel's warning is like a "shorthand" version of Moses lengthy discourse on the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (see preceding comment). Yahweh's hand against your fathers is probably best exemplified by the disbelieving first generation who God punished by making them wander for 40 years in the wilderness until the all died off. Samuel's warnings should have gotten the people's attention.
Rebel (04884) marah means to be contentious, rebellious, and openly defiant to an authority by not obeying commands. Most of the uses of marah refer to rebellion by Israel or Judah against Jehovah (exceptions = Dt 21:18, 20, Job 17:2, Job 23:2, Pr 17:11). There is repeated focus on Israel's rebellion in the wilderness after being set free from slavery in Egypt (Nu 20:10, 24; 27:14; Deut 1:26, 43; 9:7, 23), summed up by the statement "You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day I knew you." (Deut 9:24) Marah is used with similar descriptive words - stubborn (Dt 21:18, 20, Jer 5:23, Ps 78:8), to grieve (Isa 63:10, Ps 78:40), to refuse (Isa 1:20, Neh 9:17), to transgress (Lam 3:42), to sin (Ps 78:17), to test (Ps 78:56), to rebel (marad in Neh 9:26), to reject or profane (Ezek 20:13).
Marah - 45v - became disobedient(1), bitter(1), disobedient(1), disobeyed(2), provocation(1), rebel(6), rebelled(18), rebellious(12), rebels(2), very rebellious(1). Exod. 23:21; Num. 20:10; Num. 20:24; Num. 27:14; Deut. 1:26; Deut. 1:43; Deut. 9:7; Deut. 9:23; Deut. 9:24; Deut. 21:18; Deut. 21:20; Deut. 31:27; Jos. 1:18; 1 Sam. 12:14; 1 Sam. 12:15; 1 Ki. 13:21; 1 Ki. 13:26; 2 Ki. 14:26; Neh. 9:26; Job 17:2; Ps. 5:10; Ps. 78:8; Ps. 78:17; Ps. 78:40; Ps. 78:56; Ps. 105:28; Ps. 106:7; Ps. 106:33; Ps. 106:43; Ps. 107:11; Isa. 1:20; Isa. 3:8; Isa. 50:5; Isa. 63:10; Jer. 4:17; Jer. 5:23; Lam. 1:18; Lam. 1:20; Lam. 3:42; Ezek. 5:6; Ezek. 20:8; Ezek. 20:13; Ezek. 20:21; Hos. 13:16; Zeph. 3:1
A W Tozer - GOD’S WILL: “OBEY!” If ye will not obey…then shall the hand of the Lord be against you. 1 Samuel 12:15
Independence is a strong human trait, so men and women everywhere bristle when anyone says, “You owe obedience!” In the natural sense, we do not take kindly to the prospect of yielding obedience to anyone.
Both Old and New Testaments of the Bible make it plain that sin is disobedience to the law of God. Paul’s picture of sinners in Ephesians concludes that the wrath of God will come upon those who are “the children of disobedience” (2:2–3).
So, we live in a generation of men and women alienated from God, and who make a great case for individualism and “the right of self-determination.” The individual’s strong statement is this: “I belong to myself. No one has the authority to require my obedience!”
Now, if God had made us to be mere machines, we would not have the power of self-determination. He made us in His image, to be moral creatures with the power, but not the right, to choose evil. We have the right to be good. We never have the right to be bad because God, the Creator, is good. If we choose to be unholy, we are using a right that is not ours!
BGT 1 Samuel 12:16 καὶ νῦν κατάστητε καὶ ἴδετε τὸ ῥῆμα τὸ μέγα τοῦτο ὃ ὁ κύριος ποιήσει ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ὑμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:16 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
NET 1 Samuel 12:16 "So now, take your positions and watch this great thing that the LORD is about to do in your sight.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:16 "Now, therefore, present yourselves and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:16 "Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!
NLT 1 Samuel 12:16 "Now stand here and see the great thing the LORD is about to do.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:16 Now therefore take your stand and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:16 'Also now, station yourselves and see this great thing which Jehovah is doing before your eyes;
- stand: 1Sa 12:7 15:16 Ex 14:13,31
SAMUEL PREPARES THEM
TO SEE AN AUTHENTICATING SIGN
Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes - Samuel is about to have all Israel's full attention! Take your stand means to present yourself before the LORD and prepare yourself for a divine sign. Samuel is telling Israel to prepare themselves to see (it is literally something they would be able to see....and hear) a sign from the LORD, which would serve to authenticate the warning he had just given them. Of course Samuel's great hope was that a sign from God would stimulate in them a reverential response to the LORD, a healthy, holy fear!
1 Samuel 12:17 "Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call to the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king."
BGT 1 Samuel 12:17 οὐχὶ θερισμὸς πυρῶν σήμερον ἐπικαλέσομαι κύριον καὶ δώσει φωνὰς καὶ ὑετόν καὶ γνῶτε καὶ ἴδετε ὅτι ἡ κακία ὑμῶν μεγάλη ἣν ἐποιήσατε ἐνώπιον κυρίου αἰτήσαντες ἑαυτοῖς βασιλέα
KJV 1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
NET 1 Samuel 12:17 Is this not the time of the wheat harvest? I will call on the LORD so that he makes it thunder and rain. Realize and see what a great sin you have committed before the LORD by asking for a king for yourselves."
CSB 1 Samuel 12:17 Isn't the wheat harvest today? I will call on the LORD and He will send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you committed in the LORD's sight by requesting a king for yourselves."
ESV 1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking for yourselves a king."
NIV 1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call upon the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a king."
NLT 1 Samuel 12:17 You know that it does not rain at this time of the year during the wheat harvest. I will ask the LORD to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the LORD for a king!"
NRS 1 Samuel 12:17 Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call upon the LORD, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that the wickedness that you have done in the sight of the LORD is great in demanding a king for yourselves."
YLT 1 Samuel 12:17 is it not wheat-harvest to-day? I call unto Jehovah, and He doth give voices and rain; and know ye and see that your evil is great which ye have done in the eyes of Jehovah, to ask for you a king.'
- Is it: Pr 26:1
- I will call: 1Sa 7:9,10 Jos 10:12 Ps 99:6 Jer 15:1 Jas 5:16-18
- your wickedness: 1Sa 8:7
SAMUEL WILL CALL
FOR A WARNING SIGN
Is it not the wheat harvest today? This is rhetorical. Clearly it was the time of the wheat harvest, late May-early June, which generally is the dry season in Israel. Israel had two rainy seasons, the early rains (yoreh) which occurred in late October; and the latter rains (malqosh), from March to early May. Rains outside of the early and latter rainy season was rare.
Proverbs 26:1 declares "Like snow in summer and like rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool." In other words honor is not fitting for a fool and neither is rain for the time of harvest.
I will call to the LORD, that He may send thunder and rain - Samuel is saying his prayer to Yahweh will be answered with the sign of rain and thunder in this time when those events are unlikely.
Samuel prays up a storm during the dry season of wheat harvest.
-- Brian Bell
MacArthur explains that "Though rain during the wheat harvest (late May to early June) was unusual, the Lord sent the rain and thunder to authenticate Samuel's words to the people. (Borrow MacArthur Study Bible)
Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king - Samuel wanted to make it crystal clear that just because Israel now had a king as requested, they still needed to understand that what they had asked was a sin against the God. Samuel even says this wickedness is great! Yes, they had sinned but 1Sa 12:14 was God's gracious promise to them even in face of their sin and it was a promise to do good to them if they obeyed Him.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - In northern latitudes, thunder and rain are far from being uncommon during harvest. But rain is hardly ever known in Palestine during that season, which commences about the end of June, or beginning of July. This fact is abundantly confirmed by modern travellers, and is demonstrative to every unprejudiced reader of the Holy Scriptures, that the thunder and rain, which at Samuel's invocation, was sent at this season of the year, was a miraculous interposition of the power of God; for we read in ver. 16, it was a "great thing which the Lord will do." Thus were the Israelites warned of their sin in having asked a king, and of the omnipotence of that God, whose gracious promises they virtually neglected by this act.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:18 καὶ ἐπεκαλέσατο Σαμουηλ τὸν κύριον καὶ ἔδωκεν κύριος φωνὰς καὶ ὑετὸν ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν πᾶς ὁ λαὸς τὸν κύριον σφόδρα καὶ τὸν Σαμουηλ
KJV 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
NET 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD made it thunder and rain that day. All the people were very afraid of both the LORD and Samuel.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:18 Samuel called on the LORD, and on that day the LORD sent thunder and rain. As a result, all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:18 Then Samuel called upon the LORD, and that same day the LORD sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the LORD and of Samuel.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called upon the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:18 And Samuel calleth unto Jehovah, and Jehovah giveth voices and rain, on that day, and all the people greatly fear Jehovah and Samuel;
- thunder: Ex 9:23-25 Rev 11:5,6
- feared: Ex 14:31 Ezr 10:9 Ps 106:12,13
Exodus 9:23-25+ (MOSES CALLS FOR A SIGN FROM HEAVEN) Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 The hail struck all that was in the field through all the land of Egypt, both man and beast; the hail also struck every plant of the field and shattered every tree of the field.
So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day - Samuel calls, God answers could be the prophet's "tagline." Again we see this great man of prayer who has the ear of the LORD, because the LORD has his heart. One is reminded of Ps 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart." Samuel's "desires" were "in sync" with the desires of the LORD.
Recall that the purpose for this sign was so that the people would "know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the LORD by asking for yourselves a king." The subsequent reactions of the people indicate the sign achieved the desired effect - they feared Yahweh's wrath against sin and they confessed their sin
And all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel - The divine storm got Israel's attention! While fear can be reverential, it appears this fear that which causes one to be frightened or terrified. That this type of fear (rather than reverential) is more likely is substantiated by the fact that in the next verse they ask Samuel to intercede for their lives. They are afraid they might be killed by Yahweh. In addition Samuel's charge to not fear in 1Sa 12:20 supports the interpretation that their fear here was more a reaction of terror than a response of reverence.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:19 καὶ εἶπαν πᾶς ὁ λαὸς πρὸς Σαμουηλ πρόσευξαι ὑπὲρ τῶν δούλων σου πρὸς κύριον θεόν σου καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀποθάνωμεν ὅτι προστεθείκαμεν πρὸς πάσας τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν κακίαν αἰτήσαντες ἑαυτοῖς βασιλέα
KJV 1 Samuel 12:19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
NET 1 Samuel 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God on behalf of us– your servants– so we won't die, for we have added to all our sins by asking for a king."
CSB 1 Samuel 12:19 They pleaded with Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for your servants, so we won't die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves."
ESV 1 Samuel 12:19 And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king."
NIV 1 Samuel 12:19 The people all said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king."
NLT 1 Samuel 12:19 "Pray to the LORD your God for us, or we will die!" they all said to Samuel. "For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king."
NRS 1 Samuel 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, "Pray to the LORD your God for your servants, so that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of demanding a king for ourselves."
YLT 1 Samuel 12:19 and all the people say unto Samuel, 'Pray for thy servants unto Jehovah thy God, and we do not die, for we have added to all our sins evil to ask for us a king.'
- Pray for: 1Sa 7:5,8 Ge 20:7 Ex 9:28 10:17 Job 42:8 Ps 78:34,35 Isa 26:16 Mal 1:9 Ac 8:24 Jas 5:15 1Jn 5:16
1 Samuel 7:5+ Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the LORD for you.”
1 Samuel 8:6+ But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1 Samuel 15:11+ “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.
Hebrews 6:11-12+ (DEAR READER - HERE IS MY PRAYER FOR YOU AS YOU STUDY SAMUEL'S LIFE) And we (I) desire that each one of you show the same diligence (AS SAMUEL!) so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that (TERM OF PURPOSE/RESULT) you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
SIGN STIMULATES ISRAEL
TO SEEK SAMUEL'S INTERCESSION
Then all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king - Added to all our sins indicates Israel was aware of their past sins and now their new big one, rejected God as King! Notice they call themselves your servants. Really? Even though they had discounted his advice and warnings against seeking a king! Notice also they want Samuel to pray for them to his God (not our God)! So that (term of purpose) introduces the purpose they sought by their plea to the prophet. They now fear God might kill them because finally they do have some heightened realization that their asking for a human king was a great sin against Yahweh. In that sense, their response is good, because it amounts to a confession of their sin.
THOUGHT - Whitcomb and Davis make a very important observation - Again one is reminded of the spiritual depth of Samuel’s ministry. His achievements were not due to mere human ingenuity, but to a sincere and consistent prayer life. This fact was clearly recognized by the people (cf. 1Sa 12:19). Samuel’s view of prayer and its importance in the life of the people is most instructive (1Sa 12:23; cf. 1Sa 7:5+; 1Sa 8:6+). He did not consider prayer an option to be exercised at convenient moments, but essential to an effective prophetic ministry. One wonders whether the lack of power and impact, so evident in many pulpits, is not due to the absence of fervent, continuous prayer as exemplified in the life of Samuel (and in the life of our Lord). (Borrow Whitcoma and Davis' excellent summary commentary - Israel From Conquest to Exile : a Commentary on Joshua-2 Kings)
Robert Bergen has an interesting thought on Israel's sin of asking for a king for themselves - It is important to note here that the request for a king was not in itself sinful; the Torah envisioned a day in which Israel would decide to have a monarchy and made provisions for the establishment of this institution (cf. Gen 17:6; Deut 17:14–20). But for Israel to entrust its future to a human deliverer instead of anchoring it in their relationship with the Lord was both wicked and futile. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
BGT 1 Samuel 12:20 καὶ εἶπεν Σαμουηλ πρὸς τὸν λαόν μὴ φοβεῖσθε ὑμεῖς πεποιήκατε τὴν πᾶσαν κακίαν ταύτην πλὴν μὴ ἐκκλίνητε ἀπὸ ὄπισθεν κυρίου καὶ δουλεύσατε τῷ κυρίῳ ἐν ὅλῃ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
NET 1 Samuel 12:20 Then Samuel said to the people, "Don't be afraid. You have indeed sinned. However, don't turn aside from the LORD. Serve the LORD with all your heart.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:20 Samuel replied, "Don't be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don't turn away from following the LORD. Instead, worship the LORD with all your heart.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:20 "Do not be afraid," Samuel replied. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:20 "Don't be afraid," Samuel reassured them. "You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the LORD with all your heart, and don't turn your back on him.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel said to the people, "Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;
YLT 1 Samuel 12:20 And Samuel saith unto the people, 'Fear not; ye have done all this evil; only, turn not aside from after Jehovah -- and ye have served Jehovah with all your heart,
- Fear: Ex 20:19,20 1Pe 3:16
- turn: De 11:16 31:29 Jos 23:6 Ps 40:4 101:3 125:5 Jer 3:1
RESPONSE TO ISRAEL
Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear - First Samuel seeks to calm their fear that God is going to take their lives. They are not in danger of imminent destruction.
You have committed all this evil - Second, Samuel does not "sugarcoat" their sin. They committed it and they were guilty, and should not presume upon the LORD's showing them mercy by not taking their lives. What they had done was serious, was evil and was against the holiness of God. So yes, it did deserve death and they needed to keep that in mind.
yet do not turn aside from following the LORD - Third, he warns them not to turn aside from God's commandments. And if they kept in mind the fact that God had bestowed undeserved mercies, this truth could or should motivate them to not turn away from the LORD.
But (contrast with turning aside) serve the LORD with all your heart - The best preventative to keep from turning aside is to serve the LORD with all your heart. This is tantamount to the spiritual dynamic of the expulsive power of a new affection. If desire to obey out of love for God fills your heart, it is much more difficult for desires of self to enter your heart and cause you to turn away.
The book of Deuteronomy repeatedly alludes to the truth that the heart of Israel's problem was their heart....
Deuteronomy 10:12-13;“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?
Deuteronomy 11:13) “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 (THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE) that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil.
David O'brien - Question 76 Why did God choose Saul to be king? It sounds as if God made a mistake and changed His mind about it (1 Samuel 10–12).
God chose Saul because Saul was a good candidate for the office. He had all the right qualifications. He was big and impressive looking (1 Samuel 10:24). In fact, when all the people shouted “Long live the king,” most of them knew about Saul was that he was a head taller than the rest of them. Ours isn’t the first nation to pick it’s leaders on the basis of image. Saul’s first military encounters also confirmed the wisdom of the choice. He warmed up by defeating Nahash the Ammonite (1 Samuel 11:11) and then went on to triumph against overwhelming odds in his first encounters with the Philistines (1 Samuel 13–14).
In spite of the negative image most preachers paint of Saul, he was able to awaken intense and lasting loyalties among the people. Today he is so thoroughly overshadowed by David in most of our minds that we miss the indications of his popularity among the people of Israel. It was probably that loyalty that kept his army behind him in the final, losing confrontation with the Philistines. It was that loyalty that motivated the men of Jabesh Gilead to risk their lives to rescue his body from the walls of Beth Shan and give it a decent burial (1 Samuel 31:11–13). It was that loyalty that kept the northern tribes from giving their allegiance to David until seven years after Saul’s death (2 Samuel 5:5).1
God’s seriousness in choosing Saul may be seen in the judgment Samuel announced against Saul for his impatient offering of sacrifice for the sake of public opinion (1 Samuel 13:13–14). The judgment reveals God’s plan for Saul and announces the tragic news that it has been cancelled because of Saul’s sin. Instead of establishing Saul’s house as the ruling dynasty, God removed His support for Saul and transferred it to another.
Saul was given the opportunity to live up to God’s highest call on his life. The fact that Saul was unsuccessful doesn’t mean God’s choice was a mistake. It means only that Saul lacked commitment to do God’s will as well as the humility and true repentance necessary for success. Saul’s rejection is a warning to all of us. God’s calling is sure, but our response is less sure. I have no question about God’s ability to keep us as His children.
I’m a great deal more reserved about our ability to respond properly to God’s specific call for service. Saul had been anointed for a job. He was called in the same way a pastor or missionary might be called. He accepted that call, but in the course of his service he began to free-lance, operating as if he were able to perform God’s work in his own way. This rejection of God as King over the king led to his fall, not from grace, but from power. (Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties)
1 Samuel 12:20 Have You Turned?
In May of 1998, the failure of a control processor on board the Galaxy IV communications satellite caused it to rotate out of position and turn away from the earth. In an instant, 40 million pagers became useless pieces of plastic. Hundreds of retail stores and scores of radio and TV stations were also affected--all because one satellite turned the wrong way.
How many people would be affected if you or I turned away from God? Few of us realize the extent of our influence, but our obedience to God is vital because of our role in the church (1 Cor. 12:12-17) and the world (1 Pet. 2:9-12).
God charged His Old Testament people to be faithful to His covenant "so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, … and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood" (Dt. 29:18). A New Testament writer recalled this when he said we should be careful "lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Heb. 12:15).
Are you out of position today? Turn back to God. Stay in contact with Him. You never know how many lives will be influenced by your decision. —David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
THINKING IT OVER
- What might cause me to turn away from God?
- Is there any "root of bitterness" in my life?
- Is there anything I need to confess to God right now?
True repentance turns from the wrong and returns to the right.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:21 καὶ μὴ παραβῆτε ὀπίσω τῶν μηθὲν ὄντων οἳ οὐ περανοῦσιν οὐθὲν καὶ οἳ οὐκ ἐξελοῦνται ὅτι οὐθέν εἰσιν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
NET 1 Samuel 12:21 You should not turn aside after empty things that can't profit and can't deliver, since they are empty.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:21 Don't turn away to follow worthless things that can't profit or deliver you; they are worthless.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:21 Don't go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you-- they are totally useless!
NRS 1 Samuel 12:21 and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:21 and ye do not turn aside after the vain things which do not profit nor deliver, for they are vain,
- futile things: De 32:21 Jer 2:5,13 10:8,15 14:22 16:19 Jon 2:8 Hab 2:18 1Co 8:4
- cannot profit: Ps 115:4-8 Isa 41:23,24 Isa 44:9,10 Isa 45:20 Isa 46:7 Jer 10:15
Isaiah 44:9; 10 Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit?
Isaiah 45:20 “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save.
Isaiah 46:7 “They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it; They set it in its place and it stands there. It does not move from its place. Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer; It cannot deliver him from his distress.
Jeremiah 10:14-15 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them. 15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish.
WHY FOLLOWING GOD IS CRITICAL
You must not turn aside - Samuel had just charged them to not turn aside and now reiterates the importance of this instruction. The word "must" signifies this is not optional. This statement is like a sign that says do not go down this road as it has been washed out and your car will be washed away and you will be destroyed! To drive down this road would be utter foolishness!
For - This term of explanation explains why not turning aside is not optional but is obligatory, mandatory!
Then you would go after futile things (tohu; NIV "useless idols", TEV = "false gods"; REB = "sham gods") which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile - Literally = “the nothingness/emptiness.” Note the progression - turning aside from following God is a "surefire" way to follow things that are not God (because our God created nature abhors a spiritual vacuum!), specifically to go after idols (futile things) which are not alive and have no and cannot profit spiritually or save one's soul. The prophet says they are "non-profit!"
ESV Study Note (borrow) says futile things (empty things) "refers here to vain idols. An idol is “nothing”—a vacuous entity that gives the one who trusts in it only vanity or emptiness in return."
Futile (empty, formless, waste, meaningless) (08414) tohu means empty, formless, futile, waste, meaningless. Tōhû refers to a desert "wasteland" in Deut. 32:10 and Job 6:18. Isaiah spoke of moral "emptiness" (Isa. 29:21; 44:9) and of unreality (40:17, 23). Idols are "empty" and "unreal" (1 Sam. 12:21).
Tohu - 20x in 19v - chaos(1), confusion(1), desolation(1), emptiness(1), empty space(1), formless(2), futile(2), futile things(1), meaningless(2), meaningless arguments(1), nothing(2), waste(3), waste place(2).Gen. 1:2; Deut. 32:10; 1 Sam. 12:21; Job 6:18; Job 12:24; Job 26:7; Ps. 107:40; Isa. 24:10; Isa. 29:21; Isa. 34:11; Isa. 40:17; Isa. 40:23; Isa. 41:29; Isa. 44:9; Isa. 45:18; Isa. 45:19; Isa. 49:4; Isa. 59:4; Jer. 4:23
BGT 1 Samuel 12:22 ὅτι οὐκ ἀπώσεται κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ διὰ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ τὸ μέγα ὅτι ἐπιεικέως κύριος προσελάβετο ὑμᾶς αὑτῷ εἰς λαόν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
NET 1 Samuel 12:22 The LORD will not abandon his people because he wants to uphold his great reputation. The LORD was pleased to make you his own people.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:22 The LORD will not abandon His people, because of His great name and because He has determined to make you His own people.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:22 The LORD will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:22 For the LORD will not cast away his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:22 for Jehovah doth not leave His people, on account of His great name; for Jehovah hath been pleased to make you to Him for a people.
- the Lord: De 31:17 1Ki 6:13 2Ki 21:14 1Ch 28:9 2Ch 15:2 Ps 94:14 Isa 41:17 42:16 Jer 33:24-26 La 3:31,32 5:20 Heb 13:5
- for his great: Ex 32:12 Nu 14:13-19 De 32:26-27 Jos 7:9 Ps 106:8 Isa 37:35 Isa 43:25 Isa 48:11 Jer 14:7,21 Eze 20:9,14 Eph 1:6,12
- has been pleased: Ex 19:5-6 De 7:7-8 Dt 9:5 Dt 14:2 Mal 1:2 Mt 11:26 Joh 15:16 Ro 9:13-18 11:29 1Co 4:7 Php 1:6
Joshua 7:9 “For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?”
Psalm 106:8 Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known.
Ezekiel 20:9; 14 “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.....14 “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out.
Deuteronomy 7:7-8 “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 9:5 “It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth
For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name - To abandon Israel would result in the pagans disparaging His great Name (cf Ex 32:12, Nu 14:13-19). This truth speaks to God's faithfulness.
Robert Bergen - He had responded this way before and would do so again “for the sake of his great name” (1Sa 12:22; cf. Ps 25:11; 79:9; 106:8; 143:11; Isa 48:9; Jer 14:7, 21; Ezek 20:9, 22; Dan 9:19), not because of Israel’s worthiness. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)
because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself - In other words, the reason God would not abandon Israel as a nation was not because of the fact that they deserved His covenant mercy, but because of His sovereign will to make them His people. We call that amazing grace, completely undeserved and unmerited divine favor!
Eugene Merrill - In a marvelous manifestation of the grace of God, Samuel related to the people that God would bless them in spite of their wrong choice if they would only be steadfast in their obedience from this point on. The past could not be undone but their future was untainted and could be devoted to the Lord (1Sa 12:20-22). (Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament)
Spurgeon in Faith's Checkbook - 1 Sam. 12:22.
GOD’S choice of his people is the reason for his abiding by them, and not forsaking them. He chose them for his love, and he loves them for his choice. His own good pleasure is the source of their election, and his election is the reason for the continuance of his pleasure in them. It would dishonour his great name for him to forsake them, since it would either show that he made an error in his choice, or that he was fickle in his love. God’s love has this glory, that it never changes, and this glory he will never tarnish.
By all the memories of the Lord’s former loving-kindnesses let us rest assured that he will not forsake us. He who has gone so far as to make us his people, will not undo the creation of his grace. He has not wrought such wonders for us that he might leave us after all. His Son Jesus has died for us, and we may be sure that he has not died in vain. Can he forsake those for whom he shed his blood? Because he has hitherto taken pleasure in choosing and in saving us, it will be his pleasure still to bless us. Our Lord Jesus is no changeable Lover. Having loved his own, he loves them to the end
Brian Bill - It’s interesting that the Israelites want to make a man their god but God’s way is to make God a man, the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to deliver us from the dominion of darkness and to rule and reign in our hearts. The kernel of the gospel message is found in 1 Samuel 12:22: “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.” Even though they sinned greatly, God is still gracious. For the sake of His great name, He sent His Son Jesus as Savior, Redeemer and King.
What would happen if I went around the room this morning and asked this question: Who do you place your confidence in? How would you answer? There is only one king worth following. Who is on the throne of your life? That is the great gospel invitation. Will you respond right now and submit to His reign in your life?
Every Sunday the ducks would waddle out of their house and waddle down Main Street to their church. They waddled into the auditorium and jumped into their chairs. The duck musicians waddled in and took their place and then the duck minister came forward and opened the Bible. He preached up a storm saying, “Ducks, God has given you wings! With wings you can fly! With wings you can mount up and soar like eagles. No walls can confine you! No fence can hold you! You have wings. God has given you wings and you can fly like birds.” All the ducks shouted, “AMEN!” and they all waddled home.
If you’re ready to repent and be changed so that you can soar, then please pray this prayer with me. Pray it only if you’re determined to allow God to deal with your fatal flaws: “Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I admit that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and my fatal flaws by changing my mind about the way I’ve been living. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. With all my heart I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I accept you into my life. Be my Savior and Lord, my forgiver and king. I surrender to your leadership in my life. Make me into the person you want me to be. Amen.”
F B Meyer - 1 Samuel 12:22a The Lord will not forsake His people for His great Name’s sake.
The certainty of our salvation rests on the character of God. Moses, years before, had pleaded that God could not afford to destroy or forsake Israel, lest the Egyptians and others should have some ground for saying that He was not able to carry out His purpose, or that He was fickle and changeable. “What wilt Thou do for thy great Name?” Samuel uses the same argument. We also may avail ourselves of it for our great comfort.
God knew what we should be-how weak and frail and changeful-before He arrested us and brought us to Himself. Speaking after the manner of men, we might say He counted the cost. He computed whether His resources were sufficient to secure us from our foes, keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. He foreknew how much forbearance, pity, consolation, and tenderness, we should require. And yet it pleased Him to make us His people. He cannot, therefore, now run back from His purpose; otherwise it would seem that difficulties had arisen which either He had not anticipated, or was not so well able to combat as He had thought. What an absurd suggestion! In the former case there would be a slur on His omniscience; on the other, upon His omnipotence.
“What if God should cast you into hell?” was asked of an old Scotchwoman. ‘“Well,” she answered, “If He do, all I can say is, He will lose mair than I will.”
The gracious promise given to Joshua may be appropriated by every trembling saint of God “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” And to the poor and needy He says, “I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”
BGT 1 Samuel 12:23 καὶ ἐμοὶ μηδαμῶς τοῦ ἁμαρτεῖν τῷ κυρίῳ ἀνιέναι τοῦ προσεύχεσθαι περὶ ὑμῶν καὶ δουλεύσω τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ δείξω ὑμῖν τὴν ὁδὸν τὴν ἀγαθὴν καὶ τὴν εὐθεῖαν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
NET 1 Samuel 12:23 As far as I am concerned, far be it from me to sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you! I will instruct you in the way that is good and upright.
CSB 1 Samuel 12:23 "As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover, as for me, 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.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:23 "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:23 Moreover as for me, 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.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:23 'I, also, far be it from me to sin against Jehovah, by ceasing to pray for you, and I have directed you in the good and upright way;
- far be it from Ac 12:5 Ro 1:9 Col 1:9 1Th 3:10 2Ti 1:3
- I will instruct : Ps 34:11 Pr 4:11 Ec 12:10 Ac 20:20 Col 1:28
- the good and right way: 1Ki 8:36 2Ch 6:27 Jer 6:16
1 Samuel 7:5+ Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the LORD for you.”
1 Samuel 8:6+ But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
1 Samuel 15:11+ “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.
Hebrews 6:11-12+ (DEAR READER - HERE IS MY PRAYER FOR YOU AS YOU STUDY SAMUEL'S LIFE) And we (I) desire that each one of you show the same diligence (AS SAMUEL!) so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that (TERM OF PURPOSE/RESULT) you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Numbers 11:2 The people therefore cried out to Moses, and Moses prayed to the LORD and the fire died out.
Numbers 21:7 So the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us.” And Moses interceded for the people.
Deuteronomy 9:20 “The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time.
Deuteronomy 9:26 “I prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
Acts 6:4 (PRAYER AND THE WORD) “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
SAMUEL'S BINARY RESPONSE:
FIRST PRAY - THEN TEACH
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you - Samuel says for him not to pray for Israel would be committing a sin against Yahweh! We know Samuel felt rejected by their desire for a king (1Sa 8:7-9), but that did not prevent him from still praying for them.
THOUGHT - Have you ever considered that failure to pray for your brethren is sin against the LORD? If we truly received this truth and our hearts were transformed by the Spirit, with this truth, what might it stimulate in our life? Or to ask another way, how would our prayer life change? Or would it change? Dear preacher or teacher (we are all teaching someone!) have you ever instructed without praying? That's rhetorical and reflexive (Self- reflexive as I am very convicted as I write this question!) And so it behooves us to pay special "Hebrews 2:1+ style" attention to Samuel's God honoring pattern - pray, then instruct.
Brian Bell - God will bless Elijah & send rain on Israel, but Elijah must pray for it. If the chosen nation is to prosper, Samuel must plead for it. God will bless Paul, & the nations shall be converted through him, but Paul must pray. God will effect lives around you saint, but you must plead & intercede on their behalf!
Spurgeon - Oh that our prayers would be like lightening rods that pierce the clouds & bring down the mighty & mysterious power from on high!
but I will instruct you in the good and right way - Samuel was a prophet in the foretelling sense, but here he describes his role as a prophet in FORTH telling sense. Our hearts gravitate away from the good and right way and we are continually in need of (and heed of) instruction.
THOUGHT - I think of the Psalmist in Ps 119:10 who says "With all my heart I have sought You. Do not let me wander from Your commandments." Why does he pray that prayer? Because this man of God knew that he was ever in danger of wandering from God's perfect law! Thank God for the "Samuel's" in our lives who instruct us in the good and right way!
Bob Utley on way - "Way" is a biblical idiom of living a godly, obedient, daily faith. The concept is expressed in several ways.
- "the good way in which they should walk" ‒ 1 Kgs. 8:36
- "blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked" ‒ Psalm 1 ("the two ways," cf. Deut. 30:15,19)
- "the way of life" ‒ Ps. 119:105; Pro. 6:23
- "the everlasting way" ‒ Ps. 139:24
- "so you will walk in the way of good men" ‒ Pro. 2:20
- expressed negatively in Isa. 65:2
- often it is expressed by "do not turn to the right or left" (cf. Deut. 5:32; 17:20; 28:14; Josh. 1:7; 23:6)
G Campbell Morgan - As for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.—1 Sam. 12.23.
Let us be very careful not to misread these words of Samuel, for rightly apprehended they are most arresting and revealing. •Samuel did not say: "Far be it from me that I should sin against you, in ceasing to pray for you." There is a secondary sense in which he might have said that, for we do certainly sin against men when we cease to pray for them. But that is so for the very reason which is revealed in what Samuel did actually say, namely: "Far be it from me that I should sin against Jehovah in ceasing to pray for you. His thought was that if he ceased to pray for Israel he would be sinning against God. What a remarkable truth is involved in that conception concerning prayer. Quite simply stated, it is that in prayer we create conditions which make it possible for God to' act in ways otherwise impossible to Him. When we cease to pray we limit God. (ED: NOT SURE I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THOSE STATEMENTS) When we pray we open His way to act. We may not be able to account for this philosophically. It may seem to us as though our praying could not possibly make any difference to the putting forth of the Divine power, even though it might possibly affect His will. As a matter of fact, the reverse is true. No prayer of mine can change the will of God, which is ever "good and acceptable and perfect." But my prayer can and does make it possible for His power to operate in ways impossible apart from it. When I cease to pray for men, I sin against God first, because I hinder Him in that I do not help Him. Therefore I grievously sin against men when I cease to pray for them. (Borrow Life applications from every chapter of the Bible)
C H Spurgeon - preface of his sermon on 1 Samuel 12:23 Samuel, An Example Of Intercession - IT is a very great privilege to be permitted to pray for our fellow-men. Prayer in each man’s case must necessarily begin with personal petitions, for until the man is himself accepted with God he cannot act as an intercessor for others; and herein lies part of the excellence of intercessory prayer, for it is to the man who exercises it aright a mark of inward grace, and a token for good from the Lord. Thou mayest be sure that thy King loves thee when he will permit thee to speak a word to him on behalf of thy friend. When the heart is enlarged in believing supplication for others, all doubts about personal acceptance with God may cease; he who prompts us to love has certainly given us that love, and what better proof of his favour do we desire? It is a great advance upon anxiety for our own salvation when we have risen out of the narrowness of dread about ourselves into the broader region of care for a brother’s soul. He who in answer to his intercession has seen others blessed and saved may take it as a pledge of divine love, and rejoice in the condescending grace of God. Such prayer rises higher than any petition for ourselves, for only he who is in favour with the Lord can venture upon pleading for others. Moreover, it shows an enlarged heart, a participation in the spirit of love, and a growing likeness to Christ. Earnest longings for the good of those around us show that we are beginning to take our right position towards our fellow men, and are no longer living as if we were ourselves the sole end and aim of our own existence. Intercessory prayer is an act of communion with Christ, for Jesus pleads for the sons of men. It is a part of his priestly office to make intercession for his people. He hath ascended up on high to this end, and exercises this office continually within the veil. When we pray for our fellow-sinners we are in sympathy with our divine Saviour, who made intercession for the transgressors. It is well to remember that wondrous text from which we preached the other Sunday morning, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance”: when we beg for conversions we are asking for Christ, and with Christ, and herein we have fellowship with him.
Such prayers are often of unspeakable value to those for whom they are offered. Many of us trace our conversion, if we go to the root of it, to the prayers of certain godly persons. In innumerable instances the prayers of parents have availed to bring young people to Christ. Many more will have to bless God for praying teachers, praying friends, praying pastors. Obscure persons confined to their beds are often the means of saving hundreds by their continual pleadings with God. The book of remembrance will reveal the value of these hidden ones, of whom so little is thought by the mass of Christians. As the body is knit together by bands, and sinews, and interlacing nerves and veins, so is the whole body of Christ converted into a living unity by mutual prayers; we were prayed for, and now in turn we pray for others. Not only the conversion of sinners, but the welfare, preservation, growth, comfort and usefulness of saints are abundantly promoted by the prayers of their brethren; hence apostolic men cried, “Brethren, pray for us”; he who was the personification of love said, “Pray one for another that ye may be healed,” and our great Lord and Head ended his earthly career by a matchless prayer for those whom the Father had given him.
Intercessory prayer is a benefit to the man who exercises it, and is often a better channel of comfort than any other means of grace. The Lord turned again the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends. Even where such prayer does not avail for its precise object it has its results. David tells us that he prayed for his enemies: he says, in Psalm 35:13, “As for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting.” And he adds, “my prayer returned into mine own bosom.” He sent forth his intercession, like Noah’s dove, but as it found no rest for the sole of its foot, and no blessing came of it, it returned to him who sent it, and brought back with it an olive-leaf plucked off, a sense of peace to his own spirit; for nothing is more restful to the heart than to have prayed for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. Prayers for others are pleasing to God and profitable to ourselves; they are no waste of breath, but have a result guaranteed by the faithful Promiser.
I commend, therefore, to you, my brethren and sisters in Christ, the abundant resources of intercessory prayer: use them without stint. My friend, hast thou nothing to ask for for thyself? Then thou art indeed very rich; but if thou hast ever come to such a height of happiness as that, now use thy power in prayer for the church and for the world. Art thou, like Elias, perfectly content with the barrel of meal and the cruse of oil, which thy God so marvellously multiplies for thy support? Then pray him to send a sound of abundance of rain for the sake of the multitudes that are perishing with famine. What if, like Abraham, thou art thyself secure, yet pray for the cities of the plain which are soon to be overwhelmed with destruction. If, like Esther, thou dwellest in the king’s palace, art thou not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Therefore, seek an audience of his royal Majesty, and pray for those of thy race who are in jeopardy. If like Nehemiah you hold a high position in the royal courts, turn it to account for the banished ones, and when you next wait upon the King, present to him a petition for your brethren. It is to incite you to earnest intercession that I have selected this text. I would have you stirred up to diligent supplication by the example of Samuel, who is worthy to be placed in the very forefront of intercessors.
F B Meyer - Not Ceasing in Prayer (1 SAMUEL 12:16–25)
O, who can tell how many hearts are altars to his praise,
From which the silent Prayer ascends through patient nights and days!
The sacrifice is offered still in secret and alone,
O world, ye do not know them, but He can help his own.
IN all Samuel’s career there is nothing finer than the closing scene of his public action as the judge and leader of the Hebrew nation. Had he died young, his place in the annals of his country, and indeed in history, would have been much lower; and our appreciation of his character much less. Naturally he found it difficult to step down from his premiership, and inaugurate a régime with which he had no sympathy, since it seemed to be a setting aside of Israel’s greatest glory in having God for King. But he suppressed his strong personal antipathies, and did his very best to start the nation on the new path it had chosen, selecting a king with the utmost care, and, regardless of personal suffering, bridging over the gulf between the old order and the new.
We cannot turn from the record of the great convocation, assembled before the Lord at Gilgal, to ratify Saul’s election, without noticing the repeated allusions to Samuel’s power in prayer. He appears to have been the John Knox of his age, as mighty in prayer as in statesmanship. His whole career seems to have been bathed in the spirit of supplication.
As a boy, with hands meekly clasped, as Sir Joshua Reynolds has depicted him, he asked God to speak, whilst his ear was quick and attent to catch his lowest whispers. In the Book of the Psalms he is mentioned as chief among those that call on God’s name, and as having been answered (99:6). The Prophet Jeremiah alludes to the wonderful power which he exercised in intercessory prayer, when he pleaded for his people (15:1). All Israel knew the long, piercing cry of the prophet of the Lord. In their perils his intercessions had been their deliverance, and in their battles his prayers had secured them victory (1 Sam. 7:8, 8:6). There was “an open road” between God and him, so that thoughts of God’s thinking were able to come into his heart; and he reflected them back again with intense and burning desire.
I. SAMUEL’S PRAYER FOR THUNDER AND RAIN.—The heart of man cries out for Divine authentication. In every age a crooked and perverse generation seeks a sign, and in seeking it proves how far it has wandered from the source of light, and become blinded in spiritual vision. If our nature realised its Divine ideal, it would discern God in the ordinary and common incidents of providence, in the morning light and the summer air, in dews that noiselessly alight and zephyrs that gently kiss the slumbering woods, in the garniture of spring and the carpeting of flowers (Acts 14:17). But the eyes of the soul are blinded, and men do not see the traces of the Divine footprints across the world day by day. “Lord,” said the prophet, “thy hand is lifted up, but they see not” (Isa. 26:11).
In default of the faculty of detecting God’s presence in the noiseless and ordinary providence of life, man asks for some startling phenomena to prove that God is speaking. “Bring,” he cries to the heaven-sent messenger, “credentials so startling and extraordinary that I may know without doubt that thou art properly accredited. The still, small voice is not enough. We must have the hurricane, the fire, and the bolt from the blue. Then we shall know that God speaks by thee, and that the word from thy lips is true.”
Samuel knew this, and he perhaps longed for some Divine corroboration of his words. God’s trusted servants are content to work through long years amid persistent resistance and apathy, if only they are assured that they are on the line of the Divine purpose. “And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.” Thus, in a supreme moment, one of the noblest of his successors appealed to God, and his words expressed what was in Samuel’s heart at this great hour. He had surrendered his prerogatives, and introduced his successor; had confronted his people with their sins, and announced the heavy penalties that must follow on disobedience; and he yearned that they should hear another voice, asseverating his words, and pressing them home on conscience and on heart.
It was under the influence of these thoughts that he concluded his address and appeal, with the announcement, “Now, therefore, stand still, and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat-harvest to-day? I will call unto the Lord, and He shall send thunder and rain, that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king.”
During the wheat-harvest, lasting from the middle of May to the middle of June, rain is almost unknown in Palestine, and the occurrence of a thunderstorm, coming as it did at the call of the aged prophet, was too startlingly unusual to be viewed as other than the Divine authentication of his claims.
It may be supposed that this incident is altogether without parallel, belonging to the realms of Old Testament story; but I cannot think it to be so. Nature is much more sympathetic with man than we sometimes suppose, because her beauty or terror is but the veil beneath which the Almighty hides Himself. How, save on the supposition that God answered the appeal of his servants, can we account for the fact of the terrific tempest that swept over our shores when the proud Armada of Spain menaced the liberties of Protestant England? And how, save on the supposition that Heaven itself protested against the blasphemous pretensions of the Papacy, can we account for the memorable fact that on the afternoon when the dogma of the Papal Infallibility was announced the Vatican at midday was suddenly invested with a pall of blackest midnight?
But there are other methods of Divine authentication on which every true servant of God may rely. When Paul and Barnabas abode for a long time in Iconium, speaking boldly in the Lord, “He gave testimony unto the word of his grace”; and the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews generalises the experience of the early heralds of the Gospel when he says that the message of God’s great salvation was confirmed by them that heard the word, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according unto his own will” (Acts 14:3; Heb. 2:3, 4).
We cannot be too thankful for the witness of the Holy Spirit, whose voice is to the faithful servant of God all, and more, that the thunder was to Samuel. It was this that armed the primitive saints with irresistible power. “We are his witnesses,” cried the apostles, “and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” “Our Gospel,” wrote the greatest apostle of all, “came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance” (1 Thess. 1:5).
May I ask if my fellow-servants realise this—that the Holy Spirit is in the Church to-day, that He is prepared to bear witness to every true word which is spoken in the name of Jesus, and that He will convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment; so that the faith of our hearers should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God, God bearing them witness and giving them the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:1–4; Acts 15:8).
This is the fatal lack of our preaching. We speak earnestly and faithfully, but we do not sufficiently look for nor rely on the divine co-witness; we do not understand the communion and fellowship of the Comforter, and our hearers do not hear his voice thrilling their souls, as thunder in the natural world, with the conviction that the things which we speak are the truths of God. Only let the passionate longing of our heart be, “Father, glorify thy name,” and voices will come as from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Whilst some that stand by may say that “It thundered,” others will say “An angel spake” (John 12:28, 29).
Oh, our God, give us such power in prayer that when we pray Thou shalt answer “in the secret place of thunder,” and send thunder and rain.
II. SAMUEL’S UNCEASING INTERCESSIONS.—Terrified by the loud thunder-peals and the torrents of rain, the people were urgent to secure Samuel’s intercession on their behalf. They feared for their lives and their property, and entreated him to pray for them. “Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God,” they said, “that we die not”; and the emphasis they laid on the word thy seemed to indicate that they felt no longer worthy of their ancient prerogative, as the chosen people. Touched with their appeal, and confident that Jehovah only desired to corroborate his word, the aged seer calmed their fears, urged them never to turn aside to vain idols, which could neither profit nor deliver, assured them that the Lord would not forsake them, and ended with the striking words: “Moreover, as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.”
Samuel realised that prayer was action in the spiritual plane. The energy which we exert in action in the physical sphere becomes prayer in the spiritual. It has often been said, Laborare est orare (“to labour is to pray”); but the converse is much truer, Orare est laborare (“to pray is to labour”). “The fervent prayer of a righteous man,” says James, “availeth much in its working.” Therefore it was, that when the good Epaphras could no longer help his brethren at Colosse by his words and deeds, he betook himself to prayer, and laboured fervently for them all in prayer (Col. 4:12).
“Work shall be prayer, if all be wrought
As Thou wouldst have it done:
And prayer, by Thee inspired and taught,
Itself with work be one.”
Samuel could no longer exert his energies for his people, as he had done. The limitations imposed by his advancing years, and by the substitution of the kingdom for his judgeship, made it impossible that he should make his yearly rounds as aforetime, but he was able to translate all that energy into another method of helpfulness. The light became heat, the water became steam. The prayers of God’s saints were equivalent, henceforward, to battalions of soldiers.
What the telescope is to the eye, the bicycle to the foot, the telephone to the voice, and the steam-driven machine to the hand, in enlarging and increasing human power, that is prayer to the soul, because it links us with the mighty power of God, it touches springs that unloose spiritual forces which are eternal in their duration and universal in their scope. “Mighty is he who is mighty in prayer; he has learned how to labour with the energies of God.” Why, O soul of man, wilt thou not lay thy fingers on the keyboard of the eternal powers, which would respond instantly to the touch! How great a mistake and loss it is for thee to be satisfied with the lower keyboards of the natural and intellect, when the spiritual, the highest and furthest-reaching, awaits thee!
Samuel viewed prayer as a Divine instinct. For him to thwart the promptings towards prayer which arose within his soul would be nothing short of sin. “God forbid,” he said, “that I should sin against Him in ceasing to pray.”
Let us recognise, we may say with another, that, logic or no logic, men pray, and they want to pray. The instinct to do so seems to be part of ourselves. Probably it is not constant, and it is only the saint who remains in the spirit of prayer; but some time or other, and always when the spiritual nature stirs within us, we begin to pray. Prayer is therefore more than petition, it is the movement of the spirit Godward. We recognise our own limitations and attempt to reach beyond them into the infinite. Therefore, in every true prayer, there is much that cannot be put in words. “The spirit maketh intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered.”
To thwart this instinct, whether it prompts us to pray for ourselves or for others, is to do violence to our noblest nature, to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, and to sin against the Divine order. Prayerlessness is not only an indication of a besotted and demoralised nature, but is in itself a sin, that requires confession and cleansing in the blood of the Cross. And when, in answer to our lowly supplications, we are again brought nigh by the blood of Christ, we shall find that prayer will rise as naturally and freely in our hearts as a fountain from unseen depths fed from the everlasting hills. Prayer is the response of the soul to God, the return tide from us to Him, the sending back in vapour what we receive in showers of heavenly rain.
Samuel viewed prayer as a trusteeship. He could no longer act as judge, but he felt that the interests of the nation had been entrusted to his hands for the highest ends, and it would be treachery to fail in conserving and extending them at least by his intercessions. Often must he have gone aside, as Moses on the Mount, and as our Lord on the hills that engirdled the blue waters of Galilee, to pour out his soul in strong cryings and tears for his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh, who were Israelites, to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises. Often, like the apostle Paul, he had great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart. Often, when the Philistines overran the land, and oppressed the people with their tyranny, it must have seemed as though his heart would break. The failure of Saul to realise his ideal only elicited the more strenuous appeals to God to save both king and people, and the victory which we must record in our next chapter must have been due to his eager entreaties.
This is a model which we may all copy. The one question for the Church in the present day is whether she may reckon on a new manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit, and this is entirely contingent on another question, “Is it possible to bring the whole Church to her knees?” If these words are of weight with any, let me ask them to join in one persevering and heaven-moving appeal to God that He would awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old, and do great things like those of which our fathers have told us.
David Jeremiah - STRAIGHT LINES 1 SAMUEL 12:23 - Borrow Sanctuary : finding moments of refuge in the presence of God
Do you know someone who is heading the wrong way? Someone struggling with an overwhelming problem or temptation?
Pray—earnestly pray—for that one. The prophet Samuel told the Israelites, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23). J. Sidlow Baxter pointed out that our loved ones may “spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”
In Colossians 4, we meet a man whose prayers for others were so powerful that he received special commendation in the Bible: Epaphras … “a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (v. 12).
Oswald Chambers said, “By intercessory prayer we can hold off Satan from other lives and give the Holy Ghost a chance with them. No wonder Jesus put such tremendous emphasis on prayer!”
Henry Blackaby - Not Failing to Pray - 1 Samuel 12:23 - Borrow The experience : a devotional and journal : day by day with God
Rejection is never easy to take, but everyone faces it at some point. Samuel was rejected by an entire nation. God appointed Samuel as Israel’s spiritual guide because he didn’t want his people to have a secular king like other nations had. God wanted them to trust in him and to listen to his spokesmen, people like Samuel. But the Israelites had other ideas. They whined. They pleaded. They begged for a king. Samuel warned that they were asking for trouble, but they persisted in their demands. Finally, God gave them what they wanted. Poor Samuel had to anoint the person for whom he’d been rejected. Once the people got what they wanted, they realized their mistake. They turned back to Samuel and begged him to continue ministering to them. If there was ever a time for an I-told-you-so, this was it!
Fortunately for Israel, Samuel was more mature than that. He knew that if he gave up on God’s people they would be in even worse trouble, so he swallowed his pride and stuck with them.
Your friends will not always thank you for warning them when they are headed into dangerous territory. They may reject your advice; they may even reject you. Even though it hurts, resist the temptation to abandon them to their own foolishness. Continue to pray for them, and be ready to forgive them when they realize their mistake. Wouldn’t you want them to do the same for you?
KEEP PRAYING TO AVOID SINNING AGAINST THE LORD. —1 Samuel 12:23 - Larry Keefauver
Prayerlessness sins against God and others. God’s will moves from eternity into time through prayer.
God has intended for His bride, the church, to pray “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When we fail to pray, the invisible does not become visible and the substance for which we believe remains still hoped for.
Prayerlessness is sin; it separates us from God.
Without prayer, communion ceases.
Without prayer, nothing happens, as E.M. Bounds wisely instructed.
Without prayer, the Spirit remains uninvited to move through us by His gifts and produce in us His fruit.
With prayer, sin is confessed and cleansed away.
With prayer, communication with God becomes a river of living water and a consuming fire burning away our dross and refining our faith.
With prayer, our ears are opened to hear the incredible.
With prayer, our eyes are opened to see the invisible.
With prayer, our lives are empowered to do the impossible.
Therefore, prayerlessness breeds more than neglect in our lives. It offers up the stench of sin and the putrid odor of wasted and unfilled dreams.
Prayer becomes the sweet odor of a living sacrifice offered up to God as you worship Him on the altar of obedience. Build the altar of prayer now. Let your sin be consumed by the fire of His Spirit. Let your life become a sweet aroma as the smell of being with Him permeates your talk and your walk.
I come to You, Lord Jesus, in obedience, offering myself to You as a living sacrifice, that I may worship and serve You. As I pray, consume me with the fire of Your Spirit, that the odor of my life might be sweet to You and the scent of Your presence as a testimony for the lives of others. Amen.
1 Samuel 12:16-25 When You're Unappreciated
Samuel was a Mount Everest personality who appeared when the historical landscape was monotonously flat. As God's prophet, he judged the people. Since Israel was a theocracy (ruled by God), Samuel was virtually a king. He discharged his duties with skill and dedication to both God and the people.
But the people wanted a king such as the pagan nations around them had (1 Samuel 8:5). So they asked the man of God to step aside. Samuel was hurt by their rejection. He understood the scope of their disobedience (1 Sa 12:17-19).
The prophet could have turned his back on the new king and his rebellious people. Instead he declared, "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (v.23).
Why did Samuel say that? He knew that even as doors were being slammed in his face, another door was open to him--the door of intercessory prayer. Samuel demonstrated his godliness by the way he reacted. He was still God's man, and he would still care for God's people.
When we are snubbed by those we try to serve, we must resolve not to sin against the Lord by snubbing them in return. Instead, by God's grace, we can pray sincerely for those who may not value our best efforts. —Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
How deep does it wound you when others despise
Your labor of love? Don't despair--
It's then you must view them with Spirit-filled eyes
And love your offenders with prayer.
Pray for those who spitefully use you. --Jesus (Matthew 5:44)
1 Samuel 12 Afraid Of The Dentist?
Why are so many people afraid of going to the dentist? It may be the result of a bad experience. One woman said of her childhood dentist, "I started getting upset and crying and he said, 'If you don't shut up, I'm going to slap you.'" She now drives 70 miles to The Dental Fears Clinic in Kansas City.
People who are afraid to go to God have a similar problem. Some may have been mistreated by spiritual leaders. Others may have learned unhealthy fear of God as children. Still others, overwhelmed by their sin, see only God's righteous demand for justice and miss the loving provision of His Son's sacrifice for sin.
The people in today's Bible reading (1 Samuel 12) were afraid because Samuel exposed their sin. But he also told them that God longed to forgive them.
We need to replace irrational fears with healthy ones. God's Word repeatedly assures us that the pain of going to Him is far less than the pain of avoiding Him. It also assures us that because of Jesus we can "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy" (Hebrews 4:16).
A dentist fills the holes in your teeth, but God wants to fill the holes in your heart—with Himself. Don't let your unhealthy fear stop Him.—Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The love of God is my pillow,
Soft and healing and wide;
I rest my soul in its comfort,
And in its calm I abide. "
Only God can fill the emptiness of an aching heart.
BGT 1 Samuel 12:24 πλὴν φοβεῖσθε τὸν κύριον καὶ δουλεύσατε αὐτῷ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν ὅτι εἴδετε ἃ ἐμεγάλυνεν μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν
KJV 1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.
NET 1 Samuel 12:24 However, fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you!
CSB 1 Samuel 12:24 Above all, fear the LORD and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you.
ESV 1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
NIV 1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
NLT 1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the LORD and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.
NRS 1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.
YLT 1 Samuel 12:24 only, fear ye Jehovah, and ye have served Him in truth with all your heart, for see that which He hath made great with you;
- fear the Lord: Job 28:28 Ps 111:10 Pr 1:7 Ex 12:13 Heb 12:29
- in truth: Ps 119:80 John 1:47
- consider: Ezra 9:13,14 Isa 5:12 Ro 12:1
- great things De 10:21 Ps 126:2,3
Job 28:28 “And to man He said, ‘Behold , the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Deuteronomy 10:21 “He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen.
Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.
DUTY TO GOD
(1) fear, (2) serve, (3) consider.
Only fear the LORD and serve (abad; Lxx = douleuo) Him in truth with all your heart - This use of fear by Samuel does refer to a reverential fear. A proper fear of God (e.g., think of a child who has proper fear of the father, out of their love for him fearing they might disappoint him by their disobedience) is a good thing. E.g., Pr 3:7 says "fear the LORD and turn away from evil". Pr 8:13 says "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil." Pr 16:6 says "by fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil." Job 1:1 says Job was a man "fearing God, and turning away from evil." (Why did he turn from evil?)
And so we note Samuel begins with fear of Jehovah which will lead one to serve Him. Note the two qualifying phrases in truth for one can pretend to serve the LORD, but it is not sincere but sham service. Secondly, all your heart calls for wholehearted service, not a divided heart. Jesus say “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." (Mt 6:24+)
For - This is a great term of explanation, explaining why we should fear and serve Him.
Consider what great things He has done for you - When they (and we) truly pondered the great things Yahweh had done for them (has done and is doing and will do for us), it should serve to motivate them (us) to press on toward the upward call, to keep on the straight way and not turn to the left or the right.
THOUGHT - Do you ever pause and ponder the great things the Lord has done for you as a believer? The list for most of us would be very long, but if we make a habit of remembering from time to time, the Spirit will use those grateful memories to stir us onward and upward. And remembering God's great deeds is a great antidote for forgetting God! Part of our prayer time might be well spent thanking Him for the many great things He has done for us (is currently doing for us and will do for us!), lest we forget our so great a salvation and begin to take it for granted (cf Heb 2:1+).
F Whitfield - Consider how great things he hath done for you - 1 Samuel 12:24
Look back on all the way the Lord your God has led you. Do you not see it dotted with ten thousand blessings in disguise? Call to mind the needed succor sent at the critical moment: the right way chosen for you, instead of the wrong way you had chosen for yourself; the hurtful thing to which your heart so fondly clung, removed out of your path; the breathing-time granted, which your tried and struggling spirit just at the moment needed. Oh, has not Jesus stood at your side when you knew it not? Has not Infinite Love encircled every event with its everlasting arms, and gilded every cloud with its merciful lining? Oh, retrace your steps, and mark His footprint in each one! Thank Him for them all, and learn the needed lesson of leaning more simply on Jesus.
THOUGHT - What a great way to preface your prayers in the morning!
Robert Hawker - Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.—1 Samuel 12:24.
How truly affectionate was this pastoral advice of the prophet to Israel, in the close of recapitulating Israel’s history, and God’s love over them! My soul! take this portion from Israel’s history, and apply it to thine own; for the argument, and the reason upon which the argument is founded, are one and the same, and thou wilt find the same causes, both from interest and from received mercies from Christ, to form the same conclusion. But at what part of thine history wilt thou begin, or where wilt thou end, in considering “what great things” thy God, thy Jesus, hath done for thee? Wilt thou open with the consideration of God’s mercies toward thee in nature, or providence, or grace? What arithmetic will be competent to score the vast account, even in a thousandth degree, of either of those departments, much more if thou wert to study the subject in all! Who indeed can be sufficient to note them down, or to state in order, as they passed before him, the numberless events which testified divine favour, during the long season of thine unregeneracy? What a long volume might be formed, in nature only, of the Lord’s watchfulness, providings, preservings, and ordinations, in making all minister and become subservient to our welfare! Oh! it is blessed to consider, even if it were here only, what great things the Lord hath done for us. And while we mark the footsteps of his love, and note our wanderings from him; when we trace back the wonderful subject of distinguishing mercy, and call to mind the graves of some, yea, many, with whom were spent our youthful days, while we remain not only the spared, but, we hope, the saved monuments of free sovereign grace and mercy; well may we exclaim, with one of old, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who redeemeth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies!” And if from the outer court of nature and providence, our souls enter into the inner court of grace, and there mark down, since the day of our regeneracy and the Lord’s effectual calling, what great things he hath done for us, surely it would tire the arm of an angel to write the whole account. Precious Lord Jesus! in thee, and by thee, and from thee, all our mercies flow. Thou art the first, the last, the best, the comprehensive gift of God; the channel of all blessings, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, through whom all the streams come, from Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and through whom all love and praise return; not only the channel through whom they come, but the substance in whom they centre. Thou hast purchased them, and they are enjoyed wholly from our union with thee; and their continuation in grace here, and glory to all eternity, must result from thee: all the covenant mercies of God in Christ are “the sure mercies of David” on thy account! Think, then, my soul! what causes thou art surrounded with, in the great things God hath done for thee, to fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, with all thine heart! Close then the month as thou hopest to close thy life on earth, with this sweet scripture; and as thou didst open the month in contemplating “the LORD thy righteousness,” as the same whereby thou art enjoined to call him, so now let thy last meditation, before thou droppest to sleep in ending the month, be with the same. “He is” (as Moses told Israel) “thy praise and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.” Be this, therefore, thy daily meditation, and thine evening hymn: “to fear the Lord, and serve him; for consider how great things he hath done for thee.” Amen.
David Jeremiah - HOW TO FEAR GOD 1 SAMUEL 12:24 - Borrow Sanctuary : finding moments of refuge in the presence of God
In July of 1861, in an act declaring September 26 as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting, Abraham Lincoln wrote: “It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…”
That may be one of the best summaries of what it means to “fear the Lord” ever penned. Note the action words: “to acknowledge … revere … bow … confess and deplore.” To fear the Lord means more than just one thing. Indeed, it is a phrase that gathers together a number of attitudes and actions. In short, when we fear the Lord, we recognize God’s proper place as Creator over us as His creation. If someone followed us around for a week, what evidence would they see that we fear the Lord? Which would they hear most—grumbles or gratitude, complaints or compassion?
A nation that fears the Lord is one whose citizens fear the Lord. Plan a “Personal Day of Prayer and Fasting” soon—a day to reaffirm your own fear of the Lord.
Robert Morgan - Those Precious Words - 1 Samuel 12:24KJV - February 9 - Borrow From this verse : 365 inspiring stories about the power of God's word
On my bookshelf sits an old volume with a mile-long title: Autobiography of Lemuel Norton: Including His Early Life—Two Years in a Printing Office—Eleven Years at Sea, in which he was Twice Shipwrecked, and Experienced Several Narrow Escapes From Death. Also His Christian Experience and Labors in the Gospel Ministry.
Once, returning home between voyages, Norton, then an infidel, shared a bedroom with Deacon Weed, who prayed upon retiring, “Lord, I am going to bed with this impenitent sinner.” Norton later recalled:
The next morning, I awoke with a most singular groan, which surprised me not a little. In a few minutes, the old gentleman arose and went to where my mother was getting breakfast, and said, “That son of yours is going to be a Christian.” Mother replied, “What makes you think so, Deacon Weed?” Said he, “I asked the Lord if he would make him a Christian to make him groan; and he immediately groaned out.”
Sure enough, Norton was soon converted and began devouring the Scripture.
In 1817, Thanksgiving Day was the first time I took a text and tried to explain it to the church. The day previous while traveling along the road, these words pressed through my mind: “Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth, with all your heart; for consider what great things he hath done for you.” These words, so full of encouragement, looked to me very suitable for the foundation of a discourse the next day. On being assembled, the acting deacon passed the Bible to my hand. I turned to the text named above, and read with much solemnity those precious words which had been food to my soul the day before. And if ever words found place in every heart, these did, for the attention given them was profound.
I spoke just twenty minutes with much freedom, when all at once I found nothing further to say, and took my seat. From this day forward it was understood that I had commenced preaching the gospel. …
1 Samuel 12:6-25 Adjusting Your Theory
An economist made this comment about his profession: "In most fields, if the facts don't fit the theory, you find a new theory. But an economist doesn't do that--he tries to explain away the facts."
Economists aren't the only ones who sometimes refuse to change their thinking. For example, we may live by the theory that we have no reason to be afraid of God, even though the Bible reminds us that we should fear Him (1 Samuel 12:24; Prov. 1:7).
The solution to this problem is to adjust our faulty theory to fit the facts. We must admit that there are reasons both to be afraid of the Lord and not to be afraid of Him. We should have a healthy fear of His rod of correction when we refuse to honor, obey, trust, and love Him. Yet we should not fear what He will do when we admit our sins and accept His offer of life, love, and fellowship with Christ. We should not be afraid to believe Him, to trust Him, and to cling to Him. This, I believe, is what Samuel was trying to teach God's people in today's Bible reading.
Instead of redefining the word fear, we must adjust our ideas about God to fit His revelation of Himself in Scripture. And that includes a reverent fear, which is "the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:10). —Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Though love for God should always move
My heart to do what's good and right,
It's wise to fear His judgments true
And stand in awe of His great might.
He who fears God has nothing else to fear.
- But if: De 32:15-44 Jos 24:20 Isa 3:11
- and: 1Sa 31:1-5 De 28:36 Ho 10:3
OF DOING EVIL
But if you still do wickedly (lit., “if bringing about evil you should do evil”), both you and your king will be swept away (saphah) - If you still implies they had been doing evil and the danger would be to still keep doing evil in face of all the warnings, etc. Samuel's prophetic promise (warning) is similar to that given by Moses who wrote "The LORD will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone." (Dt 28:36+) Moses gives the reason for predicting their exile in Deuteronomy 28:15+ writing "it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you." Swept away pictures God's wrath as like a mighty wave, a spiritual tsunami that destroys everything in its path! Was Israel swept away? Indeed they were, the 10 northern tribes were swept away to Assyria and 2 southern tribes were swept away to Babylon! Why were the 12 tribes swept away? They would continue to "still do wickedly!"
Bergen sums up chapter 12 - The elderly prophet/judge Samuel addressed the nation of Israel publicly for the last time in his career. The focus of his final speech was a condemnation of the people for their desire to trust in an earthly king more than in a heavenly King. He encouraged them to return to a sincere trust in God and warned them that if they failed to do so, God would destroy both their nation and their king....The final sentence Samuel spoke to an all-Israelite assembly is perhaps the most ominous of his career. In eight words (Hebrew) it summarizes the judgments of the Torah and foresees the ultimate futility of Israel’s experiment with kingship. (Borrow 1 & 2 Second Samuel - Shepherd's Notes)
Swept away (05595)(saphah) means to scrape or sweep away, to destroy, to perish, to be captured. The basic idea is that of sweeping—both the process of heaping things together and of sweeping them away (cf. Arabic safāʾ "to raise and carry away dust"). Saphah described the fate of those in the rebellion of Korah when Moses "spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.”(Nu 16:26)
Gilbrant - The verb sāphāh means "to sweep away" or, in the Niphal, "to be swept away." A similar verb in Arabic means "to sweep away dust." In Middle Hebrew, the verb means "to carry off," and in Syriac it means "to collect."
Sāphāh first occurs in the account of Abraham pleading with God on behalf of the righteous people living in Sodom and Gomorrah. Because of these few godly men, Abraham begged God not to "sweep away" the notoriously evil cities (Gen. 18:23f). Though God ultimately destroyed the cities, angels warned Lot to take his righteous family and quickly leave Sodom, lest they be swept away when God's wrath was poured down (Gen. 19:15). A similar situation arose when Moses warned the Israelite community to move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram because they were about to be swept away due to their rebellion against Moses' leadership (Num. 16:25-35). Also, David foretold Abishai that Saul's end would come when the Lord caused him to be swept away and destroyed (1 Sam. 26:10).
Numbers 32:14 depicts a different nuance, in that Israel was "sweeping up," or increasing, the anger of the Lord through their sin. For example, as a flame grows in response to fanning, the Lord's anger mounted in response to Israel's disobedience. Sāphāh is also used in an illustration of the result of the stubborn attitude of the Israelites toward God: dry land would replace the good land because of Israel's idolatrous disobedience (Deut. 29:19).
Isaiah 30:1 is often translated "to add" sin to sin, taking the verb form there to be from yāsaph, rather than sāphāh. (Complete Biblical Library)