In this text, we have the children of Israel transitioning from a nation led by God to a nation under the leadership of a king. At this point Samuel is old, and his children are not serving the Lord. The people have rejected God’s design, and desired a king. God provides them exactly what they want.
Saul is selected by God. It is important to recognize the dynamic that is going on with the first king of Israel. Saul was desired by the people but selected by God. The process of choosing Saul was not a popular vote, but rather a divine selection by the man of God. Before Saul was declared king, Samuel offers one more warning about the dangers of having a king… but the people want a king bad.
By chapter twelve, we have Saul who has not only been anointed, but has proven himself kingly. The people recognize him as their king, and Samuel makes a final farewell speech. Up to this point Samuel has served as a prophet and judge, and from this point forward he will act as only a prophet.
Samuel final farewell and warning is found in chapter twelve. The primary message is this: don’t forget God, keep Him first place. The danger was that Israel would look to the king and forget God. They would become so enamored with the abilities and personality of the king that they would forget to trust and have faith in God.
This tragically happened over and over again, as Israel would elevate their leaders and minimize God. The result would often leave the people confused and directionless.
Unfortunately, we often see some of the same things happening today. The elevation of leadership, godly or not, and the minimization of God. We are to fear the Lord, and leadership should help us in that reverence and honor.
Samuel was concerned that they would forget the goodness of the Lord, start doing wickedly, and be in danger of judgment. These were all heightened because of their addition of a king.
So too, there are many believers who run the risk of forgetting the grace and goodness of God, jumping into sin, and being judged because they deify leaders.
I am so thankful for the men God placed in my life to help mold and shape me into the Christian I am today. I can honestly say that I would not be who or where I am today had it not been for some godly men in my life. As much as I love each of these men, and respect them, I had to come to a place where God mattered more to me than any man.
Men will fail you, make mistakes, and make wrong choices. Those who follow men and movements more than they follow the Lord are setting themselves up for failure. Paul did say that the Corinthians should “be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” But we have to understand that Paul always desired they would follow the Lord without the middle man. Paul only wanted to be a living example to these weak Christians. He told them to only follow him as he followed Christ. It wasn’t a blind followship…no it had qualifiers.
Determine to follow the Lord above everything else. If a man or movement falls and it wrecks your faith, you have to wonder if your faith was really built on the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t want to base my life and ministry off of someone else’s life and ministry… I want to wholly follow the Lord and fear Him and serve Him.
Daily Scripture Reading
1 Samuel 9 - 12
1 Samuel 12:23
“Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”