Thursday, October 24, 2013

1 Samuel 12- A Man of Integrity

Samuel officially turns the kingdom over to Saul. Samuel remains the prophet for many years and he still serves as a circuit judge. However, Saul is increasing and Samuel is decreasing. Samuel’s place as the leader of Israel is now officially turned over to Saul.
         Samuel’s speech here is one that we would hope King Saul would be able to make many years from now. Alas, it would not be so. Samuel’s comments here serve to condemn Saul in his behavior as king.
         Samuel did not treat Israel the way that King Saul is going to treat them. He will not have such a particular regard for personal integrity. His treatment of Jonathan and David, as examples of his subjects, are markedly different than the way Samuel treated Israel.
         Even though Israel does not return Samuel’s good treatment of them, Samuel still entreats the Lord on their behalf. He does not return evil for evil. We are reminded of Moses who, when he was mistreated by Israel, fell on his face before God, entreating God on their behalf. Even when Aaron and Miriam treat Moses ill and God’s anger is kindled towards them, Moses falls on his face before Yahweh on their behalf, seeking God’s grace and mercy towards them and all Israel.
         Samuel is a prophet like that prophet. Saul will prove to be otherwise. Even when Jonathan and David treat him well, he acts as if he has been betrayed. Instead of seeking God’s favor for them, he personally lashes out at them, repeatedly casting spears of death in their direction. The godly man, the faithful leader, does not act in this fashion.

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