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1 Samuel 12:1-13:23

It appears to me that Samuel is asking Israel to examine his character so that they can judge the integrity of his ministry to them and the truth of his words. Since a false witness breathes out lies, if Israel finds anything amiss in his dealings with them, then what he is about to tell them has no weight as truth.

Samuel rehearses in all of Israel’s hearing how God has dealt with them and delivered them even when they are unfaithful to God. Even in their unfaithfulness, God gives them their hearts’ desire, Saul. In translations other than the NLT you can clearly see the play-on-words God uses to describe their newly appointed king and Israel’s relationship with him, the one that God picked. Remember that in Hebrew Saul means “Desired.”

13 "Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the LORD has set a king over you. (NKJ)

God has set Saul over them as king, but Israel picked him! So remember as we read on about Saul, what they wanted they got. Saul’s character reflects the desire of Israel’s heart. The Apostle Paul states this very thing in the first chapter of the Book of Romans (24).

Some have debated and searched for understanding of the first verse of chapter 13, what is that number and what does it mean. In my English translation of the Jewish Bible, The Tanakh, it says two years. In a conversation I had with a Jewish scholar about this uncertainty we kind of came to an interesting possibility about this verse. There are two types of leadership, spiritual, one appointed by God, and political, one appointed by man. Saul’s reign as king of Israel in the eyes of God was two years; however his political leadership over Israel was 42 years.

When we come to the thirteenth verse of this chapter, we find this,

13 "How foolish!" Samuel exclaimed. "You have disobeyed the command of the LORD your God. Had you obeyed, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your dynasty must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already chosen him to be king over his people, for you have not obeyed the LORD's command."

Note that this Word doesn’t say that the Lord will choose a king but that he has already chosen one!

There is a political agenda then there is God’s. Which one will we as Christians pursue, God’s or ours?

John 7:1-30
There are a lot of things to chew on in this section of John, but I am drawn to three things near the end of our reading.

1) The Religious Leaders, and we do too; use an unequal form of “judging.” They and we judge ourselves by our intentions but we judge others by their behavior. Jesus brings to them their objections about Him healing on the Sabbath when they “work” on that same day to adhere to the Law of Moses (note Jesus didn’t say God’s law) to do circumcision. If they consider what Jesus did, heal, work then what they do is also work. (21-24)
2) They question whether or not Jesus could be the Messiah because no one is bothering him even though they are aware a “hit” has been placed on his life. Has leadership accepted Him? If they have maybe He is. Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”
3) In the beginning of the chapter we read that Jesus stayed in Galilee, going from village to village staying out of Judea because leadership was looking to kill Him, yet in the thirtieth verse it states:
30 …but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.

God’s will is always played out in the fullness of time.

Psalm 108:1-13
Saul needed the 411 of this chapter of Psalms. He could have used that 13th verse,

With God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.

Proverbs 15:4

Life and death is in our tongues.

Grace and peace,

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