1 Samuel 7
1 Samuel 7:2, The ark abode in Kirjath-jearim.The ark did not return to Shiloh from when it came (1 Sam 4:4) and where the tabernacles had been located. This is because when the Israelites took the ark from Shiloh, YHVH forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh (Ps 78:60). By the time of Jeremiah, Shiloh was still forsaken if not in ruins (Jer 7:12, 14).
1 Samuel 7:7, YHVH thundered [Heb. ra’am] with a loud thunder [Heb. qol]. Ra’am means “to tumble, that is, be violently agitated; specifically to crash (of thunder); figuratively to irritate (with anger).” Qol means “a voice or sound” and is often translated as thunder. YHVH discomfiting and routing Israel’s adversaries was in response to their returning to him with all of their hearts and putting away the foreign gods or idols from among them and serving YHVH only (v. 3–4). YHVH is the same yesterday, today and forever. Perhaps if you do the same as the Israelites, he might also deliver you from your adversaries in wonderful and miraculous way.
1 Samuel 8
1 Samuel 8:1–2, Made his sons judges.It is the deep desire of every loving and dutiful parent for their children to follow in their footsteps whether it be to pass on to them the family business, occupation or the family religion. Each child, however, has to choose his or her own path in life, and sometimes they make the wrong choices and go in errant directions despite their parents best intentions.
1 Samuel 8:3, But his sons did not walk in his ways.Samuel’s sons did not walk in the way of father. The children of ministers often have a hard time walking in the footsteps of their righteous parents. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it is because the parents are so involved in ministry—the long line of needy people seeking the minister’s help never ends—that they have little or no time to spend with their children and to teach them the ways of YHVH. But this alone does not explain why bad children come from good families. More often than not, young people view the allurements of this world and the desire for money, pleasure and social acceptance as being more attractive than the struggles that accompany those who are in service to YHVH. The true ministers of YHVH typically suffer financial privation, rejection of men, criticism and ridicule and outright persecution even from those they are serving. Who wants that for their lives? Not surprisingly, very few children do. This is a bad reflection on the children, but also on those to whom their parents have giving their lives in service who are treating their parents so poorly. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why Samuel’s children went astray spiritually, although these excuses for apostasy will not pass muster with YHVH. Each person is responsible for his or her own actions regardless of the bad actions of others around them, and YHVH will hold each person accountable for the choices they make.
It seems that many of the children of righteous parents in the Bible did not walk in the ways of their righteous parents. Isaac and Rebecca produced Esau, at least one of Moses’ sons was an idol maker, Solomon went astray, Samson had his struggles, and the son of nearly every righteous king of Judah was wicked. In fact, sadly there are very few, if any, examples of any children of notable biblical characters walking in the footsteps of their godly parents.
1 Samuel 8:5, 20, Make us a king…that we also may be like all the nations.The desire to conform to the status quo and norms of the world around us is often too hard to resist. This carnal human proclivity is prevalent on an individual basis as well as on a societal level, and has been the ruination of the lives of many people as well as the cause of the downfall of many nations. Looking to human governmental systems instead of to Elohim as one’s ruler, provider and protector is a form of idolatry.
1 Samuel 9
1 Samuel 9:6–8, He can show us.Saul desired a personal prophecy from Samuel, the man of Elohim, a prophet, about his donkeys in exchange for money. This is akin to hiring a fortune teller or a palm reader to predict what the future holds. By giving the Samuel an offering, Saul was attempting to hire the prophet to peer into the unknown on his behalf. This same activity goes on in the Christian church today in almost all “prophetic” circles as people line up to seek a so-called “personal prophecy” form someone claiming prophetic insights. Many church “prophets” profit hugely from this unbiblical activity. Saul never lost the penchant for desiring to know his fortune, for toward the end of his life he sought out the witch of En Dor, a necromancer or spiritist, to tell him what the outcome of an upcoming battle would be (1 Sam 28:7ff). (Also see notes at 1 Kgs 14:3; 2 Kgs 8:8.)
1 Samuel 9:9, Seer…prophet. This verse tells us that the Bible view the terms seer and prophet synonymously.
1 Samuel 9:19, I am the seer.Samuel unashamedly declares his ministry office. He already had a long and proven track record of hearing from Elohim, so he was not bragging when making this declaration; he was merely stating a fact. This is unlike many so-called prophetic and other ministerial wannabes in today’s church, who attach the title of “prophet” (or other ecclesiastical titles such as bishop, apostle, pastor, rabbi, reverend, father, etc.) to their names with either the misguided or the ulterior motive of gaining recognition and credibility, and in turn, more money, position and power.
1 Samuel 10
1 Samuel 10:2–7, Samuel’s prophecy.Samuel gave Saul an extremely detailed prophecy, which came to pass thus proving the validity of the prophet’s word (v. 7). If a prophet’s word does not to pass, or only partially comes to pass, then he is either not a prophet or is a carnal prophet who only hears from Elohim partially. Either way, beware of such individuals.
1 Samuel 10:6, Turned into another man.The sovereign YHVH Elohim can supernaturally intervene in a person’s life and use them to fulfill his larger plans and purposes, even when they thought that they wanted to do something different, or even when they had no desire to do it at all. The Bible is full of such examples (e.g., Pharaoh, Jonah, Mary and Paul to name a few). He can even use animals (e.g., Balaam’s donkey) or rocks (Luke 19:40) to accomplish his purposes.
1 Samuel 10:19, You have rejected your Elohim.The children of Israel rejected Elohim’s direct rule over them preferring instead an earthly king and human government. It is easy to sit back with 20–20 hindsight and criticize the Israelites for their errant choice. But how many times in a myriad ways do we also reject YHVH’s rule in our own lives? Oh, it may not be in major, glaring areas, but in the seemingly minor choices that we make every day, how often do we choose to cater to the dictates of the flesh and acquiesce to the world, the flesh and the devil instead of making the hard choices to obey Elohim and his Word? This too is rejecting is rule in our lives. Let’s be honest. We all do it. The first step to overcoming this weak proclivity is to recognize our failures and then begin taking steps to conform our lives to YHVH’s Word instead of the other way around.
1 Samuel 10:26, Valiant men…whose hearts Elohim had touched.It is a wonderful thing when the Creator of the universe reaches directly into this earthly dimension and touches a human heart to do his will. A similar thing happened when YHVH stirred the heart of Cyrus, the Persian king, to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezr 1:1 cp. 7:27). YHVH also moved the hearts of the Jews to begin building the temple in Jerusalem under Ezra (Ezr 1:5; 2 Chron 36:22). Later, YHVH moved on the heart of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Neh 2:12). The spirit of Zerubbabel was similarly stirred in helping to rebuild the temple (Hag 1:14). Likewise, YHVH stirred the hearts of the children of Israel to help build the Tabernacle of Moses (Exod 25:2; 35:21, 26, 29; 36:2). If YHVH stirs your heart to do something for him, he will give you the strength, resources and wisdom to accomplish it. Good fruits will then come forth as evidence that he was in it.