The last of the great judges was Samuel. In life he opens the door upon the era of the monarchies, and in death he closes the door upon the era of the judges. In this capacity, he gets to anoint not one but two kings over Israel, which in itself is a surprising outcome.
The Book of Judges centered upon the failure of self-restraint among the people and elders of Israel. However, the beginning chapters of the Book of 1 Samuel concentrates more upon the utter failure of the priesthood, which is only alluded to in Judges. The sons of Eli the high priest are so wicked that people begin to despise bringing sacrifices to YHWH. So, Judges is a warning for all called out ones to maintain their personal integrity before God, but the beginning of 1 Samuel is a warning for the ministry, elders and deacons to not become embroiled in sin so grievous that people begin to despise God’s work and commandments!
However, the lessons don’t end there. The people eventually demand a king. They are looking to the forms of government surrounding them, but they completely miss the mark, demanding a form of government over substance. Again, there are lessons for the Church today, as many look to forms of government instead of substance. It is righteous leadership that makes things go right, not a specific form of government. Much of Israel suffered and was defeated under an unrighteous king, and many who should be God’s called out are instead suffering the pains of abuse by unrighteous leadership today.
Another lesson that should not be overlooked is that Israel already had a King. They simply did not have the patience or discernment to figure out why things were going wrong. Again, form over substance, and that is what some so-called Churches of God preach today. They will lead people down spiritual destruction with demanding undue loyalty and claim they are doing so based upon Scripture, when in fact they are twisting Scripture and using the words of a dead man to bolster their egos and their pocketbooks.
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Israel’s “Good Luck Charm” & the Philistines “Bad Luck Charm”
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Israel’s Repentance and Exaltation
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: It’s About Righteousness, not Forms of Government
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: King Saul Must Prove Himself
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: King Saul Proves Himself, Except …
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: The Cracks in King Saul’s Character Widen and He Loses Discernment
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Final Confrontation of Samuel to King Saul’s Rebellion and Self-Deception
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Samuel Anoints a Man After God’s Own Heart
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Is Saul Also Among the Prophets? (aka, A Little White Lie Causes Death)
Bible Study on Life and Times of Samuel: Israel Mourns Samuel’s Death, but Saul Seeks Answers From the Dead Instead of God