Saturday, 26 September 2015

1 Samuel 6-10

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan said...

6:19 But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them.

The Israelites were not exempted from God's judgement when they handled the things of God without proper respect for his commandments. It was stated that no one was to look in the ark (Numbers 4:5, 20). The ark was not 'magic' but a symbol of God's presence and holiness.

Susan said...

7:4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

How rare this was in the OT. Yet blessing followed. "And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites" (v.14). They also defeated the Philistines (v.14). Maybe it would have continued if Samuel's sons had been faithful (8:3). Peace comes when we commit to the Lord and trust him.

Susan said...

8:19-20 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

Yet God chose Israel to be different to the other nations. God wanted Israel to recognise he was their king and when they did appoint a king it was to be God's choice and timing (Deut. 17:14-20). It was something they should have waited for, not demanded.

Susan said...

9:16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

God gave the Israelites exactly what they wanted. Saul was tall and handsome (v.2), respectful of women and prophets (v.7 & 11), humble (v.21). He appeared to be the perfect leader, but appearances can be deceptive.

Susan said...

10:26 Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.

God gave Saul so much, prophesy (v.10), confirmation (v.21), acceptance (v.24), fellowship (v.26). Yet there is no mention of Saul's response to God – no gratitude, no commitment to God's commands, no prayer, no amazement that God chose him. His lack of appreciation seems to have made his heart hard.