Wednesday, June 12, 2019

First Israeli King Saul (GL27)

    'Appreciating God's Love'

The Humble King Saul
I Sam 9:19, 21  Samuel answered Saul and said, "I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and tomorrow I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. And Saul answered and said, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?"
   Since God exalts the humble, so He chose a humble king to rule Israel. When Prophet Samuel, who was then the judge of Israel, invited Saul to eat with him in the high place, he was humble enough to confess that he was a nobody amongst his tribe Benjamin, which was also the smallest tribe in Israel.

The Merciful King Saul
I Sam 10:24, 27  And Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?" So all the people shouted and said, "Long live the king!" ...But some rebels said, "How can this man save us?" So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.
    When the Israelites accepted Saul as their king, some rebels despised him but he kept his peace.
    When the people of Jabesh Gilead was threatened by the Amorites, all Israel wept and mourned for their helplessness.
    But when Saul heard of it, he forced all Israel to gather before him. With 300,000 Israelites, they convincingly defeated the Amorites.
    After this victory, the Israelites demanded those rebels who rejected Saul as king to be killed. King Saul prevented them for he gave their salvation and victory to God. Out of his mercy, King Saul forgave all of them.
I Sam 11:11-13  So it was, on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and killed Ammonites until the heat of the day. And it happened that those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together. Then the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, 'Shall Saul reign over us?' "Bring the men, that we may put them to death." But Saul said, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the Lord has accomplished salvation in Israel."

God's Deliverance from Egypt
I Sam 12:6-8  Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the Lord who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did to you and your fathers: When Jacob had gone into Egypt, and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your fathers out of Egypt and made them dwell in this place.
    God kept reminding the Israelites of His great might and power in their deliverance from bondage in Egypt so that when they faced difficulties, they would recalled His greatness and abilities to deliver.
Brethren, when you are in doubt read the OT especially the books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy to strengthen your faith in Him and pray that you can believe in His ability to help you.

Deliverance by Judges
I Sam 12:9-11  And when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them. Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.' And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, Bedan, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you dwelt in safety.
    Our God is filled with love and mercy. He was patiently waiting for the Israelites to repent of their sins so that as a just God He could bless them.
    Brethren, come to Him with a repentant and thankful heart so that His peace and joy can fill you. His love and blessing would then overflow to all those around you, as the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

Covenant For Having A King
I Sam 12:13-15  "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. If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
    Since the Israelites would no longer be ruled by God through His judges but by kings chosen by them, God reconfirmed His covenant with them.
1. If they fear and serve Him by obeying His words, then both they will continue to follow the law as His chosen people.
Note: the law or Mosaic law is found in the Torah or Pentateuch, the five books of Moses.
2. But if they rebel or disobey His words, then they had made themselves to be God's enemies, thus forcing God to fight against them.

John 14:15-17a  "If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth.
    Similarly, when Christians keep His words, then they love Him and God will baptize them with the Spirit of truth. They will know the truth, which will set them free from bondage and also transform them into His image.