Transfer From Samuel to Saul

Sadhu Sundar Singh and a companion were traveling through a pass high in the Himalayan Mountains. At one point they came across a body lying in the snow. Sundar Singh wished to stop and help the unfortunate man, but his companion refused, saying, “We shall lose our lives if … More

Farewell

In the opening verses of Chapter 12, Samuel gives his farewell speech as their Judge (vv.1-2). He was a remarkable man, and now he is succeeded by Saul. He promises here to continue to intercede for the people and provide prophetic guidance. He asks the Israelites to point out any wrong doing he has committed as their Judge. In this it seems that he was pointing out the fact that having a king was their idea and not his. He was setting the stage for judgement that was soon to come and letting the people know that they could not blame him for their own selfish motives. Only after receiving God’s approval and direction, he had anointed Saul as king.

Samuel was a remarkable man and he was now succeeded by Saul (v. 1). Although Israel’s choice was a king rather than God, He would still bless the people if they would obey. Saul was king, and God would give him every opportunity. Samuel was brought up in the tabernacle, His life was spent in a “fish bowl” as he was always in public view. Probably no man ever had quite the public life that Samuel had. He was brought as a little boy, by his mother to the tabernacle. He lived his entire life before the people. Then he adds a sad note; “My sons are with you” (v. 2). In other words, “Why didn’t you accept them?” Samuel tried to put them in position but God would not have them. They were boys who were not acceptable to Him.

His next words were quite a statement for a man to make who had been before the public eye for so many years, and who had been a judge ( v. 3). He had many opportunities to become rich but had not yielded to the temptation. Samuel is one of the outstanding men of the Word of God, yet he was a failure as a father. In my many years in the ministry I have met many public men like this who were  popular Christian leaders but have had children who were failures. Samuel’s personal life could stand public inspection. He was truly a man of God. The Israelites testified that he had never cheated them (v. 4). Samuel confirmed that this was true (v. 5). Even under the monarchy, however, God would not abandon his people. His requirements of them would be essentially the same as they had been under the judges. He would bless Israel and her king as long as they were faithful unto him, but if they departed from the Lord’s ways, they would be destroyed. 

Application

When I say farewell to this life I want my testimony for the Lord to continue for the next generation.

I Samuel 12:1-5 (English Standard Version)


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