Continuing in our reading through the Bible – we come to 1 & 2 Samuel. In the original Hebrew text these books were actually one large book aptly named “Samuel”. (They were later divided in the Greek translation and have remained that way ever since). These books chronicle the end of the Judges with Eli and Samuel – and the transition into the Israelite Monarchy under King Saul and then King David. The lives of both Samuel and David are outlined in detail within these pages.

As we have already witnessed, the nation of Isreal has struggled from her beginning to fully obey God and walk in His ways. Our bird’s-eye view provides insight into the revolving door their lack of obedience has led them on. We have the benefit of hindsight as we watch God’s people obey Him and enjoy the benefits of the obedience – as well as seeing them wander into all sorts of evil and abominations, only to reap the destruction that accompanies those choices. From corrupt priests to whole communities involved in unrepentant gross sin – God’s people have found themselves vacillating back and forth between two extremes since the days of Joshua.

As 1 Samuel opens – we see that things have not changed.

Eli is the current judge ruling over the tribes of Israel – and his son’s are corrupt in the worst way. Cheating the system – stealing from the sacrifices meant for God – oppressing God’s people with threats… the list goes on and on. Perhaps even more embarrassing is the fact that Eli seems unable (or unwilling) to intervene and discipline his sons. This will eventually lead to his downfall.

So what has God been doing during this period recorded in the end of Judges and into Ruth and 1 Samuel? The Bible tells us that “The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; there was no frequent or widely spread vision.” 1 Sam 3:1b AMP. God has been watching – waiting – keeping silent as His people reject His instructions and run into disaster at every turn. I believe God’s heart has been breaking at the sight of this nation (whom He had such big plans for) seemingly unable to learn from their past mistakes. Consistently falling into rebellious sin, foreign nation after foreign nation comes along and oppresses them – once delivered by their loving, watchful God – they soon forget and fall right back into the same situation.

Like so many of us these days.

This time God is raising up a new Judge. This Judge would not only rescue the people from their current calamity, but he will also begin to speak on behalf of the Lord to attempt to curb this cycle the Israelites have found themselves in. This Judge will be wise beyond this years – full of power and anointing from the Spirit of God – equipped with the words from the Almighty Himself.

Enter: The Prophet.

After a period of silence – God begins a new approach for His people… raising up a Prophet among them to speak – plead – warn the Israelites to turn from their own way and return back to His. Samuel is the first of that kind… the last of the Judges and the first of the Prophets. He is revered, honored, respected, feared… but also rejected.

One would think God’s people would hear the words of the Prophets and be cut to the quick, repent, cry out, and resume their relationship with their God anew. But, unfortunately, as we have seen so many times already, the people are stubborn, hard-hearted, thick-skulled, and determined to live their own way.

Aren’t you glad we have evolved so much today?

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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