Read 88.) I Samuel 12:1 thru 14:45. We’ve found our Bible heroes. There’s been Abraham and Jacob, Joseph and Moses, Joshua and now, Samuel. We might have been able to find a new one in Saul the first king of Israel, but during today’s reading, he will become a king turned bad. With chapter 12, Samuel gives his farewell speech in the vein of both Moses and Joshua when they passed from the scene. In it, he recounts some 400 years of their history, beginning with Moses and the Exodus Phase. He reminds them of their Conquest Stage, and of the one now ending, the Judges Phase. He goes to at least 2 of the 7 Promises and Prophecies, ones that Moses and Joshua had strongly emphasized to them. He strongly warned them against unfaithfulness toward the Lord their God, in verse 15; and of how it would result in their destruction, with the last verse, 25. Then, with chapter 13, we read of where Saul turned bad. He reigned for 42 years. When did this take place? Was it early in his reign, or closer to the end? As we read here, it would seem to be very early, but as we go deeper in the book, we’ll learn that it was likely later. Since that will be the case, the rather lengthy period of his reign, when he was good, must have been without any accomplishments of note! Here, Saul was king, and was to wait for the judge, Samuel, to come and offer sacrifices before Israel was to go into battle against a far larger and stronger foe in the Philistines. But, because Samuel was delayed, Saul stepped into Samuel’s office, and offered up the sacrifices himself. It was a huge mistake, and the beginning of Saul’s end. Of great importance for us, is that which we learn from 13:14. We know this will be David, but take note of what is said of him; he will be a man after God’s own heart! We need to stop right here. Abraham was called God’s friend. David will be as God’s lover! We all ought to be as one, or the other! Are you either?
We then have this incredible account, of this young man, a son of Saul’s; Jonathan. If we have any time clue, it would have to be that Saul’s folly took place just before this account, and Saul’s son, Jonathan is a grown man; a fighting man of valor, probably at least 20. Note 14:3, and who Saul has as a priest of the Lord for him here. This Ahijah was descended from whom? Eli! Go back to 2:27-34 and 4:12-22. This man had been disqualified by the Lord from ever being a priest of the Lord! He was an illegitimate priest! No one from Eli’s line was to ever be a priest of the Lord, ever again! Saul will find no help from the Lord through Ahijah, as verses 36 and 37 attest. By Jonathan, the Lord had given Israel a great victory, but because of a rash oath of Saul’s, Israel was physically hampered, and Jonathan was nearly killed by his own father, who was being foolish in a fanatical sense, due to his oath. This was as Jephthah’s folly of Judges 12:30 thru 39. If this was the beginning of Saul’s end, he’s about to go from bad, to worse. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell