Samuel as Judge of Israel

Scripture Passage: 
1 Samuel 7:1-17; 1 Samuel 8:1-22

INTRODUCTION: Samuel’s rule as judge was not without its problems. His sons fell short of Samuel’s example and the people demanded a king. However, there is bold contrast with the times of the judges. Samuel is a righteous judge who brings the people of Israel back into line with the will of God. There is revival in the land and justice is restored. In like manner, our lives are not perfect when we determine to serve the Lord. But there is bold contrast with those who serve themselves. May we all have a revival in our hearts matching the revival in this lesson.

  1. THE RETURN OF THE ARK (1 Samuel 7:1-2)
    1. Brought to Kirjath-jearim (1 Samuel 7:1)
      1. Brought into the house of Abinadab
      2. Eleazar, Abinadab’s son, was sanctified to keep the ark.
    2. Held There for 20 Years (1 Samuel 7:2)
      1. The house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
      2. The ark was evidently moved from Kirjath-jearim to Gibeah where it remained for another 50 years before going to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:2-3).
  2. THE REVIVAL OF ISRAEL (1 Samuel 7:3-6; 2 Chronicles 7:14)
    1. The Conditions of Returning to the Lord (1 Samuel 7:3-4)
      1. If ye do return unto the Lord (1 Samuel 7:3)
      2. Put away the strange gods (1 Samuel 7:3-4; Judges 2:11-13; 2 Chronicles 34:1-7; Colossians 3:5; 1 John 5:21).
        1. Baalim
        2. Ashtaroth
      3. Prepare your hearts unto the Lord (1 Samuel 7:3).
      4. Serve Him only (1 Samuel 7:3).
      5. He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:3).
    2. They Gathered for Prayer (1 Samuel 7:5-6).
      1. Samuel offered to pray unto the Lord for the people (1 Samuel 7:5).
      2. The people gathered in Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7:6).
      3. They poured water out before the Lord and fasted (1 Samuel 7:6).
      4. They confessed their sin before the Lord (1 Samuel 7:6; Ezra 9:5-10).
  3. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL (1 Samuel 7:7-14)
    1. The Attack of the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:7)
      1. The Philistines attacked Israel when they heard they were in Mizpeh.
      2. The children of Israel were afraid of the Philistines (1 Samuel 13:6-7; 1 Samuel 17:11). Note: This is quite different from the last battle when the Philistines were afraid and the Israelites were confident that the ark would save them.
    2. The Power of Prayer (1 Samuel 7:8-9)
      1. The plea of Israel for continual prayer (1 Samuel 7:8; 1 Samuel 12:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
      2. The faithful prayer of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:9)
        1. Sacrificial prayer (1 Samuel 7:9a)
        2. Intercessory prayer (1 Samuel 7:9b; 1 Timothy 2:1)
      3. The faithfulness of God – “and the LORD heard him” (1 Samuel 7:9)
    3. The Deliverance of the Lord (1 Samuel 7:10-11)
      1. The Lord’s thunder (1 Samuel 7:10; cp. 2 Kings 7:5-7)
      2. The smitten Philistines (1 Samuel 7:11)
    4. The Stone of Help (1 Samuel 7:12; cp. 1 Samuel 4:1)
      1. Samuel set up a stone of memorial between Mizpeh and Shen.
      2. He called it Ebenezer meaning hitherto hath the LORD helped us .
    5. The Philistines Subdued (1 Samuel 7:13-14)
      1. They came no more into the coast of Israel (1 Samuel 7:13).
      2. The Lord’s hand was against them all the days of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:13).
      3. Cities which the Philistines had taken were restored (1 Samuel 7:14).
      4. There was peace between the Israelites and the Amorites (1 Samuel 7:14).
  4. THE RULE OF SAMUEL (1 Samuel 7:15-17)
    1. The Judging of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:15; 1 Samuel 25:1)
    2. The Circuit of Samuel (1 Samuel 7:16-17)
      1. Bethel (1 Samuel 7:16)
      2. Gilgal (1 Samuel 7:16)
      3. Mizpeh (1 Samuel 7:16)
      4. Ramah (1 Samuel 7:17)
        1. Samuel’s house was in Ramah.
        2. Samuel judged Israel from Ramah.
        3. Samuel built an altar unto the Lord in Ramah.
  5. THE REJECTION OF SAMUEL’S SONS (1 Samuel 8:1-5)
    1. The Failure of Samuel’s Sons (1 Samuel 8:1-3)
      1. Their position (1 Samuel 8:1); this brought special responsibility (see Hebrews 13:17; James 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17).
      2. Their names (1 Samuel 8:2)
        1. Joel
        2. Abiah
      3. Their sins (1 Samuel 8:3)
        1. They turned aside after lucre.
        2. They took bribes.
        3. They perverted judgment.
      4. NOTE: The reputation of Samuel’s family line is somewhat redeemed through Heman, the son of Joel, who was one of three chief singers during the reign of David (1 Chronicles 6:33-34; 1 Chronicles 15:16-17, 19).
    2. The Demand of Israel’s Elders (1 Samuel 8:4-5)
      1. Their gathering (1 Samuel 8:4)
      2. Their complaint (1 Samuel 8:5a) – “thy sons walk not in thy ways”
      3. Their demand (1 Samuel 8:5b) – “make us a king to judge us like all the nations”
  6. THE GRANTING OF ISRAEL’S REQUEST (1 Samuel 8:6-9)
    1. Samuel’s Displeasure (1 Samuel 8:6)
      1. He opposed their request (1 Samuel 8:6a).
      2. He prayed to God (1 Samuel 8:6b). Even though Samuel disagreed with their request, he still went to the Lord for the final answer (Romans 6:13; James 4:6-7).
    2. God’s Permission (1 Samuel 8:7-9)
      1. Despite their rejection of God’s rule (1 Samuel 8:7-8)
      2. Despite the trouble they will have (1 Samuel 8:9)
      3. NOTE: God permitted that which was not His perfect will, but Israel later paid for her impatience. There are three important factors in determining God’s will: what, when, and how. The what of having a king was part of God’s future plan for Israel (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). The how was also described in this passage. The problem was with the when . Israel impatiently demanded a king before God’s perfect time. For this impatience they paid dearly (1 Samuel 8:10-18; 1 Samuel 14:52). By application, we must learn to have the patience to wait for God to work in His time (Psalm 27:11-14; Isaiah 40:31).
  7. THE WARNING OF COMING OPPRESSION (1 Samuel 8:10-18)
    1. In Taking Their Children (1 Samuel 8:10-13)
      1. He will take your sons (1 Samuel 8:11-12).
      2. He will take your daughters (1 Samuel 8:13).
    2. In Taking Their Possessions (1 Samuel 8:14-17)
      1. He will take your fields, vineyards, and oliveyards (1 Samuel 8:14).
      2. He will take the tenth of your seed and vineyards (1 Samuel 8:15).
      3. He will take your servants (1 Samuel 8:16).
      4. He will take the tenth of your sheep (1 Samuel 8:17).
    3. Their Future Cry (1 Samuel 8:18)
  8. THEIR DETERMINATION TO HAVE A KING (1 Samuel 8:19-22)
    1. Their Refusal to Obey Samuel (1 Samuel 8:19; Psalm 106:13; Psalm 107:11; Proverbs 1:25, 30)
    2. Their Desire to Be Like Others (1 Samuel 8:20)
      1. They wanted to be like all nations.
      2. They wanted a king to judge them.
      3. They wanted someone to fight their battles.
      4. NOTE:  God’s people have always been warned against trying to be like the world (Leviticus 20:26; 2 Corinthians 6:17). The children of God are a peculiar people (Exodus 19:5-6; Titus 2:14). We are not to conform to the things of the world (Romans 12:2); but to the things of God (Colossians 3:9-10).
    3. Their Reception of God’s Permission (1 Samuel 8:21-22)

CONCLUSION: Is your heart set on serving the Lord? Are you seeking His work in your life? Are you allowing Him to work in His time or are you impatiently getting ahead of the Lord?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:14

Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.