At chapter twelve of First Samuel, the prophet Samuel came before the people of Israel to warn them of their conduct in the eyes of God. The Almighty directed Samuel to anoint Saul as King over Israel after the people insisted on being like other nations. However, God was offended at the people’s attitude because He alone had intended to lead His chosen people. Now, Samuel sees fit to warn the people not to offend the Lord any further. However, they hadn’t heeded his warning when he tried to convince them to abandon their plans to set a king over them. Perhaps it is for .this reason that he seems to be making an effort at the opening of the chapter to re-establish his credibility among the people so that they will listen. Samuel reminded the people that he had responded to their call for a king, and that Saul had been subsequently anointed. He reflected on the fact that he had lived before them since his childhood, and now he was old and gray headed. He acknowledged that his sons had walked before them also. At chapter eight, the people had complained of the vile nature of Samuel’s sons, but Samuel has evidently not tried to hide any of his family problems from the people. He then asked the people to reflect on his record as a judge and a prophet, and they noted that they had found him just and upright in all his dealings with them. With all this said, Samuel has the people’s attention, and warns them not to turn aside from serving the true God, or they and their king will be consumed. Great thunder and rain is sent over them as a sign, and they repent of their evil and ask Samuel to pray for them. There’s something else in this record that interests me. While Samuel is inviting the people to scrutinize him, among the things he mentions is the anointing of Saul as King. This event surely pleased the people, but yet is the very event that prompted Samuel to warn the people not to displease God again. What had made the people happy had made God very unhappy. One should be quick to remember that much which is pleasing to men is sin in the eyes of God, and that to live to please our fellows may be indeed to offend the Righteous Judge.
Written and Recorded By: David Hayes Prophater