1 Samuel 8:1-22 - Just like everyone else - Paul
1 Samuel 8:1-22 In his old age Samuel appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second son was Abijah. They were judges in Beer Sheba. 3 But his sons did not follow his ways. Instead, they made money dishonestly, accepted bribes, and perverted justice. 4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and approached Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons don’t follow your ways. So now appoint over us a king to lead us, just like all the other nations have.” 6 But this request displeased Samuel, for they said, “Give us a king to lead us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do everything the people request of you. For it is not you that they have rejected, but it is me that they have rejected as their king. 8 Just as they have done from the day that I brought them up from Egypt until this very day, they have rejected me and have served other gods. This is what they are also doing to you. 9 So now do as they say. But you must warn them and make them aware of the policies of the king who will rule over them.” 10 So Samuel spoke all the Lord’s words to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “Here are the policies of the king who will rule over you: He will conscript your sons and put them in his chariot forces and in his cavalry; they will run in front of his chariot. 12 He will appoint for himself leaders of thousands and leaders of fifties, as well as those who plow his ground, reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and his chariot equipment. 13 He will take your daughters to be ointment makers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his own servants. 15 He will demand a tenth of your seed and of the produce of your vineyards and give it to his administrators and his servants. 16 He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best cattle and your donkeys, and assign them for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will be his servants. 18 In that day you will cry out because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you in that day.” 19 But the people refused to heed Samuel’s warning. Instead they said, “No! There will be a king over us! 20 We will be like all the other nations. Our king will judge us and lead us and fight our battles.” 21 So Samuel listened to everything the people said and then reported it to the Lord. 22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Do as they say and install a king over them.” Then Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Each of you go back to his own city.”
1 Samuel 7:2-17 - Repentance, Rescue and Remembrance - Paul
1 Samuel 7:2-17 2 It was quite a long time—some 20 years in all—that the ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim. All the people of Israel longed for the Lord. 3 Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really turning to the Lord with all your hearts, remove from among you the foreign gods and the images of Ashtoreth. Give your hearts to the Lord and serve only him. Then he will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites removed the Baals and images of Ashtoreth. They served only the Lord. 5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf.” 6 After they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. They fasted on that day, and they confessed there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” So Samuel led the people of Israel at Mizpah. 7 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, the leaders of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the Israelites heard about this, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 The Israelites said to Samuel, “Keep crying out to the Lord our God so that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines!” 9 So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Samuel cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him. 10 As Samuel was offering burnt offerings, the Philistines approached to do battle with Israel. But on that day the Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines. He caused them to panic, and they were defeated by Israel. 11 Then the men of Israel left Mizpah and chased the Philistines, striking them down all the way to an area below Beth Car. 12 Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Up to here the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were defeated; they did not invade Israel again. The hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities that the Philistines had captured from Israel were returned to Israel, from Ekron to Gath. Israel also delivered their territory from the control of the Philistines. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites. 15 So Samuel led Israel all the days of his life. 16 Year after year he used to travel the circuit of Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah; he used to judge Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would return to Ramah, because his home was there. He also judged Israel there and built an altar to the Lord there. Israel Seeks a King
1 Samuel 5:1 - 7:2 - The Raiders of the Lost Ark - Paul
1 Samuel 5 Now the Philistines had captured the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, where they positioned it beside Dagon. 3 When the residents of Ashdod got up early the next day, Dagon was lying on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set him back in his place. 4 But when they got up early the following day, Dagon was again lying on the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and his two hands were sheared off and were lying at the threshold. Only Dagon’s body was left intact. 5 (For this reason, to this very day, neither Dagon’s priests nor anyone else who enters Dagon’s temple steps on Dagon’s threshold in Ashdod.) 6 The Lord attacked the residents of Ashdod severely, bringing devastation on them. He struck the people of both Ashdod and the surrounding area with sores. 7 When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel should not remain with us, for he has attacked both us and our god Dagon!” 8 So they assembled all the leaders of the Philistines and asked, “What should we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They replied, “The ark of the God of Israel should be moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel. 9 But after it had been moved the Lord attacked that city as well, causing a great deal of panic. He struck all the people of that city with sores. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But when the ark of God arrived at Ekron, the residents of Ekron cried out saying, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel here to kill our people!” 11 So they assembled all the leaders of the Philistines and said, “Get the ark of the God of Israel out of here! Let it go back to its own place so that it won’t kill us and our people!” The terror of death was throughout the entire city; God was attacking them very severely there. 12 The people who did not die were struck with sores; the city’s cry for help went all the way up to heaven.
1 Samuel 4 - Superstition - Paul
1 Samuel 4 4 Samuel revealed the word of the Lord to all Israel. The Ark of the Covenant is Lost to the Philistines Then the Israelites went out to fight the Philistines. They camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines camped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines arranged their forces to fight Israel. As the battle spread out, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about 4,000 men in the battle line in the field. 3 When the army came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by the Philistines? Let’s take with us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. When it is with us, it will save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4 So the army sent to Shiloh, and they took from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who sits between the cherubim. Now the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord arrived at the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the ground shook. 6 When the Philistines heard the sound of the shout, they said, “What is this loud shout in the camp of the Hebrews?” Then they realized that the ark of the Lord had arrived at the camp. 7 The Philistines were scared because they thought that gods had come to the camp. They said, “Woe to us! We’ve never seen anything like this! 8 Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all sorts of plagues in the desert! 9 Be strong and act like men, you Philistines, or else you will wind up serving the Hebrews the way they have served you! Act like men and fight!” 10 So the Philistines fought. Israel was defeated; they all ran home. The slaughter was very great; 30,000 foot soldiers from Israel fell in battle. 11 The ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed. Eli Dies 12 On that day a Benjaminite ran from the battle lines and came to Shiloh. His clothes were torn, and dirt was on his head. 13 When he arrived in Shiloh, Eli was sitting in his chair on the lookout by the side of the road, for he was very worried about the ark of God. As the man entered the city to give his report, the whole city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the outcry, he said, “What’s this commotion?” The man quickly came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes looked straight ahead; he was unable to see. 16 The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle lines! Just today I fled from the battle lines!” Eli asked, “How did things go, my son?” 17 The messenger replied, “Israel has fled from the Philistines! The army has suffered a great defeat! Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead! The ark of God has been captured!” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward from his chair beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel for 40 years. 19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and close to giving birth. When she heard that the ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she doubled over and gave birth. But her labor pains were too much for her. 20 As she was dying, the women who were there with her said, “Don’t be afraid! You have given birth to a son!” But she did not reply or pay any attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” referring to the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God has been captured.”