TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

First Samuel 7 – 8

1 Samuel 7

The Ark had been returned to Israel, yet the Philistines were allowed to continue to oppress the nation because Israel was still filled with idols.

Like the Philistines, Mosaic Israel feared God, but they would not obey him; it is the same with many today as they exalt their idols of men, organizations and the false teachings of the past above any zeal to live by every Word of God.

1 Samuel 7:1 And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son [a priest of Aaron] to keep the ark of the LORD. 7:2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: [then they lamented over the oppression of the Philistines] and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

Samuel rises up to teach the people to put away the idols that had come between them and the Eternal; and tells them to wholeheartedly follow the Eternal ONLY.

Samuel promised physical deliverance for wholeheartedly keeping the Mosaic Covenant; and if spiritual Israel turns away from doing what we think right, to wholeheartedly live by every Word of God; Our Mighty One will raise us up on that day, giving us his salvation and the gift eternal life.

7:3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth [idols, obelisks; including steeples and Christmas trees] from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

Finally Israel had had enough correction at the hands of the Philistines and destroyed their idols, turning to the Eternal to keep his Word.

It is time that we did the same thing in the spiritual sense and began to prove the teachings of men by the whole Word of God!

1 Thessalonians 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Brethren, we know that the violence of today and the coming wars will reset the conditions so that a genuine peace can be made.  We know this because the Word of God tells us that “Peace and Safety” will be declared before the tribulation comes (1 Thess 5:3)!  There will be an end to these wars which will bring a genuine peace deal; we have the Word of God telling us so!

As you see these things being fulfilled; as you see these wars come and go and a genuine dialogue for peace take place; as you see a peace deal ratified and peacekeepers being deployed; as you see the abomination, that man of sin, being set up in the Vatican and bringing a new Europe to life: You can know that the great tribulation WILL begin when he goes to the Holy Place!

We are NOT to esteem any person who rejects and teaches others to reject any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God.  We are to reject all those who teach us to make idols of men and false traditions and who compromise with God’s Word.  They are the children of darkness, refusing the light of God for their own folly.

Those faithful to God and his commandments should look about and mark out with respect all those who labor to turn the brethren to God, and who admonish all the brethren to turn with zeal to their God! 

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 5:13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

1 Thessalonians   5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly [contentious against sound doctrine and conduct], comfort the feebleminded [the weak in understanding], support the [spiritually weak with sound doctrine] weak, be patient toward all men.

When we are abused or rejected, always follow godliness and do not give place to anger, but do good by teaching and living godliness.

5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 5:16 Rejoice evermore.

Rejoice in your calling and pray without ceasing for God’s help through his Spirit, so that we may endure to the very end and overcome all things. Rejoice in your trials knowing that the Master Potter is moulding us into a precious eternal vessel according to his will!

5:17 Pray without ceasing. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Be grateful to God for your calling and his many blessings and promises; which are sure and will be fulfilled for us if we faint not. Do not quench the Spirit by compromising with God’s Word.

5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

Do not have the attitude that we cannot know, so we should not even bother with prophecy.  God reveals his will to those who are diligent to live by his Word when the time is at hand. Let us learn from past mistakes and embrace the truth discarding error and grow in knowledge, progressing in understanding. Watch diligently as these things unfold and remember the signs and warnings that God has given to those who love him and do that which is pleasing in his sight.

5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Prove all things by the Word of God!  Utterly reject any compromise with God’s Word and reject all toleration of sin. In the same manner that God our Father in heaven utterly rejects any spiritual uncleanness in his temple [his people]!  Avoid even the mere appearance of evil so that the light of your example may shine brightly

5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify [set you apart from all worldliness and sin] you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless [without any willful sin] unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Become blameless as touching the Word of God, and fully internalize the mind and nature of God the Father and the Son, so that you will come into a complete unity of mind, spirit, attitude and deeds with Almighty God!

5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

God brought a great repentance by the word and teaching of Samuel. Oh, how today’s spiritual Church of God needs such repentance today.

1 Samuel 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.

The people gathered together with Samuel, fasting the true fast of sincere repentance and water was poured out; picturing the Word and Spirit of God being poured out like water.

This was done long before Ezra established the water pouring service at the Feast of Tabernacles. 

7:5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD. 7:6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged [taught] the children of Israel in Mizpeh.

The Philistines hearing of this massing of people went out against them.

7:7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

These people now repentant, cried out to the Eternal for deliverance; just like those of spiritual Israel today need to cry out in sincere repentance from sin, for deliverance from the forces of evil.

7:8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines. 7:9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.

Then Jesus Christ stood up to deliver his sincerely repentant people.

7:10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.

When the Philistines fled at the thundering of the Eternal; Israel pursued them and a great victory was won.

Brethren, if you sincerely take a stand to learn and live by every Word of God continually; then we may have problems in this physical life in order that we may learn and be moulded into what God has in mind for us: but God will go forth to deliver his faithful and chosen on that day.

7:11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.

Samuel then set up a memorial stone which stone represents the ROCK of our Salvation, the God Being who later gave up his God-hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ the Messiah.

7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

The Philistines were subdued all the days of Samuel.

7:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 7:14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel became a kind of circuit judge and continually taught the people to be faithful to the whole Word of God; and during this time, beginning after the famine in Israel and the defeat of the Philistines there was peace; and near the beginning of that time of peace when Samuel was just beginning as an accepted Judge over Israel, Ruth came to Judah and married Boaz.

7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 7:16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 7:17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD.

1 Samuel 8

1 Samuel 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

The sons of Samuel also turned aside from God like the sons of Eli

8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

The people then sought stability for the nation in a dynastic kingdom. This is a lesson for us in governance, that it does not matter what form of governance is in an organization; it is faithfulness to God and zeal for the whole Word of God that is the important thing in any ruler.

Any organization regardless of its governance structure; is only God’s government if it is zealous and faithful to the HEAD which is God the Father, Jesus Christ and their Word.

It is a fact that an authoritative government is powerful as an entity, but it is the easiest to subvert and turn aside from God, because only a handful of men need be perverted to lead the others astray.

That is why God’s government is for each person to obey and follow their HEAD [God the Father and Jesus Christ] by proving all the words of men by every Word of God and following men ONLY as they follow God the Father and Jesus Christ.

8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

Samuel was offended because he thought they were rejecting him.

8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.

This very thing was prophesied by Moses.

God prophecies of a coming king by Moses

Deuteronomy 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

In the New Covenant, the faithfully obedient to God brethren  must choose to follow the man who demonstrates by his fruits that God has chosen him! That person MUST be a person who is a brother in the faith and proven by his fruits to be the choice of God (Mat 7).

We have been led far astray because we have not questioned and proved by their fruits from the scriptures the men that we follow!  We have broken this commandment of Deuteronomy as well as the many commandments on the subject in the New Testament. A great many of the leaders in the various groups have proven by their fruits, lack of zeal for God and his law, and their compromising with God’s commandments that they are NOT godly men.

We have been led astray because we have been willing to blindly and without question follow anyone who makes some grand claim and gives lip service to the faith, while doing whatever they please instead of doing as God has commanded.

Neither Physical nor Spiritual leaders are to use their positions to feed themselves and not the flock. They are NOT to take the best things for themselves nor seek the exaltation of the people.

They are to be faithful to the Eternal in all things; to exalt the Eternal and to obey him in all things; to faithfully serve the Eternal by feeding the flock sound doctrine and a good knowledge of TRUTH; and to speak the Word of God without fear or compromise before all peoples.

17:16 But he shall not multiply horses [make himself rich] to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt [shall not lead the people into sin and bondage to enrich himself], to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

The ruler or leader must not exercise his office for personal gain.

17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

The leader of the people both secular and spiritual and the elders; must have a personal copy of the Word of God and must study in it every day of their lives, to learn it and to keep it. 

Every one of is called to become a priest and or king [ruler], and we are all to have personal copies of God’s Word and we must study it to learn it and to keep it, all the days of our lives.

17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

17:20 That his heart be not lifted up  [in pride] above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

 Brethren, those who set themselves up as leaders and elders [kings, rulers] of the spiritual Church of God, must also follow these instructions!

1 Samuel 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

YHVH then goes on to say that the people have turned away from God.

8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

God tells Samuel to proclaim what kings do to their subjects, and then tells him to follow the wishes of the people.

8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

8:10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

This is the manner of all physical rulers including business and corporate leaders.  The king will make himself officials and administrators and accrue power and wealth to himself.

8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 8:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots. 8:13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

The king will take as he chooses; today we call that taxes.

8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 8:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 8:16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

And when we cry out because of the oppression, God will neither hear nor answer, because we have only received what we asked for by desiring to serve men.

8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.

The people insisted and Samuel prayed to the Eternal.

8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.

So God said: go and make them a king as they desire.

8:22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.

These people wanted a king to take responsibility for them and to rule over them: instead of being loyal to the whole Word of God they would rather by loyal to some man.

It is the same in the called out of spiritual Israel today!

We look to men to rule over us and to lead us; and we reject following the whole Word of God, to follow these men away from any zeal for living by every Word of God. We have a zeal for keeping the words of the men that we can see, and no zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God.

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