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Bible Pathways - Apr. 3, 2009


April 3

1 Samuel 8

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Here's proof that man's thinking is not as the wisdom of God — the people ask for a king and ignored the true King (8:5). Samuel warns against it but what does God say (8:7,22)? Samuel anoints Saul (9:27 — 10:1)! King Saul is challenged (11:1-3) but is victorious (11:4-11).

Samuel, a prophet who was the last judge to rule the nation of Israel, desired to please God — their invisible King — and received direction from God. However, Samuel's sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment (8:3). Eventually, near the death of Samuel, all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 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 (heathen) nations (8:4-5).

During this time there was no Tabernacle at Shiloh for it had been destroyed by the Philistines, probably in the battle of Aphek. God used the Philistines to take the Ark from Shiloh to fulfill His prophecy (Ps. 78:60; Jer. 7:12-14; 26:6). So Samuel built an altar in Ramah and offered sacrifices (I Sam. 7:17).

Samuel wanted only the best for Israel, but the nation continued to blindly insist: We will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may . . . go out before us, and fight our battles (8:19-20). Their decision was a failure of faith and rebellion against God. Sometimes a mirror is the best remedy for sin. So, after the Israelites rejected the warning of God (8:10-20), He appointed Saul as their first king. Like the nation of Israel, Saul seemed to start out right. He attributed the credit to God after leading an army to deliver Jabesh-gilead: To day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel. Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord (11:13-15). But Samuel reminded them of their great wickedness in demanding a king (12:16-19), and Saul's reign proved that he was a symbol of the spiritual wickedness of the nation.

Desiring to be like the majority has caused some Christians to ignore the Bible and seek counsel elsewhere. God leaves the choice for us to accept or reject His leadership. Each day we face the decision of choosing or refusing to live for Christ.

Paul warns: Every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Rom. 14:12).

Thought for Today:

There are many deceptions in this world that look like the will of God. Only by reading through our Creator's only Guide to life will we know what is the truth.

Christ Portrayed:

Through Samuel who faithfully served Israel as judge, prophet and priest. Jesus was the Prophet promised through Moses (Deut. 18:15); He is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14); and one day He will judge all mankind: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Word Studies:

8:3 lucre =b> money gained dishonestly; 8:9 protest solemnly =b> a serious objection; 8:12 ear =b> plowing; 9:2 goodly =b> handsome; 9:7 spent =b> used up; 9:16 captain =b> leader since God was the true King; 9:26 spring of the day =b> dawn, the first coming of light; 10:1 vial =b> a container; 11:1 encamped against =b> put his forces in position to attack.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Lucien Raymond • Staff: Dan Murton • Country: Germany (82 million) in north-central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 33.8% Evangelical (Lutheran); 33.6% Catholic; 3.4% Muslim; 1% Orthodox; 1% Other Christian; .2% Other; 27% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who wrong you (Acts 7:59-60).

Optional Reading: Acts 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6

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