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Wednesday, July 25 2012
Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David
"Make us a king to judge us"
The prophet and judge Samuel was chosen by the LORD (see Who Is The LORD?) to be a pivotal figure in the history of political Israel. He lived at the end of the era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) and the beginning of the Israelite monarchy - of which Samuel anointed, according to the LORD's choosing, both of Israel's first two kings, Saul, and then David.
Samuel grew up at the Tabernacle under the authority of Eli, the High Priest (see Hannah's Dedication).
"3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD [see Who Is The LORD?] was with him, and did let none of his words [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] fall to the ground.
After the death of Eli, and the people's rejection of his sons as political leaders (keeping in mind that there was no such thing as "separation of church and state" - the Law of the LORD was the basis of the nation; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Law Of The LORD and The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God; also The Church In The Wilderness).
"7:15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
Samuel's sons Joel and Abiah would have succeeded Samuel as judges, but as happened with Eli, "his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment." The people's response was the demand to "make us a king to judge us."
"8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
Samuel brought the people's demand for a king to the LORD - the King that had always been there for the Israelites, Who had in fact created the Israelites from the nations of the Middle East (Abraham was born in Iraq; almost all of the Israelite patriarchs, including Judah, were born in Syria; Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt of an Egyptian mother; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Roots and Branches, The Syrian Marriage Wells and Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh).
"8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD.
The LORD agreed to the request, with a warning - that a human king would eventually regard Israel, and everyone in it, as his personal property. That later happened, over and over, but most particularly with Solomon (as we will cover in a coming study in this series).
"8:10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
The people nevertheless demanded to be "like all the nations," with a mere human for their leader.
"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.
So it was that the children of Israel got the human king that they demanded. Saul was the best-available people's choice ("a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people" 1 Samuel 9:2 KJV).
"10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? [Notice very carefully that the throne of Israel was the inheritance and property of the LORD, for the ultimate Purpose of the Messiah in the Kingdom of God; see What Is The Day Of The LORD? and The Church: Mission Accomplished] 10:2 When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?
With the anointing, came the Holy Spirit upon Saul.
"10:9 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 10:11 And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?" (1 Samuel 10:9-11 KJV)
Saul was then acclaimed king of Israel.
"11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. 11:15 And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the LORD; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly." (1 Samuel 11:14-15 KJV)
Every advantage had been provided to Saul to make him a success, if he used it all wisely. Saul very quickly proved himself to be an intellectually unwise and psychologically unstable man. He was an successful warrior, as was his successor David, but David's heart was always "right with the LORD." Saul's was not. After a number of incidents, before and after the calling of David, Saul committed an arrogant blunder for which Samuel confronted and rebuked him, according to the word of the LORD.
"13:1 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, 13:2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.
"I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons"
The LORD then sent Samuel to Bethlehem (see the Fact Finder question below) to anoint a successor to Saul. From all of Jesse's sons, Samuel was given to choose the young, a shepherd named David. After the anointing by Samuel "the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward," just as happened with Saul. The difference was that David never was unfaithful to the Spirit that guided him.
"16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
Saul was still the reigning king, and kings did not leave their thrones alive. That would be accomplished through the Civil War (the subject of the next study in this series), but until then, David was a loyal servant of the king - at first as a musician for the increasingly psychotic Saul.
"16:14 But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
David later served the kingdom as a warrior, at first defeating the Philistine Goliath, and then in later battles. David's fame grew from those victories, just as did Saul's jealousy of David. With both of them anointed as king, and David having reached adulthood, the stage for the Civil War was set.
"18:5 And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants.
Fact Finder: What were the Messianic prophecies about Bethlehem?
This Day In History, July 25
213: The first historic mention of the Alemanni, when the Romans attacked them (the Roman Empire was by then in decline; see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). In later decades their pressure on the Roman provinces became severe. By the late fifth century they had expanded into Alsace and northern Switzerland, thus making those regions German-speaking. In 496 they were conquered by Clovis and incorporated into his Frankish dominions. The French and Spanish words for Germany are derived from their name. Eventually, they became the "Holy Roman Empire," of which the full official name was the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire).
285: Diocletian appointed Maximian as co-Emperor.
306: Constantine I was proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
315: The Arch of Constantine was completed near the Colosseum at Rome to commemorate Constantine's victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
325: The Council of Nicea closed. Regarded as the first "ecumenical council," its 300 attending Church of Roman bishops (of which at the time the bishop of Rome was still just one of the bishops; it was the Roman Emperor Constantine who created the Papacy for his local bishop at Rome; listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) drafted the Nicene Creed and fixed the formula for observing the Roman Empire's "Easter Sunday," the Satanic counterfeit of the true Biblical Passover (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? and When Is The LORD's Day? to understand what truly happened during that week of Passover; see also The Two Sabbaths Of Passover Week).
864: The Edict of Pistres, by Charles the Bald, ordered defensive measures against the Viking invaders.
1139: At the battle of Ourique, Alfonso Henriques defeated the Moors and became Alfonso I of Portugal.
1261: Constantinople was recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, thereby re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.
1394: Charles VI issued a decree for the general expulsion of Jews from France.
1554: Queen Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain at Winchester.
1564: Maximilian II, king of Hungary and Bohemia, became Holy Roman Emperor on the death of Ferdinand I.
1588: The third of 3 encounters of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada. After the severe mauling by the Royal Navy (with battle commanders such as Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Martin Frobisher, Richard Grenville and Lord Sheffield) what remained of the Pope's "invincible" armada that had been sent to invade Britain limped back home. Of the over 130 battle ships sent by the pope, 68 were on the bottom of the sea. The English lost not a single ship in battle.
1593: Henry IV of France converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism (not a difficult task because their antichrist doctrines are the same; see Antichristians and Is Your Religion Your Religion?).
1603: James VI of Scotland was crowned as James I of England, thereby unifying the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (the King James Version of the Holy Bible is named after him).
1666: The English fought the Dutch in the second naval battle of the Foreland.
1689: King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain.
1712: The Protestant cantons led by Berne defeated the Catholic cantons at the Battle of Villmergen, ending the religious wars in Switzerland.
1787: British explorer George Dixon named the Queen Charlotte Islands after the wife of George III.
1797: British naval commander Horatio Nelson's right arm was shattered by grapeshot during an assault on Tenerife. The injured arm was amputated later.
1799: The Battle of Aboukir. Napoleon's last victory during his occupation of Egypt, fought with his 7,700 Army of Egypt against an Ottoman Turkish force of 18,000 which were sent to drive out the French. Ottoman / Turkish (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) losses were 2,000 killed in battle, 10,000 killed or drowned trying to escape, and 3,000 captured; French casualties totalled 900.
1814: The Battle of Lundy's Lane, the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812 (1812-1814). U.S. invasion forces encountered British infantry and Canadian militia just west of Niagara Falls, Ontario. After a furious 24-hour firefight, the invaders retreated, with both of their commanding generals (Winfield Scott and Jacob Brown) severely wounded. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on Canadian soil. It was the last invasion of Canada, by any country, to this day.
1909: Louis Bleriot made the first crossing of the English Channel by air, flying his monoplane from Les Baraques, near Calais, to Dover.
1925: The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was established.
1929: Pope Pius XI became the first pope to leave the Vatican since the fall of the Papal States in 1870 (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1934: Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated in Vienna by Nazis (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1943: Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was overthrown in a coup.
1956: The transatlantic liners Stockholm and Andrea Doria collided off the New England coast. A massive rescue mission managed to save all but 51 of the 1,668 passengers.
1978: The world's first "test-tube baby," Louise Joy Brown, was born at Oldham General Hospital, Lancashire, England.
1979: In accordance with signed peace treaties, a further section of the Israeli-captured Sinai Peninsula was given to Egypt by Israel.
2000: An Air France Concorde airliner crashed on takeoff in Paris, killing all 100 passengers, 9 crew, and 4 people on the ground. One of the Concorde's tires and a full fuel tank were punctured after hitting a piece of metal on the runway that had fallen off of another airliner that had just taken off. It was the first crash of one of the supersonic airliners, however investigations revealed design vulnerabilities that resulted in the Concordes being taken out of service permanently.
2010: Wikileaks published classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history. None of those who committed the war crimes revealed in the documents were investigated or prosecuted, while those who reported the crimes to the public were imprisoned.