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Thursday, January 24 2013
1 Samuel: From Judges To Kings
Samuel (pronounced in Hebrew as shem-moo-ale) was a unique individual in Bible history. Samuel was a prophet (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Prophets), the last of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges), and a military and political leader of Israel - all at the same time, and all without being a king or a high priest. Unlike many of the self-proclaimed "leaders" of the world who "lead" by deception or intimidation (i.e. they are pushers, not leaders), Samuel truly led by the strength of his righteous character alone. People followed him because they clearly recognized and experienced that it was in their own best interest to do so.
The first Book of Samuel covers his entire lifetime, from his miraculous birth, to his death at the time that the civil war of Saul and David was just beginning. By the LORD's command, Samuel had anointed both of Israel's first two kings, while at the same time being neither subject to, nor a functionary of, Saul or David. Samuel was the LORD's servant. While Samuel did not live to see the outcome of the internecine conflict, he knew that David would emerge victorious because the LORD had declared it.
Samuel's birth was miraculously enabled after a plead by childless Hannah.
"1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk.
Hannah named her son accordingly. "Samuel," from the Hebrew name, means his name is the LORD (the "el" is found other names, as a prefix or as a suffix e.g. Eli, Elizabeth, Michael, Daniel; see El).
"1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:20 KJV)
As she pledged to do, Hannah dedicated her son, that the LORD gave to her for that purpose, to the service of the LORD (see Hannah's Dedication to see how Hannah was later rewarded for her faith, not only in contact with Samuel, but with other children also).
"1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. 1:25 And they slew a bullock [see also The Blood Of Bulls And Goats], and brought the child to Eli.
As declared by the LORD, Eli's weakness in correcting his profligate sons brought about the destruction of them all.
"3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel [see also Where Jacob Became Israel], at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
The people of Israel were given to recognize that Samuel was a righteous servant of the LORD. When the time came, Samuel would be ready to fulfill the responsibilities that Eli had allowed to diminish - in the eyes of the LORD, and in the eyes of the people.
"3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
By the LORD's Command, Samuel anointed Saul as Israel's first human king (although they had "kings" all along; "king" merely means the head of a kin, a family; the unadulterated original meaning of the word "patriotism" meant faithful to the father, the head of the kin, the king).
"9:27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God." (1 Samuel 9:27 KJV)
When Saul made himself a failure as king, the LORD commanded Samuel to anoint Saul's replacement - a young shepherd of Bethlehem, a son of Jesse named David.
"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." (1 Samuel 16:1 KJV)
The Chapters Of The Book Of 1 Samuel
Fact Finder: How did ancient events point straight at Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah?
This Day In History, January 24
41: Roman emperor Caligula was assassinated by his own bodyguards, the Praetorian Guards. Caligula had succeeded Tiberius who ruled the Roman Empire at the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars). The assassins then proclaimed Caligula's uncle Claudius as Emperor (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
1076: German bishops renounced their subjection to Pope Gregory at the Synod of Worms (Vorms, rendered in English as "Worms," is a city in Germany).
1438: The Council of Basel suspended Pope Eugene IV.
1458: Matthias Corvinus was elected the king of Hungary. He was the son of the popular Hungarian nationalist leader John Hunyadi.
1568: The Spanish imperial governor, the Duke of Alva, declared William I ("William of Orange") of the Netherlands an outlaw. William was a leading founder of Dutch independence.
1742: Charles Albert of Bavaria was proclaimed Holy Roman Emperor as Charles VII. Charles opposed the Hapsburg, Francis, husband of Maria Theresa (see Emperors and Popes).
1800: The Convention of al-Arish. An abortive Anglo-French agreement for the French evacuation of Egypt.
1915: During that First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the British fleet under the command of Admiral Beatty defeated the German navy under Von Hipper at the Battle of Dogger Bank. The German cruiser Blucher was sunk, killing 870.
1931: The League of Nations rebuked Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.
1961: A U.S. B-52 bomber, with two 24-megaton nuclear bombs aboard, crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina. While neither of the weapons of mass destruction detonated from the impact, the explosive uranium core of one of them was never recovered.
1965: Winston Churchill died at age 90. He served as the Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War.
1966: Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first prime minister), became Prime Minister of India after the death of Sri Shastri.
1972: On Guam, a Japanese soldier from World War Two was discovered. Shoichi Yokoi had spent 28 years in the jungle with the belief that the war that ended in 1945 was still ongoing.
1978: A Soviet Union satellite, powered by a nuclear reactor, re-entered the earth's atmosphere and disintegrated over northern Canada.
1981: Millions of workers in Poland boycotted their jobs to support the Solidarity trade union's demand for a 5 day work week. The communist government eventually relented.
1986: Voyager 2 made a fly-by of the planet "Uranus" (a pagan name given to the planet by man) at 81,593 km. It found new moons.
1989: Mass murderer Ted Bundy, 42, was executed in the Florida electric chair; he killed up to 100 women.