I Samuel 12-When a nation rejects God as king.

12 Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you. And now here is the king, walking before you; and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. Here I am. Witness against me before the Lord and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you.”

And they said, “You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand.”
Then he said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”
And they answered, “He is witness.”

Here Samuel is establishing his record, saying basically, in all these years, have I ever been dishonest with you? Taken from you? Oppressed you? Of course the answer is no.
 Samuel spends the next several verses reminding them of the Lord’s faithfulness in taking care of them, for correcting them and rescuing them, through Moses and Aaron and other prophets, yet now, they seek a king. 
13 “Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. 15 However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

This is Saul’s coronation, but it is not a celebratory scene like we would picture from our own presidential inaugurations. This choice these people have made is a source of deep grief for Samuel.  It is a mistake of cataclysmic proportions.  And Samuel is not going out quietly. When you read his words, remember he is yelling these words to a massive crowd of people. There were no microphones.  I am trying to imagine Saul’s face during this whole event. hash tag : awkward!

16 “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes: 17 Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the Lord, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking a king for yourselves.”

Samuel then takes them to task for their wicked request for an earthly king and reminds them of the power of the God that they no longer want as their king. He calls down a storm so great that the people call out to him to pray to God so that they will not die. He does, but not without this final charge:

24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

 It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord in His omniscience ties everything together with what we study in His living Word. Just today, in the car, I heard Janet Parshall talking with Alex MacFarland about “10 Issues that Divide Christians.” And one was “American Exceptionalism.”  Now listen closely, he is not saying that God loves America most! He is saying that America is exceptional because of how and why our country was founded. Despite the push to hide and distort history, with more than half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence holding seminary or Bible school degrees,  this issue is really not up for debate. But it is one that needs further study, especially if you went to, or have children in public school.  Wall Builders is an excellent source to do that! You see, our country was founded on the principles of the Bible, and that is the only way our system of government could work this long. You can’t have a successful democratic republic, with so much power in the hands of man, when man is corrupt and without the true moral compass of the Bible.  Reading verse 24 again: 

24 Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”

Some Christians claim that it is not our place to be involved in such things, government and the like…..which they say quite freely in their Christian magazine, or  Christian talk radio show because of the Christians that are involved in such things, fighting for their rights to keep their religious freedoms. Oh irony. How I love you.  I think Ravi said it best when asked for whom to vote. He explained that as it is our commission to go and make disciples, we must vote for whoever would give us the best climate in which to fulfill that command. Sadly that did not happen as law suits are piling up against Christians for simply living out their faith.

Samuel spent much of this chapter reminding the people of how the Lord took care of them, because they keep forgetting. As do we. And we can sometimes look for earthly answers to a spiritual problem. I pray that we would seek first that things of God, and His righteousness. I pray that we would not forsake gathering together, humbling ourselves and praying for God to heal our land. And that we would act, and speak, when and how He calls us to, through the power of the Holy Spirit. As I read blogs, and comments my heart gets heavy. And then I sat down to study this chapter, and my heart was restored, because His Word is life. Life. From Genesis to Revelation.  He is the beginning and the end. Amen.

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