Samuel the Prophet
Samuel 4:1 - And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
The Prophet Samuel
moving on we come to Samuel who was the first of Israel's great prophets, and
the last of the judges. Samuel's mother Hannah (who was barren) had prayed for a
1 Sam 1:10-11 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the
LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You
will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not
forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I
will give him to the LORD all the days of his life. . ."
She praised God when He answered her prayer and gave her a child. Hannah gave
Samuel to the priest, Eli, so he could be taught to serve the Lord. As a child,
Samuel, heard from God that he was going to be a prophet and judge in Israel.
Before Samuel's time, a prophet was called a "seer."
But Samuel was not
just a forecaster of the future but became a "mouthpiece"
for God. He was
used by God to inform Eli that his house would be punished for the abuses and
the perversions of his sons who were the priests of the people. The priest was a
mediator for God to the people and for the people to God. But they were
completely corrupt. Samuel also rebuked the nation about their evil ways.
Philistines and other enemies oppressed Israel so severely that they became
disheartened. They complained that the nation had no hope of survival as long as
it remained a collection of tribes. They were tired of being a theocracy under
God. They wanted something more tangible. They wanted a monarchy. They cried for
a king. They longed for a strong nation headed by a warrior king. The more
Samuel tried to wed them closer to Jehovah and His direct rule over them, the
more discontent they became. They wanted what the other nations had, an earthly
king. At last, a broken-hearted Samuel let them have their way. (1 Sam 1-8).
1 Sam 8:4-22 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came
to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not
walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the
thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." So Samuel
prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people
in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have
rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. "According to all the works
which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to
this day-- with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods-- so they are
doing to you also. "Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly
forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a
king. And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over
you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his
horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. "He will appoint captains over
his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground
and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his
chariots. "He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. "And
he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and
give them to his servants. "He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage,
and give it to his officers and servants. "And he will take your male servants,
your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to
his work. "He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants.
"And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for
yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will
have a king over us, 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." And Samuel heard all
the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the LORD. So the
LORD said to Samuel, "Heed their voice, and make them a king."