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7. Samuel’s Farewell Speech as Israel’s Judge

December 17, 2009

Text:      I Samuel 12:1-25

Outline:            I. Samuel, a Righteous Judge      I Samuel 12:1-8

[Looking Back]

II. Israel and King Saul are to Obey God      I Samuel 12:9-15

[Looking Ahead]

III. God Will Discipline Israel’s Error      I Samuel 12:16-19

[Looking Down]

IV. God’s Most Important Principle      I Samuel 12:20-25

[Looking Up]

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Note the dual outline for perspective. The first two sections deal with the earthly perspective; what is important historically. The second two sections deal with the heavenly perspective; what is important spiritually.

Samuel speaks to Israel saying he listened to them and has anointed and appointed a king to rule over them. Samuel asks Israel to judge his performance as judge, claiming he has conducted himself with honor and justness. Israel responds in full agreement and God is present as witness. Samuel then takes time to review Israel’s history and reminds them of God’s righteous acts from the time they were enslaved in Egypt.

Next he reminds them that Israel had forgotten God, that God disciplined them, and that they were “saved” by judges when they cried out to the Lord and sought Him. When the Ammonites began to harass Israel, Israel asked for a king to rule over them, rejecting God as their king. Therefore it is important for Israel and their new king to fear the Lord, serving Him and obeying Him. Refusing to obey God will bring disaster upon Israel.

Samuel prophesies that the Lord is planning a sign to verify they did evil in asking for a king. The Lord is sending a storm this day to ruin their crops at this time of harvest. The people realize their error and ask Samuel to pray for them so they will not die.

Samuel encourages them not to be afraid and exhorts them to serve the Lord God. They are to turn away from all idols and worship God with all their heart. God will not reject them because He was the one who chose them. Samuel promises to pray for Israel and to teach them God’s Word even though he is no longer Israel’s leader. But God’s fundamental principle is:

Worship the Lord God only and be blessed

or

Reject the Lord God and be cursed.

Lessons/Applications:

1. It is always worthwhile to look back and evaluate our lives [see Romans 12:3]. Can we say to our peers that we have conducted ourselves with honor and justness in all circumstances as did Samuel? If not, let us confess our sin before God, focusing on His righteous and redeeming work in our lives.

2. The most important task any leader has is to fear the Lord. obeying and serving Him always. Such action is key to the success of any leader and/or organization, great or small.

3. God forgives and forgets our sin but that does not mean we avoid the consequences of our sin. God disciplines those He loves [see Hebrews 12:6]. Remember God’s disciplinary action and you will avoid making that same mistake again.

4. God will not ignore us even if we ignore Him. He brings disaster and destruction upon those who ignore Him. Just ask Israel.

5. God’s requirements are not complex but simple. God blesses those who worship Him only. God curses those who reject Him as the only true Lord God Almighty. Always “look up” to the Lord, seeking His Wisdom and His Will [see Psalm121;124:8]

6. God requires our full attention in worship and in serving Him. He willingly blesses those who bring honor and glory to His Name.

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