I Samuel 12

Religion has reason on its side (v. 7) which demonstrates that obedience to God is the happiness of men and disobedience to God is the ruin of men.

1 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand.

5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.

6 ¶ And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.

8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.

9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.

10 And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.

13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.

14 If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:

15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

16 ¶ Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.

17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.

18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

20 ¶ And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;

21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.

23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

1 Samuel 12:1-13 – Samuel’s Last Message to Israel

   An end must come to the longest and most useful service. “Before his long sleep Samuel made protestation of his innocence before God and the people.” Yes, the long sleep will come to us all, and happy are they who, before they lay down their heads upon the pillow of death, are able to extend their hands and to bare their hearts before those who have known them best, and say, “These are clean.” The people bore double witness to the truth of Samuel’s challenge, and the old man was comforted. Yes, God was witness, as well as the people, to his absolute integrity. See Acts 24:16.
   Then Samuel pressed home, upon that dense mass of people, the sin of which they had been guilty in demanding a king instead of waiting for a heaven-sent deliverer. But we are liable to the same mistake. We look to the visible and forget the invisible. We forget that the invisible Christ stands waiting to succor, prepared to save unto the uttermost. In this faith the Apostle found his abiding peace and steadfastness. See II Corinthians 1:10. Let us, also, “set our hope” on Him who has delivered, and will deliver.

1 Samuel 12:14-25 – His Warning Confirmed from Heaven

   Having handed his office over to Saul, who henceforth was to shepherd and lead the Chosen People, Samuel assured them that the Lord would not forsake them, “for his great name’s sake” (I Samuel 12:22). Oh, take these words to heart, and let them linger like a strain of sweet music in your memory! You may have missed the mark, lost your way, and drifted from the ancient moorings, but the love of God has not forsaken you. Being disappointed, it lingers; being repelled, it returns; being buffeted, it entreats. God’s name—that is, His honor—is at stake. See Joshua 7:9; Isaiah 48:9, 11.
   Terrified by the thunder-storm, which was God’s endorsement of His servant’s faith, the people entreated for Samuel’s continued prayers; and the aged seer assured them that he would count it a great sin if he ceased to pray for them. Prayerlessness is not only an evidence of a besotted and demoralized nature, but is in itself a sin which requires confession and cleansing. When the heart is right with God, prayer arises like a fountain, from unseen depths.

I Samuel 12:22—The LORD will not forsake His people for His great Name’s sake.

   The certainty of our salvation rests on the character of God. Moses, years before, had pleaded that God could not afford to destroy or forsake Israel, lest the Egyptians and others should have some ground for saying that He was not able to carry out his purpose, or that He was fickle and changeable. “What wilt thou do unto thy great name” (Joshua 7:9)? Samuel uses the same argument. We also may avail ourselves of it for our great comfort.
   God knew what we should be how weak and frail and changeful before He arrested us and brought us to Himself. Speaking after the manner of men, we might say He counted the cost. He computed whether his resources were sufficient to secure us from our foes, keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. He foreknew how much forbearance, pity, consolation, and tenderness, we should require. And yet it pleased Him to make us his people. He cannot, therefore, now run back from his purpose; otherwise it would seem that difficulties had arisen which either He had not anticipated, or was not so well able to combat as He had thought. What an absurd suggestion! In the former case there would be a slur on his omniscience; on the other, upon his omnipotence.
   “What if God should cast you into hell?” was asked of an old Scotchwoman.
   “Well,” she answered, “If He do, all I can say is, He will lose mair than I will.”
   The gracious promise given to Joshua may be appropriated by every trembling saint of God: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). To the poor and needy He says (Isaiah 41:17), “I the God of Israel will not forsake them.”