Samuel Stabilizer of the Kingdom
Praise the Lord, and greetings in Jesus Name, it has been a wonderful day, and it seems time has gotten away from me today so we will get right to our study which is “Samuel-Stabilizer of the Kingdom”, I would also like to point out that our study at least this week will be in three installments.
Samuel: Stabilizer of the Kingdom
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
I Samuel 7:3–15
3 And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
4 Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.
5 And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.
6 And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.
7 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him.
10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
14 And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
God has chosen to utilize human voices to stabilize, direct, exhort, and comfort His people.
Happy Ever After
All things living, growing, moving, multiplying, or dividing depend upon stabilizers to function properly and survive. Cars have stabilizer bars to keep them from rolling in turns. Electric supply lines have transformers, rockets have gyroscopes, hospitals have emergency rooms, and children have parents, grandparents, and friends. Churches have pastors and teachers. Christians have the Lord Jesus. To enact radical change with no stabilizer is unwise, even an invitation to failure and disaster.
One of the greatest transitions of life is that of marriage. When two people come together, they often come from different family backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. They may differ in the amount of wealth they have and the level of education attained. Their dreams and desires may be different. The process of marriage from singles to unions, to family, to multifamily is a path with many transitions. Stabilizers are necessary in the union for it to be a happy and successful marriage.
1. THE NEED FOR STABILITY
A. A New Nation
B. Entrenched Enemies
C. Israel in Transition
2. THE NEED FOR GOD’S VOICE
A. The Prophet’s Voice
B. Ever-Present Enemies
C. Abiding Peace
3. PRESERVING GOD’S VOICE
A. Samuel Facilitated Peace
B. Preservation Is Vital
4. GOD’S VOICE TODAY
A. Peter’s Reference
B. Today’s Preacher
C. The Sure Anchor
Contemplating the Topic
Five hundred years had passed since the tribes of Israel crossed over Jordan into the Promised Land. After Joshua’s death and the death of the generation of Israelites at that time, the people of Israel fell into a cycle of (1) forsaking God and turning to the gods of the Canaanites, which provoked God to anger; (2) being delivered into the hands of their enemies as God’s punishment; (3) crying out to the Lord for deliverance.
In response, God would raise up a judge to deliver the people from their oppression. Generally the people served God and enjoyed peace as long as the judge lived; then they began the cycle again by forsaking God and turning to idolatry. Stability was subject to the influence and longevity of the individual judges.
God had given favor to Israel in fulfilling His promise to Joshua to go before him and drive out the people of the land. But victory had been slow in coming with groups such as the Jebusites still among the people (Judges 1:21). The time had come for the twelve tribes to be solidified into a unified nation. A strong transitional leader was needed, and God chose Samuel as His representative voice during the transition to a nation.
Samuel was the last of the judges and the first of the prophets for the united kingdom. Samuel’s first prophecy came quite early in life. (See I Samuel 3:10–18.) “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord” (I Samuel 3:19–20).
Samuel was to be the principle stabilizer for the new nation. When the people of Israel cried for a king to rule over them, Samuel orchestrated the transition and brought the nation into a central civil government under the law of Moses. Samuel set the pace for future Hebrew prophets to prophesy and to establish relationships of influence with Israel’s kings and people.
The Hebrew prophets continued until John the Baptist, the last of the Hebrew prophets. John also served as a transitional prophet to bring into focus the Kingdom era, the church age.
Samuel was the greatest of the judges, and Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets (Luke 7:28). Both were chosen of God as stabilizers in unusual times of transition. To make possible the greatest of all transitions, that from sinner to saint, God took on the likeness of man and humbled himself unto death to offer hope and life eternal to believers (Philippians 2:6–8). The voice of God, through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, preached the message of salvation to open the doors to the kingdom of God. Jesus was a prophet like no other, who spoke like no other, so all could be saved.
Searching the Scriptures
1. THE NEED FOR STABILITY
Christians grow in grace and mature spiritually in Christ in three stages: First is conversion, the experience of salvation (repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit). Next is the development of a healthy relationship between the believer and the Lord. This is the stabilizer of the Christian’s faith and the key to growth and maturity. Last is the element of service, the fulfillment of purpose that makes one’s faith meaningful and joyful.
For balance and spiritual growth to occur, there must be stabilizers, for the winds of adversity will blow. Stabilizing roots in past experiences are essential in order to grow into the next stage of maturity or achievement. The Hebrew prophets were the stabilizers for the emerging nation of Israel and her kings.
That will conclude our first installment of our study for this week, for our second installment we will start at A. “A New Nation”on Wednesday, until then we pray you have a great week.