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This week our lesson was titled "Israel Demands A King" from 1 Samuel 8-12. Use the teaching points below to help guide your family worship time this week.
Bible Truth: Desiring anything more than God, even if it's a good thing, is evil.
Samuel, called by God as a boy, is now grown up and serving God by ruling the people of Israel. Under Samuel’s rule as a judge and prophet to God’s people, God defeats the Philistines and restores peace to Israel.
As Samuel grows old he appoints his sons as judges, but they are sinful. Unlike Eli, no mention is made of parental failure, simply that his sons are corrupt, taking bribes and perverting justice (1 Samuel 8:3). As a result, the people of Israel demand that Samuel give them a king like the nations around them. Samuel warns the Israelites that having a king will be hard. But the people reply that they want a king who will “go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:20). God’s people do not trust God for God had always promised the Israelites that he would fight for them.
The Israelites insist on having a king, so God chooses for them a man who is tall, handsome, and wealthy. The people like Saul because of his impressive appearance. He looks like a leader on the outside.
The Israelites want to trust in a king they can see. But during Saul’s reign, they will learn that just because a man looks impressive on the outside, does not mean he will follow God on the inside or lead the people as he should.
It is a bit surprising that God goes along with Israel giving them a king. God also blesses Saul allowing him to save Israel from the Ammonites. Although the people were wrong in some of the reasons they wanted a king, it had long been in God’s plan to give them a king (see Genesis 17:6, 16). Throughout the history of Israel, God showed them mercy even though they were continually rebelling against him. God had a plan that was bigger than Israel’s sin, and he was determined to carry it out.
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?
Read Revelation 19:13–16.
Israel requested a king to rule them like the rest of the nations had (1 Samuel 8:5).
So, God answered their desires and gave them a man who was large in stature—a great king from the world’s perspective. But God had another kind of king in mind, a king after God’s own heart. God is not interested in the outward appearance but is interested in the heart. David eventually is selected by God, but ultimately God would send Jesus to be an eternal king. Jesus would perfectly reflect the heart of God by becoming obedient to death, even death on the cross. In Philippians, God the Father promises that he is going to give Jesus the highest place of all and that every knee will bow before him. Why? Because he is the greatest King! It was always God’s desire that his people be ruled, not by an earthly man, but by God as King.
He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:13–16
We are so blessed to have the greatest King of all, Jesus!