1 Samuel 7-8

A lot of major, on-going themes are highlighted today. I’ll touch on a few, but let us know what else you observe.

1. When Israel decides they’re tired of being oppressed and mistreated they call Samuel to figure out what to do (which is their go-to cycle process, starting in judges and continuing for basically ever). Samuel says, “you can’t just cry about the problems you’ve had since turning from the Lord, you need to GET RID of all the things you tried to replace Him with.” (Side note: when we get to Kings, you’ll start wondering “what the heck is so cool about Baal?!” since Israel just cannot help but backslide to “him”, and I’ll do a thing about that.)

2. “Until now, the Lord has helped us.” (7:12) This is why we need that prayer journal. Keep track of God’s faithfulness! Each time Israel takes time to remember, they’re on the brink of a turnaround.

3. They want a king, so they can be just like everyone else. There’s a drill for this and it’s back in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. I encourage you to read it, because it will help you understand when and how a king is doing it right.

Chapter 8 kills me. Why do we prefer harsh human leaders to the Lord? Why, at our core, do we default to letting something or someone own us? Every other religion is about making it harder than it needs to be. And why this ancient and modern obsession with “being like everyone else?”

What does this look like for you?

-Bethany

2 thoughts on “1 Samuel 7-8

  1. Chelsea Partin

    As I’ve read these first few chapters of Samuel, I’m struggling with how such godly men can have such horrible ungodly sons. Starting with Eli the prophet who’s evil sons slept with Temple women who were dedicated to the Lord and also took choice pieces of meat, meant to be an offering to God. God rebuked Eli for his unwillingness to bring them to justice, saying Eli put his sons before the Lord. God allows the boys to die in battle on the same day. Eli’s family also receives a curse showing us that Eli was held responsible for the evil his sons did.

    Then we skip forward a few chapters and see that Samuel also has evil sons. When the people speak up against the boys, they request that Samuel speak to God and ask for a King instead of a judge, being that the nest to judge are his unrighteous sons. But when Samuel is displeased, God consoles him saying the people aren’t rejecting Samuel, but God as their King. I’m sure the people are in fact using the evil sons as an excuse to “become like other nations”. However, I can’t help but wonder why Samuel isn’t held responsible for his sons?

    This brings me to the main question: how can a godly man be viewed as upright before the Lord while raising wicked sons? Are the sons wicked because of a lack of parenting and wisdom, or were they raised well and then choose their own path wrongly? At what point is the child responsible for their own actions? It’s quite disturbing that such highly revered men in the Bible are unable to raise up godly men. If they can’t do it what hope do we have?

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    1. This uncovers another theme, which is God’s graciousness in the midst of our free will. Even the best parent can’t control the choices of their children. You’ll see a LOT of this. It’s actually extremely rare that a child follows their parents footsteps, and in some cases, that’s good, other wise a good king never would have arisen in Judah after the downfall of Solomon. Great observation. It’s an important question to struggle through and seek The Lord on. For now, you can rest in the fact God’s love for you doesn’t hinge on the success of your kids.

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