Welcome to the #BAM #InYoFaceDevil Bible Study!
August 2, 2018
Book of 1 Samuel 6-11
Philistines return ark of God to Israel with a trespass offering of five gold mice and five gold tumors. They put the ark in a cart pulled by two unyoked cows, to see whether God guides it back. The ark returns to the people of Beth Shemesh in Israel, where there is great rejoicing. The cows are given as a burnt offering. A stone memorial remains to this day in Beth Shemesh. God strikes down 50,070 men, because the men of Beth Shemesh had peered inside the ark. The men of Beth Shemesh appeal to the men of Kirath Jearim to take the ark from them.
The ark is brought to Kirjath Jearim, where it remains for twenty years. Samuel admonishes Israel to put aside other gods, in order to be free from the Philistines. The nation repents at Mizpah. Samuel prays for Israel, and the Lord assists the Israelites in battle with thunder that confuses the Philistines. Samuel sets up a memorial stone between Mizpah and Shen called Ebenezer, meaning ‘stone of help’. The Philistines are subdued. Samuel judges across the land, though always returns to his home in Ramah.
When Samuel gets old, his sons, Joel and Abijah, judge in his stead, but they are corrupt. The elders reject them, and request a king. God begrudgingly acquiesces, but tells the Israelites to warn of a king’s acquisitive behaviour, taking children, servants and livestock for his own uses. The people persist in their demand, however.
Saul, the son of Kish the Benjamite, is tall and handsome. Saul goes looking for father’s sheep, wants to see Samuel, and is directed to a high place where a sacrifice is due to be performed. God tells Samuel that Saul will be king. Samuel tells Saul he will be king. Like Gideon in Judges, Saul’s first reaction is that he comes from a small and insignificant tribe. Samuel makes certain that Saul receives the seat and portion of honor at the feast.
Samuel anoints Saul as king. Three signs are given: (1) his father’s donkeys will be found. (2) At Tabor, Saul he meet three men carrying goats, loaves and wine, who will present Saul with bread. (3) Saul will meet prophets at a Philistine garrison, and start to prophesy himself. Saul is commanded to wait for Samuel at Gilgal. The signs all come to pass. ‘Is Saul among the prophets?’ becomes a proverbial expression of surprise when someone becomes very religious. Saul only tells his family about the donkeys. Samuel tells the Israelites that God has begrudgingly granted the request for a king. Saul is chosen by lot. Everyone is impressed by how tall he is, apart from some who bring no presents. Saul ignores these people.
Nahash the Ammonite agrees to make a covenant with Jabesh Gilead only if he can put out the right eyes of all the men. When Saul, the spirit of the Lord comes upon him: he cuts out oxen and sends them across the land, saying the same will happen to any man who does not help him. Israel wins, and Saul made king. Saul is merciful to his former opponents, waiving an opportunity to have them killed.