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Volume 29 - Page 56 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
Fundamentals of Dispensational Truth.
The Books of SAMUEL.
The King Demanded, Tested and Rejected.
(I Samuel 8: 4 - 15: 35).
pp. 8 - 15
We surveyed in our last article the opening section of the First Book of Samuel,
covering the last days of the Judges, and were saddened to observe that even Samuel
seems to have failed at the end of his life, in relation to his sons. The parallel between
I Sam. 8: 1-3 and I Sam. 2: 22-25 is too plain to be ignored. Yet such is the
testimony of Scripture: no man is perfect. We find this fact stressed throughout the
Scriptures, from Adam onwards. Noah, for example, a sort of second Adam, the eighth
person, is brought through the day of wrath, and re-occupies the earth, but he is found
drunk and one of his sons is the father of Canaan, Cush and Nimrod. Abraham is the
father of the faithful, the friend of God, the one through whom all families of the earth
are to be blessed, yet we know that he wavered, that he was untruthful, and he begat
Ishmael. Moses, the great prophet and type of Christ, with whom God spoke face to face
as a man speaks to his friend, forfeited entrance into the land because he spoke
unadvisedly with his lips. And so the story grows. Neither Joshua, nor David, nor any
other prophet, priest or king was perfect. Together with their outstanding typical
qualities, there was always evidence of frailty, failure and sin.
We come now to the next section of the book of Samuel, in which we discover another
principle that is characteristic of the ways of God. Contrary to all human expectation,
God is second, not first. Saul is king before David. Moses is accepted the second time.
Joseph is acknowledged the second time. Cain lives and Abel dies. Esau comes before
Jacob, Ishmael before Isaac, Antichrist before Christ, the kingdoms of this world before
the kingdom of the Lord. The reason is simple. God is dealing with responsible moral
creatures, and he teaches them through the exercise of their own choice and the
experience of their own efforts. Had Adam never been allowed to exercise his choice,
the human race would probably have been convinced that man could stand unassisted
against all temptation. Had Israel not failed so signally, man would doubtless have
believed that it was within his power to accomplish a righteousness by works. Had
government never been entrusted to man, the nations of the earth would never have been
convinced that the only true king is the King appointed by heaven.
And so here, in the Book of Samuel, we are to see one more example of the working
out of this principle, and we shall, therefore, have to consider Saul, the people's choice,
before studying David, the "man after God's own heart".
Let us make one observation at the outset. No one was coerced into demanding Saul.
No predestination compelled men, against their better judgment, to this decision. The