| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 53 - Page 208 of 215 Index | Zoom | |
(Psa. 21: 1). What a pity Solomon did not heed the wise words of his father. We do well
to remember this today; salvation and true happiness can only be found in God's
provision for our peace, the Lord Jesus Christ. To look elsewhere for salvation and
strength is useless.
It takes a great deal of courage to remain faithful to the Lord when all around are
heedless of His love and grace. The apostle Paul, writing to believing Hebrews, said:
"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard lest
at any time we should let them slip" (Heb. 2: 1). The R.V. reads "drift away from them".
Others make the words read "lest we should fall or stumble". Another "lest we forgot".
How absolutely vital it is for us today to keep close to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to keep
His Word. Not to become so engrossed in the things of this world that we neglect the
spiritual things, and let them "drift away" from us.
Though Samuel was greatly displeased, as his custom was he brought the matter
before the Lord:
"But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And
Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of
the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have
rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they
have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day,
wherewith they have forsaken Me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. Now
therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew
them the manner of the king that shall reign over them" (I Sam. 8: 6-9).
These three features: (1) the demand for a king, (2) the rejection of the Lord, and
(3) the significant reference back to Egypt, are repeated again in 10: 18, 19, and again in
11: 15, and finally in 12: 1, 6-12. In this way the root of Israel's failure is emphasized.
Yet despite this evidence in Israel's history, no action was taken by them or by later
generations to learn the lesson that so patently stands out. This initial rejection of the
Lord as their king, therefore culminated in His final rejection when their descendants
uttered the tragic word to Pilate, "We have no king but Caesar".
Nevertheless, the Scriptures show us that the Lord is long-suffering and very gracious,
not quenching the smoking flax. So another chance is given to the nation to repent
during the Acts period, when once again times of refreshing and restoration would come.
But hardness of heart and opposition continued. There is nothing that God can do when
heart and minds are completely shut out to Him, so the book of Acts ends at chap.28:
with the sentence of blindness and deafness foreshadowed so many years before in
Isa.vi.9-13, and warned by the Lord in Matt. 13: 13-15. Just as their fathers were
turned back into the wilderness for 40 years wandering, so Israel has wandered among
the nations of the earth, persecuted and hated, and will find no rest until they recognize
the Lord Jesus Christ as their King, and at last cry "Blessed is He that cometh in the
Name of the Lord" (Luke 13: 35).
Consequent upon the instructions given him by the Lord, Samuel tells the people
plainly what they must expect if a king of their own choice is placed over them. Their
sons and daughters would be taken as servants. Taxes would be levied on seed, crops and