Earlier in the year we read the early chapters of 1 Samuel so I thought that I would lead you through the next section of this fascinating book of the Old Testament – 1 Samuel 12-17. Though they are named after Samuel, the books of Samuel really tell the story of David who emerged as Israel’s great Messiah and King.
In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites requested a King to lead them, “like all the other nations” had. Implied in this request was a rejection of God as their King, even though God had always protected and preserved Israel. Samuel warned the people about the dangers of this innovation but God eventually decided to permit a human King to rule his people, as long as the King would follow God’s laws and lead Israel in God’s ways.
But who would be King in Israel? 1 Samuel 12-17 traces the emergence of Saul as Israel’s King. But Saul would prove to be a false start. Despite many fine qualities, Saul tragically failed to listen to God and to lead the people in godly ways. So God rejected Saul as King and chose a most unexpected leader for his people. David was the man upon whom God set his heart and, despite a long difficult period of suffering as an outlaw, God installed David as Israel’s Messiah and King.
So the books of Samuel are about Kingship – God’s Kingdom and his choice of David as Messiah. In many ways the Story of David parallels the story of Jesus. They are both God’s Messiah and King who come into their kingdoms through suffering, act as Saviours of their people and proclaim the kingdom of God in their rule. But, of course, David is only a pale and weak reflection of God’s true Son, Messiah and King – our Lord Jesus.
– STEPHEN FIFER