Old Testament: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23
1 Samuel 12:1-24 State of the Union Address
Samuel gave a State of the Union address. He said, “Have I cheated any of you? Haven’t I done a good job?” The people said he hadn’t cheated any of them. Samuel continued, “The Lord was good to you but you didn’t return the favor. In fact, you rebelled and sinned and had to cry out to the Lord to save you and He did. Right?”
It’s always good to review what God has already done in your life. It will pick you up when times are rough (cf. Psa. 143:5, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands,” also Ps. 77: 5, 11, 12).
Samuel went on and recounted the story of Nahash coming against them and how they had asked for king. He was implying he had warned them about having a king in the place of Yahweh. He said they would have to obey the voice of the king but he made it known that they were “wicked” for having asked for a king (v. 17). Samuel called got thunder and rain to confirm what he was saying. And it thundered and rained. And it was the dry season! The people feared the Lord and Samuel (v. 18).
The people replied, “Whoops. Pray for us.” Samuel said, “Don’t worry. Just stay the course and you’ll be OK. The Lord won’t abandon you.” Samuel told them he wouldn’t leave them either and would keep praying for them. Samuel told them “to serve the Lord with all their heart” (v. 24). He also warned them, “If you goof up again and do ‘wickedly,’ your king is going to go down” (v. 25).
1 Samuel 13:1-23 A Mistake In The Bible
I love this verse, verse 1. It’s a mistake in the Bible. I always love to point it out. Check it with Acts 13:21. Almost no matter what translation you use, the number of years Saul reigned differs with whatever they translate 1 Samuel 13:1. In the NASB which we use, it says Saul reigned forty-two years but in Acts it says forty years. NIV has the same as the NASB. ESV says, “Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel.” Go figure that one out. The NT also has forty years. KJV is about the same as the ESV. The RSV is fun. Look at this, “Saul was . . . years old when he began to reign; and he reigned . . . and two years over Israel.” HCSB has forty-two and forty.
Boy, are Christians idiots to believe that stuff! An outright mistake!
OK, here’s the real deal. There are absolutely no mistakes in the Scripture. None. Nada. Not one single mistake. The Scripture is perfect.
So how do we account for the discrepancies between 1 Samuel and Acts? Damaged manuscripts. RSV is probably the most honest by leaving the numbers out. When we talk about the Scriptures being perfect, we are talking about the original manuscripts. Of course, we don’t have the originals so scholars have to do the best with what we have. How much does the deterioration of the manuscripts effect what we have? Well, the manuscripts we have are 99.9% pure. That’s better than Ivory soap one of my professors used to say. Ivory soap is only advertised as 99.44% pure.
Now back to our story. Saul chose 3K men to fight the Philistines but only brought 2K with him to battle. Jonathan, Saul’s son, led the forces to victory. Saul took the credit. Nice Dad.
Next the Philistines assembled 30K to fight Israel. The Israelites hid wherever they could find cover. Samuel told Saul to wait seven days for him to come and meet up with him. Saul violated the law of Moses and offered an offering, something only a priest was supposed to do. When Samuel finally arrived, he asked Saul what he had done. Saul said he “forced” himself and offered a sacrifice (v. 12). Samuel told him, “That was pretty dumb. Now the kingdom is going to be yanked from you and Yahweh had come up with a better choice for king” (v. 14).
Samuel took about 600,000 men and absconded. The Israelites didn’t have the best weapons because they didn’t have any blacksmiths to work the iron weapons. Saul and Jonathan were the only two in the whole army who had a swords and a spear. The Philistines went out to prepare for battle.
New Testament: John 7:1-30
John 7:1-30 Feasting On The Word
Jesus was ministering in his home area of Galilee. He knew there were Jews in Judea that wanted to kill Him so He stayed in Galilee. It was near the time of the Feast of Booths. Jesus’ natural half-brothers told Him to go to Judea to get more publicity. His brothers were not believers at that time (v. 5). Jesus told Him that it wasn’t a good time to go to Judea but they sure could. No one was going to hurt them there.
Jesus went up to Judea anyway but in secret (v. 10). People were talking about Jesus at the feast and had differing opinions. Some thought He was only a trouble-maker but some thought He was possibly a good man.
In the middle of the feast Jesus started teaching in the Temple. People were astonished at Him since He hadn’t been to seminary or Bible college. Jesus told them that He learned things directly from His Father. Jesus said something we should keep in mind whenever trying to figure out God’s will or if a given teaching is from God. He said, “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself” (v. 17). Jesus was saying that if someone really wanted to know something, God would make sure that person would find out (cf. Jer. 29:13, ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” and James 1:5, ” But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him”). Jesus said you could tell the truth about a speaker by whose glory he was seeking.
Jesus went on to ask the people why they didn’t follow the Mosaic law and why they were trying to kill Him. They said He must be demon-possessed to say a thing like that. Jesus pointed out that no one had a problem with circumcising a baby on the eight day if it fell on a Saturday (Sabbath). But they had problems with Him healing someone on the day of rest. He told them to wise up (v. 24).
Some of the Jews were confused since Jesus was teaching publicly but they had heard the leaders were trying to kill Him. Jesus told everyone that knew Who He was. The leaders wanted to get rid of him all the more but His time hadn’t come yet so no one was able to lay a hand on Him.