Ben Brown // November 28, 2020
After a tremendous victory in Ch 11, the nation of Israel has confirmed and established Saul as their king, fulfilling their desire to be like the other nations around them. The annihilation of the Ammonites has the potential to affirm in the hearts of Israels’ people their demand of an earthly king. The victory seems to prove them right and they have gone as far as to demand death of anyone who opposed the idea of Saul as their king. Saul gave the glory of the victory to God as Ch 11 closes out. Ch 12 is a raw, blatant, state of affairs spoken boldly by Samuel to the people. It opens with Samuel establishing himself as one trustworthy, who has done no wrong towards the people, even in his insisting that they already have a king in God Himself. Offering to right any wrongs, he is confirmed as one blameless with God and Saul as witness. He then directs attention to the relationship between The Lord and His people, stating in no uncertain terms that which God has done on their behalf, and reminding them of how they have turned away to the idolatry of self-rule despite God’s favor. Calling down a miraculous natural phenomena from heaven, the people seem to be brought to their senses, seeing clearly how once again they have sinned, or ‘missed the mark’. After taking responsibility and repenting of their actions, Samuel offers them words of encouragement and hope, while spelling out the two paths laid before them- one of God’s will, or one of destruction. Like Israel, we have to choose who is king of our lives, and the path on which we will walk.