The Instruments of God

8       2016-08-10     Audio


1 Samuel 12:12 - And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the LORD your God was your king.

1 Samuel 12:22 - For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.

Proverbs 21:1 - The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

e. The Kings

With the rise of the prophetic office, so a new separation of powers is inaugurated. Whereas Gideon both received divine instructions and carried them out, now these two roles are distinguished.  While it is primarily the prophet who receives instruction, so it is primarily the king who carries it out.

The kingship established in Samuel instrumentally anticipates what God will ultimately establish.

The king will stand before the people and give direction according to the Lord.

Position and Authority – (a) a king to judge us, (b) to fight our battles for us, (c) to lead us.

  • 1 Samuel 8:5 - and said to him, “… Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
  • 1 Samuel 8:20 - that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

Anointed One

The term used for priests and vessels in the Tabernacle (“Anointed”) is used for God’s king!

Anointed One (Dt 32)

1 Samuel 2:10 - The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

1 Samuel 2:35 - And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.

1 Samuel 12:3 - Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.”

1 Samuel 12:5 - And he said to them, “The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

1 Samuel 16:6–7 - When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” [7] But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 24:6 - He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.”

1 Samuel 24:10 - Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed.’

1 Samuel 26:9 - But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?”

1 Samuel 26:10–12 - And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. [11] The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” [12] So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them.

[Abner] 1 Samuel 26:16 - This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was at his head.”

1 Samuel 26:23 - The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed.

2 Samuel 1:13–16 - And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” [14] David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?” [15] Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. [16] And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the LORD’s anointed.’ ”

2 Samuel 2:4 - And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. When they told David, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul,”

[Over the death of Abner] 2 Samuel 3:39 - And I was gentle today, though anointed king. These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I. The LORD repay the evildoer according to his wickedness!”

2 Samuel 19:21 - Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD’s anointed?”


[Samuel to Anoint Saul] 1 Samuel 9:16 - “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”

[Samuel Anoints Saul] 1 Samuel 10:1 - Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage.

[Samuel to Saul] 1 Samuel 13:14 - But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

[Abigal] 1 Samuel 25:30 - And when the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel,

[Israel acknowledges God’s appointment of David] 2 Samuel 5:2 - In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’ ”

2 Samuel 6:21 - And David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will celebrate before the LORD.

2 Samuel 7:8 - Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.


366x (total of over 20years) [David: 577x!]

His name (shaul) is related to the root shal, which means “asked (of/for).”

It has been noted that “the biblical narrator may have capitalized on the שָׁאַל root in the Samuel birth narrative in order simply to foreshadow the significant role that Saul would later play in the book and perhaps to anticipate the fact that Samuel, the one 'asked for' by righteous Hannah, would be directly involved in the rise and fall of Saul, the one 'asked for' by the elders of sinful Israel (8:4–9; 10:17–19; cf. Polzin, 24–25; Garsiel, 1990, 72–75; idem, 1991, 19, 244–45).” (VanGemeren, 1178–1179).

He is asked for by the people. He is a prime representation of manhood—choice, tall and handsome.

But consider what constitutes the descriptive focus of Saul in comparison to David:

[SAUL] 1 Samuel 9:2 - And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.

1 Samuel 10:23 - Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward.

1 Samuel 10:24 - And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

2 Samuel 14:25 - Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

[DAVID] 1 Samuel 16:7 - But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:12 - And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy [reddish, dirty, roughly colored/presented] and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”

1 Samuel 16:18 - One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him.”

He had an show of humility. He didn’t even know Samuel’s name, yet his servants did.

“Saul is one of the most tragic figures of the OT. He entered his life’s work with great promise, but ended it with shame and dishonor.” (Tenney, 342).

It was apparent from the very beginning that Saul would not be characterized as a man of obedience.

There is apparent a three-fold pattern of investiture: (a) anointing, (b) demonstration, (c) affirmation by the prophet and people.

But notice Samuel’s charge:

1 Samuel 10:5–8 - After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. [6] Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. [7] Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. [8] Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

1 Samuel 13:3–4 - Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” [4] And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

“Saul’s specific deeds of disobedience are but symptomatic of his fundamental inability to accommodate himself to the necessary requirements of theocratic kingship. In short, they are symptomatic of his lack of true faith in God (cf. 1 Chron 10:13).” (VanGemeren, 1180).

1 Chronicles 10:13 - So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.


  • He was known for being tall and handsome (1 Sam 9:1–3)
  • He refused to punish those who were unwilling to pay him homage (1 Sam 10:27)
  • He was an able and inspiring leader (1 Sam 11:12-15)
  • He was gifted to speak as a prophet (1 Sam 19:24)

Negatives: “one of the most pathetic of all God’s chosen servants” (Jones, 1065).

  • He assumed the role of priest (1 Sam 13:8-9)
  • He disobeyed the Lord’s instructions against the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:3, 9)
    • 1 Samuel 15:22 - And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”
  • He also waged unjust war against the Gibeonites (2 Sam 21:1-14)
  • He disobeyed the Lord’s command by consulting a medium for guidance (1 Sam 28:7)
  • God rejected Saul as king (1 Sam 13:10-14; 15:10-29)
  • Upon David’s anointing as king-to-be, Saul seeks to kill David and establish his own dynasty
  • Saul dies in battle along with his sons (1 Sam 28, 31)

“On three occasions only, one of them posthumously, was the old prophet to emerge from the background. Each time it was to remonstrate with Saul for disobeying the terms of his appointment, terms involving utter obedience to the slightest command of God” (Jones, 1065).

Even a king appointed by God may be liable to capital punishment. No king is above God’s government.

Samuel Rutherford used David’s evasion of King Saul’s pursuit in support of godly reform of civil government.

1 Samuel 18:7–8 - And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” [8] And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?”

1 Samuel 18:28–29 - But when Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, [29] Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

1 Samuel 20:30–31 - Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? [31] For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”

1 Samuel 24:9 - And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’?

18-27 → Saul relentless effort to kill David

By the Philistines

1 Samuel 18:20–29 - Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. [21] Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” [22] And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’ ” [23] And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” [24] And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” [25] Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’ ” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. [26] And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, [27] David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. [28] But when Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, [29] Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

By Jonathan (his son) or servants

1 Samuel 19:1 - And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, delighted much in David.


1 Samuel 19:9–10 - Then a harmful spirit from the LORD came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre. [10] And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.

David flees → personal hostility turns to civil war!

Saul slaughtered all who sheltered David, even the priests!

Saul relentlessly seeks to take David’s life only to fail and end up taking his own!

He was impatient, disregarded and disobedient to the Word of the Lord, was irreverent and disrespectful of the Lord’s offices, violated his own laws (mediums), played with the occult, neglected all spiritual reform, the ark of the covenant, the priesthood, … nor did he make any recorded attempt to unite the tribes

“On one occasion, Saul was roundly criticized and condemned by Samuel for assuming the priestly role of offering sacrifices in the absence of Samuel at Gilgal (1 Sm 13:8–15).” (Comfort, 1170).

1 Chronicles 10:13–14 - So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. [14] He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

“David became the object of Saul’s unfounded suspicions and irrational jealousy. Saul’s periods of sanity became punctuated by periods of depression and paranoia. The paranoia affected his rational thought. Instead of warring against the invading Philistines, his energy was diverted toward the pursuit of David. The biblical writers describe this change as 'the departure of the Spirit of God from Saul' and 'an evil spirit from the LORD tormenting him' (1 Sm 16:14). Many modern writers have interpreted this as the onset of a form of mental illness, perhaps manic-depression, the alternation between active and lucid periods, followed by intense depression and paranoia. But there is a certain danger in psychoanalyzing the figures of ancient history, principally because the literary sources are rarely adequate to the task. The biblical writers indicated a theological basis for the change in Saul: the Spirit of God had departed from him. From a simple human perspective, the man was not equal to the enormity of the task before him. Overcome by its complexity, and lagging in the faith of the one who appointed him to such awesome responsibility, Saul ended his days in tragedy.” (Comfort, 1170).

2 Samuel 1:19–27 - “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How the mighty have fallen! [20] Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult. [21] “You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fields of offerings! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil. [22] “From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. [23] “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles; they were stronger than lions. [24] “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. [25] “How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! “Jonathan lies slain on your high places. [26] I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women. [27] “How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!”

“Saul is an object-lesson in the essential difference between the carnal and the spiritual man, as his NT namesake was to distinguish the two (1 Cor. 3, etc.). Living in a day when the Holy Spirit same upon men for a special time and purpose, rather than indwelling the children of God permanently, Saul was peculiarly susceptible to moodiness and uncertainty within himself (*HEALTH). Yet his disobedience is presented by the authors of 1 Sa. and 1 Ch. as inexcusable, for he had access to the Word of God, as it was then ministered to him through Samuel.” (Jones, 1065).

God’s kingdom will come with God’s king!
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