Insights from I Samuel

3:20 “And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.”

This verse appears at the end of the story of God calling the boy Samuel and after the verse stating “this Samuel grew”. So he’s still very young here. Perhaps the same age as Jesus was when He stayed at the Temple amazing the Pharisees, scribes and teachers of the Law. What a difference in responses from the people of Israel. All of Israel recognized Samuel as a prophet of the Lord. Israel’s recognition of Jesus was divided and Jesus certainly didn’t receive the same respect from the religious authorities as Samuel did.
Luke 2:21 reports all were amazed at Jesus’ understanding and answers. Luke 2:52 reports Jesus grew in favor with men – nothing at all like all Israel knew He was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. Israel in the immoral and lawless time of the Judges recognized God working and moving better than Israel under Roman rule.

10:7 “And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what the occasion requires, for God us with you.”

When God confirms something in our lives, we should not hold back our response, our worship.

14:9-10 “If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you’, then we will stand in our place and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us’, then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hands; this shall be the sign.”

What a difference between Jonathon’s sign and Gideon’s sign of the fleece in Judge 6:36-40. Jonathon sets out to engage the enemy. Gideon is determined to hide from his. Jonathon puts himself in harm’s way trusting God to handle any situation that arises. Gideon stays safe in his hiding place and doesn’t trust God at all. Jonathon is active. Gideon is passive. Jonathon uses the word of his enemy for his sign. Gideon uses an inanimate object. Jonathon doesn’t hesitate at all. Gideon does nothing but hesitate. Jonathon’s sign is dangerous, Gideon’s is safe. Jonathon’s sign is immediate, Gideon’s takes overnight and then another full 24 hours for the repeat. Jonathon’s sign could only occur once and was part of what he was working to accomplish. Gideon’s sign was repeatable and had nothing at all to do with what God wanted done. Perhaps the difference had to do with the fact that Jonathon was a soldier and Gideon wasn’t. Perhaps experience was the difference. Definitely faith was.

17:7 “His (Goliath’s) spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam, and the iron part of his spear weighed 15 pounds. In addition, a shield bearer was walking in front of him.”

What size shield bearer? Goliath was 9’9” tall! His shield would have been 5-6’ tall – maybe 8 or 9’. It would have been 3’ wide, maybe more. The shield bearer had to have been a large man. How did he see where he was going? Were there peepholes in the shield? He certainly wasn’t very loyal. When David kills Goliath, the shield bearer is nowhere to be found.

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