C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR MAY 17, 2020 Unit Three: THROUGH THE KINGS, LESSON NINE/Part 2
C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON.
God in the Administration of Man.
Unit Three: THROUGH THE KINGS.
LESSON NINE / Part 2
II. THE APPOINTMENT AND SERVICE OF SAUL (1 Samuel 9:1-27; 10:1-27; 11:11)
In an act of great selfishness and pride, the people refused to obey the LORD and his prophet. They wanted to be like everyone else. They preferred a king they could see and the world would admire, rather than the unseen King and LORD of the universe who could only be known by faith.
A. HOW GOD FACILITATES HIS APPOINTMENT (1 Samuel 9:1-27; 10:9,10)
Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying (9:15).
i. vv. 1-14: Despite the fact that their rejection of Him was unmistaken, His heart was still filled with concern for His people. Look at His Finger directing the footsteps of the prospective king, Saul, in the direction of the waiting Prophet Samuel. Think about the role of accompanying servant.
ii. vv. 15-17: God had told Samuel, … tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin…, and when Saul landed, He announced to Samuel, there he is, the man of whom I spoke to you. Naturally, there is tendency for Samuel to be carried away by mere appearance of any other person (cf. 16:6,7). God doesn’t want mistake, so He is always at work, actively or covertly.
iii. v. 27: Samuel would announce to Saul the word of God, not of himself. Implication: God was working in the background, through Samuel, to appoint an under-leader with Him for His people. This word of God is performed on Saul in 10:1. God in action!
iv. 10:9,10: In confirmation that YAHWEH had sent Samuel to anoint Saul, first, God gave him another heart (v.9), needed for leadership of God’s people, and secondly, the Spirit of God came upon him (v. 10)anointing for service. Both comes from God, not Samuel. This is seen in how He attested to Saul’s kingship with victories (10:27-11:13).
v. Other passages also predict that the Israelites would one day ask for monarchy. For example, God promised Jacob, “A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants” (Genesis 35:11). Similar reference to future kings can be found in Genesis 36:31; 49:10; Numbers 24:7-9; and Deuteronomy 28:36. With all these, God facilitated the appointment of King Saul in Israel.
B. HOW WELL HE COOPERATES WITH GOD (13:1-15; 15:1-26)
And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever” (13:13).
i. 13:1: King Saul’s story is tragic. He was privileged to be the first king in Israel, but his life turned into a tragedy for his lack of focus on, and trust in God, the Governor of all nations. He pleased God for only the first two years of his reign.
ii. vv. 7,8: Two years had gone by. On that fateful day, Saul began to show the carnality in him. Your true character is like a smoke bottled up in a can. You can’t hide it from God, and from others, for long. God simply tested him to reveal the stuff he was made of (cf. Deut. 8:2,3).
iii. vv.)9-15: He failed woefully; he impatiently disobeyed Samuel’s, better still, God’s instruction, thinking he knew better. The rest years were a waste; he kept messing up (cf. 14:24ff).
iv. 15:1ff: The God of second chance gave him a second, but he disobeyed again. God cannot continue to condole leaders’ continued disobedience. He totally rejected and abandoned Saul (vv. 34, 35). What a tragedy! Hope God isn’t regretting that He gave you leadership opportunities (1 Sam. 16:1,2).
v. 16:1: Saul’s mess didn’t catch God unawares. The people impatiently asked for him, and He had warned them of the consequences (8:9ff). Ultimately, God wanted to bring the right man after His own heart, David, to the throne. After all, the sceptre will not depart Judah (Gen. 49:10).
vi. Had the people waited for His own timing to institute the monarchy, they won’t have encountered Saul, the Benjamite, in the first place. Albeit, sometimes, God allows awful leaders in positions of power in order to fulfil His purposes and plans.
vii. When you refuse God’s voice, then be ready to face the consequence. They stubbornly refused to listen to God’s warnings about the king they demanded. Israel was so determined to have a king that they twice argued with Samuel to anoint a king. So God gave Israel exactly what they wanted which resulted in Saul and his eventual failure.
1. That God allows something to happen doesn’t mean it is His perfect will. Permissive wills of His can end in disaster, sometimes. Beware!
2. An important part of God’s covenant with Israel is obedience. Every follower of Christ and leader of His people are responsible for keeping that command of obedience.
1. We hear of permissive will of God here and there. Can God give us (endorse) why we choose for Him, without repercussion?
2. The Bible shows that God appoints leaders. He also supervises/moderates their activities (Prov. 21:1). Can we admit that God was responsible for Saul’s misbehavious?
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO QUESTIONS
ANSWER TO QUESTION 1
i. No, there must be repercussion(s).
ii. We shouldn’t choose for God. Rather, we should let Him choose for us.
iii. When you ask God for something you have already decided, God won’t say ‘no’ because you are already in it before calling to Him. That is what is called, “having idol in your hearts”
iv. You think you are helping God by choosing for Him? Uzzah was killed because he wanted to help God.
v. Whatever God gives to us, in time, is always the best.
vi. What God gives the Israelites here is a lesson to us, political and church leaders.
vii. The Israelites asked for king when it was not yet time, and God gave them what would teach them some serious lessons. Are you not doing same, today? If you are, be ready for the repercussion.
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2.
i. Yes, God appoints leaders and supervises/moderates their activities, just as Prov. 21: 1 makes us to understand. Of course, not only the kings. He administers, supervises and manages the activities of His entire creatures.
ii. That notwithstanding, God cannot be held responsible for the details of individual’s life. He has the best for all of us, but we are responsible to keep the details of our lives in tandem with His eternal purposes for us.
iii. Now, to the case of King Saul, God was not responsible for his misbehavious.
iv. Fatalistic religions believe that whatever happens to man is what has been destined. That is biblically untrue. God doesn’t destine anybody for anything ungodly. The only predestination we have is to be conformed to Christ’s image (Rom. 8:29).
v. Our God is all-knowing. Nothing surprises Him because He can’t be caught unawares by anything. Giving them Saul as King was the act of God.
vi. Why does God appoint evil leaders? Why not just appoint righteous ones does it to bring about an even greater good.
vii. This was certainly true of Pharoah of the Exodus, whose heart God hardened time after time, until Egypt was humble for its evil treatment of God’s people (Exod. 9:16).
viii. The kings of Babylon and Assyria are examples. God used them to punish His people, but for a good reason. And just to show that God is fair, he later punished Babylon and Assyria for punishing the people… even though God appointed these kings and made them do it.
ix. But getting back to the point, the Israelites were punished for a reason. That was why Saul was appointed as king.
x. So does God really assign power to evil leaders just to dole out His punishments? Yes, because there is no country that is free from sin, and so a case can be made for why God would want to punish any nation.
xi. When you don’t put God first, He will show you His supremacy in any way.
A man decided on his own to move from Abuja to Lagos, and when he got half way, he started praying to God, asking if he should go to Lagos? What do you think would be God’s response? Of course, permissive will. That is what so many of us do when it comes to decision-making most especially, on crucial matters. Put everything in God’s hands before taking any step, and in doing this, don’t have any idol in your heart. Only then would He direct and protect you from any evil ahead. Stop choosing for God; let Him choose for you. Permissive will of God always comes with its repercussion.
Lesson 9 has been a very powerful time of refreshing in God’s presence. It has warned us against the dangers of self-will or settling for the permissive will of God. This has been clearly set forth in the discussion of how Israel demanded monarchy in preference for theocracy. They regretted their actions, later. This king they permissively got from God eventually became a snare to them. This lesson therefore admonishes us not to desire what God is not ready to give us lest we fall into the deadly trap He is trying to protect you from.
DEVOTIONAL BIBLE DAILY READINGS FOR WEEK TWO
Mon. 11: God Abhors Disobedience (1 Sam. 16:1a)
Tue. 12: God Replaced Disobedient Servants (1 Sam. 16:1b)
Wed. 13: God Doesn’t Look as Men Look (1 Sam. 16:5-10)
Thur. 14: God doesn’t Make Mistakes (1 Sam. 16:11,12)
Fri. 15: God Specially Anoints His Under-Leader (1 Sam. 16:13)
Sat. 16: God’s Spirit Departs the Disobedient (1 Sam. 16:14-15)