NBC Sunday School Manual For October 23, 2022 :Topic – Israel Rejects God In Favour Of A Human King
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
Sunday, October 23, 2022
TOPIC: ISRAEL REJECTS GOD IN FAVOUR OF A HUMAN KING
Devotional Reading: Psalms 93
Background Scripture: 1Samuel 8:1-9; 10:17-26
Lesson Scripture: 1Samuel 8:4-7; 10:17-24
But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your calamities and distresses. And you have said, ‘No, set a king over us.” So now, present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans. 1Samuel 10:19a
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. State the reason the people of Israel demanded for a human king;
II. Mention the best ways Christian leaders should be selected;
III. Renew their commitments to God to always depend on Him for guidance.
Decision-making is one of the acts common to every human being on earth, whether old or young. When God created humankind, He gave them freedom to make choices. So, human kind has always been free to make choices to choose who leads them, what they want to eat, drink, wear, live, where to go and what to do at a particular time. But sometimes, people misuse the opportunity of the freedom, and they are not conscious of the consequences of such choices, whether they are pleasing to God or not. The twelve tribes of Israel had always been led by prophets and judges. But at a time, they wanted to resemble other nations around them, who had kings ruling over them. So, they asked Samuel to appoint a king who would lead hem. Prophet Samuel did not buy the idea of kingship because the Lord had always led His people through prophets and judges. It is also possible that the Israelites asked for a king because the two sons of Samuel (Joel and Abijah) were not exemplary like their father. Although their request displeased God, he instructed Samuel to do according to their bidding. Their request of course seems to be pleasing with everyone except Samuel and God. Samuel was displeased of their request for a king probably because his sons were indirectly rejected as his successor. In fact, God had a deeper objection because their desire to be like the other nations (1 Samuel 8:20), was against His will.
The reason the people of Israel demanded for a new king is obvious according to the passage. Apart from the fact that they wanted to be like the surrounding nations, the two sons of Samuel did not follow the good example of their father. They were guilty of bribery, perversion of justice and so on. So, Israel decided to present their case to Samuel and ask for a new king for fear of his sons becoming king over them. Supposedly, they demanded for a king who will rule over them with integrity and a sense of responsibility. In the same manner, people, nations of the world are rejecting the lordship of Christ over them. Little wonder, the world is groaning under ungodliness. The choice of accepting or rejecting Jesus as Saviour and Lord has its consequences. The focus of today’s lesson is how Israel rejected God’s leadership in preference for a human king.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Request for a King. 1 Samuel 8:4-7
Samuel was the last and greatest of the rulers of Israel generally known as “Judges”. He was also a prophet and he anointed Saul as the first king of Israel, and later pronounced judgment on him when he disobeyed God. When Samuel became old, he made his two sons judges in Israel but unfortunately, they did not follow their father’s good example (vv. 1-3). This provided the people with enough ses to ask for a king who would lead them like the other nations. The elders of Israel approached
Samuel for a king. They said, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king for us, such as all the other nations have.” The reason for their request can be picked from their terance – they wanted to be like other nations. The people’s request displeased Samuel and he prayed to the Lord. God’s response to Samuel’s prayer was concise. He said to him, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”God displeased with their request but He allowed them have their way. God has given us the right to make choice. The choices people make in life will either make or mar them. God would not force Himself on anyone. Little wonder, He does not strive with us when we want to do things in our own way. The elders’ request shows that they rejected God in preference for human leadership. Their request for a king was equivalent to dishonouring Samuel and God whom he represents.
Christian leadership is responsibility. It is to be done with utmost integrity. It is apparent that Samuel wanted his sons to lead the people of Israel having made them judges but they did not follow the ways of their father. They were dishonest and they perverted justice. Though, Samuel was displeased, God made him to know that the people have not rejected him but Himself who had appointed him leader over them. After all, it was the plan of God to give the people a king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20), but they were not patient enough for His perfect will. This is a lesson to believers not to “outsmart” God concerning His promise for us because at the appointed time, He will definitely fulfil His promise. Moreover, whenever we imitate the people of the world, we are indirectly rejecting God and His plan for our lives like the case of the people of Israel.
According to the passage, what do you think was the offence of the Israelites for requesting for a king? What are the consequences of rejecting the Kingship/Lordship of Jesus in the world today?
B. Saul is Presented as King over Israel. 1 Samuel 10:17-24
The fact has been established that the people of Israel wanted a king like the nations around them. Even though the request displeased God, yet He commanded Samuel to listen to them after he had prayed (1 Samuel 8:7). Eventually Samuel anointed Saul as king over Israel (v. 10), and assembled them before the LORD at Mizpah for the public selection and presentation of the king according to their demand. He said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you. But you have now rejected your God, who saves you…” (vv. 18-19). The tribe of Benjamin was chosen, and the family of Matri’s clan was selected whom Saul the son of Kish represented. Samuel presented him to the people and said to them, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people”(v.24). The people’s response was amazing. They hailed him saying, “Long live the king!” and he became the head of the tribes of Israel (1 Samuel 15:17).
It is noteworthy in the passage that the selection of Saul as Israel’s king was ordered by God even though the process was not clearly stated whether it was by lot or other means. Nevertheless, each tribe was presented before the Lord and Saul from the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. In other words, there was equality as not tribe or clan was overlooked. The people were convinced of Saul’s suitability for kingship probably because of physical qualities; thus they shouted in jubilation, “Long live the king!” One great lesson for believers in this lesson is the need to always seek the face of God in the selection of leaders at all levels. We should not allow flesh, physical appearance, education, social status and the like to determine our choice in the selection of leaders, especially in Christian cycle. Neither should we manipulate the process for self-interest.
Why did the people of Israel insist on having a king over them in spite of the fact that God was not pleased with their request? What are some things Christians do that could be synonymous to rejecting God and how it can be avoided?
Commitment: Make a personal commitment to always live to please God and not people.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity
Let at least two class members briefly share with the class the best boss they have ever had and describe how his or her qualities impacted them.
1. Help me Lord to be contented with Your plan and purpose for my life.
2. May I live for the purpose of my creation.
3. Lord help me ask in line with your Will.
Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson: