Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God’s Plan? Part 37

This entry is part 37 of 45 in the series Did the Old Testament Greats Understand God's Plan?

Recap Part 36: The Lord allowed Jephthah success. He defeated Ammon. “And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel” (Judges 11:33). When Jephthah returned to his house, he was greeted by his daughter. “And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back” (v. 35). Upon her return 2 months later, he obeyed his vow and made a burnt offering unto the Lord.

Part 37 Many years after the death of Jephthah, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and requested their own king. All the other lands had kings to rule over them and they wanted to be like the people of different lands. They spoke to Samuel and requested a king. At that time they knew Samuel was a man of God and was heard of God. Samuel was upset about this request, but nevertheless he brought their request to the Lord. “And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee” (1 Samuel 8:7-8).

Samuel anoints Saul king over Israel. For a short period of time, God allows Israel to prosper against their enemies and to overcome adversity. However, Israel, in true form, rejects God again and are not obedient to their end of the deal. The children of Israel turn to their own evil ways and begin to act as the people of other lands and accept all their ways; rather than Gods. Even their new leader Saul fails and does evil rather than to trust in God who blessed him first. In response, Samuel is distressed because of Israel’s evil and turns away from Saul and Israel.

“And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons” (1 Samuel 16:1). “Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he” (v. 10-12).

The struggle between the flesh and the spirit is a never-ending battle. In each generation from the beginning of the world until today, February 24, 2019, we struggle, and they did as well. One thing, however, has made the difference between those that are Christs and those who were not. That thing is obedience. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Christ said while here on earth: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). “… for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him” (Deuteronomy 13:3-4). “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:23-24). What did they know?

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