Samuel's Faith - Part 8:
In our studies of Samuel's witness of faith it has been noted that the Lord appointed him to serve as Israel's Priest, Judge and Prophet. In these three offices he was a type of and as such pointed to the faith that was to come, Jesus Christ. In this study we will examine the specifics of Samuel's faith as types pointing to Jesus.
First of all, Samuel's conception was miraculous. His mother Hannah had been barren. She prayed for a son, promising his life would be dedicated to God's service. When the High Priest Eli told her to go in peace because her prayers would be granted, she believed. Her relations with her husband were blessed by the Lord and she became pregnant with Samuel, I Samuel 1:1 - 19. (See Faith Study Vol 2, No 35.) Therefore, Samuel's conception and birth were of God, which pointed to the virgin birth of Jesus. Samuel's service to God foreshadowed Christ's perfect life of faith as the Son of God, and of man.
At the time Samuel entered the Lord's work the Nation of Israel and its Priesthood had strayed from God's Law and was corrupt. This as was also the condition of Israel when Christ ministered on earth. The prayer/song by Hannah recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1 - 101 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.
9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
, is echoed in a similar one by the virgin Mary many years later, as recorded in Luke 1:46 - 5446 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
. Hannah's song described Samuel's mission or life's work, which pointed to what would later be fulfilled/ completed by Jesus Christ. (See Faith Study Vol 2, No 36.)
God rarely communicated with Israel through a prophet during the time between Joshua and Samuel because of Israel's apostasy, this being the sense of the phrase: "And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision." - 1 Samuel 3:11 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
b. Samuel was appointed by God as the first of the great prophets of Israel, Acts 3:2424 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.
. God spoke to Samuel and by faith he gave voice to God's Word to Israel.
As during the time between Joshua and Samuel so it was that between the last of the prophets in the Old Testament and the appearance of John the Baptist/ Jesus there was little communication by God to Israel. The Word of God Who spoke to Samuel actually came to earth as Jesus Christ, as we know from the Apostle John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:11 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
. Just as Samuel obeyed and spoke the Word of God as given to him, the Man Jesus Christ spoke, obeyed and lived the Word of God to the letter: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:1414 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
. (See Faith Study Vol 2, No 37.) So it is that Jesus was/is both the "Author and Finisher of Faith," Hebrews 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
On one occasion the Israelites asked Samuel to petition the Lord to save them from an attacking army of Philistines. Samuel sacrificed a lamb wholly unto the Lord and the Lord sent a great thunder that totally discomfited the enemy allowing the Israelites to defeat them, 1 Samuel 7:7 - 127 And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
8 And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.
9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.
10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.
11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.
12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
. This pointed to the Jesus Christ Who demonstrated complete control over all the elements of nature and Who offered Himself wholly unto the Lord as a sacrifice for the sins of His people, which brought on the defeat of Satan, the enemy of Israel.
Samuel reminded Israel he had served as their last Judge and had not abused or stolen from them and in fact since the time Joshua led them into their land they had enjoyed victory over their enemies and God's blessings, as long as they were obedient to God's law, 1 Samuel 12:1 - 131 And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.
2 And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.
3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
4 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.
5 And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.
6 And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
7 Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.
8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.
9 And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.
10 And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
11 And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.
13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
. As a sign of the truth of this statement Samuel called for thunder, lightening and rain, this during a season when it never rained, and God brought in on, 1 Samuel 12:16 - 1816 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.
18 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.
. In spite of the blessings Israel enjoyed under Samuel's priesthood, judgeship and direct line of communication with God they rejected God as their ruler/ protector and wanted a king like other nations to rule over them. In response, Samuel was appointed by God to anoint Saul as king, he being chosen by the will of man. As such Saul typified the flesh, which is the old sinful nature. God's Word came to Saul through Samuel but he did not obey that Word by faith, so he failed.
Saul thus was a type of the Nation of Israel when the Word of God was made flesh and dwelt among them. The Word of God incarnate ministered for three years to Israel, offering them the kingdom, healing the sick, providing food, raising the dead and exercising complete control over the elements of nature. But in spite of this (they truly beheld His glory, full of grace and truth) they rejected Him and had Him crucified. Just as Saul failed in faith and lost the kingdom so Israel failed, at that time, and did not inherit the kingdom. They operated (were motivated) by the will of man or else they would not have killed the Son of God and Man, Jesus Christ.
King Saul had been told to utterly destroy Israel's arch enemy, all those of the Amalekite nation, but he disobeyed and saved their leader, King Agag, and some of their best animals, 1 Samuel 15:8 & 98 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
. This was typical of the weakness of Israel (and of any human for that matter,) who because of a lack of faith are unwilling or unable to destroy the enemy. Also typically, Saul tried to justify himself with an excuse for what he did, 1 Samuel 15:2020 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
. But what Saul did not do because of his lack of faith Samuel stepped in to complete. Samuel was an old man when he personally took up a sword and cut King Agag into pieces, 1 Samuel 15:32 & 3332 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
33 And Samuel said, As the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
. In this Samuel's witness of faith points to the finished work of Jesus Christ, Who came as a weak, frail baby, lived 33 years of perfect faith in God's Word and did what no one else could do: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:3030 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
. His purpose for coming was finished: He suffered and died willingly to defeat Satan (the enemy of Israel and all mankind) and to redeem mankind from death. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:1212 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
At the time Christ died Satan was doomed, his fate was sealed, but his sentence awaits fulfillment. Samuel's witness of faith also pointed to the completion of this for while Saul in his fallen condition was still Israel's king God appointed Samuel to anoint David, God's chosen King, to replace Saul, 1 Samuel 16:3 - 133 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.
7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 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.
12 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.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
. David was from Bethlehem, 1 Samuel 16:44 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
, the same town in which Jesus was born. Had it been up to man, David would not have been chosen because man looks on the outward appearance while God looks at the heart, 1 Samuel 16:77 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
. As we will see in future studies David's witness of faith (in spite of his human frailties and sins) pointed to the faith completely fulfilled by Jesus Christ (The Man Who had no sin.) It was King David who defeated Israel's enemies and brought peace to Israel (for a time.) At some future day, The Lord Jesus Christ will completely fulfill David's type when He reigns as the only perfect and righteous King this earth will have every known: "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." Revelation 17:1414 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
Jesus Christ, in His humility, sealed Satan's fate 2000 years ago on the cross and in His resurrection, but someday the Lord Jesus Christ will come in all His glory as Lord of Lords and King of Kings and consummate His work: "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." 2 Thessalonians 1:7 - 107 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
. "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:1010 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
May those who read these lines have a blessed Christmas and rest in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.