First Samuel 12 Commentary.
God has been Israel’s king all this time. He has been a very good king. He has rescued the nation from many troubles. But why has Israel asked for a king? The great prophet cannot understand. He looks into the history books to check for mishandling or possible leadership failures, but he finds none. He can only find many instances of great deliverances even in times when Israel didn’t deserve it. The great prophet is asking the same question that Isaiah would later ask: what more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? Isaiah 5 verse 4.
He then turns his attention to his own leadership. He hasn’t misrepresented the LORD’s righteous rule by either cheating, corruption, or oppression. So, this vote of no confidence in God’s leadership, where is it coming from? What is the basis?
Of course, the prophet knows why the people have asked for a king. It is because of Nahash, the Ammonite king. He is mercilessly brutal against Israel.
How do we react when faced with real trouble? Many dethrone the LORD and install their own means of survival. By turning to sin, we insult the LORD who has been our source and deliverer all these years. By failing to look at our lives and draw testimonies from there, we easily conclude that the kingship of the LORD is not good enough to fight off the approaching trouble. Israel’s problem is actually a human problem.
Then Samuel calls upon the name of the LORD for a heavy downpour in midst of the dry season. The miracle is cementing the point that the LORD can do things that appear impossible. The king that the nation no longer cares about is well able. Obedience is key. The chapter closes with the following statement: but be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.
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