When God Comes to Town

1 Samuel 5:1-6:21

February 12, 2023 • Andrew Murch • 1 Samuel 5, 1 Samuel 6

1 Samuel 5:1-6:21 | Andrew Murch | Israel has already experienced that they cannot use God like their personal genie in a box and the Philistines are about to experience the same as well. At first, the Philistines are feeling pretty good. You see, these battles were not about the strength of one army versus another, but rather, was a show-down of the ‘gods’. The nation with the stronger god would win in battle. Duh! So obviously Dagon is greater than Yahweh, right? Don’t forget that the Lord allowed the Ark to be captured, and like a scene out of a comedy he shows that Dagon is nothing but a silly statue broken into pieces. These people who thought they could take Yahweh as a prisoner of war discover that they are under his terrible judgment. Like the Egyptians under Pharaoh they are plagued by God’s wrath. However, the Philistines get wise and say, “We know what happened to Egypt, let’s not be like them! Send it back!” So in tow of a few cows, away the Ark goes.

Day in Court

March 19, 2023 • Andrew Murch • 1 Samuel 12

1 Samuel 12:1-25 | Andrew Murch | A crotchety old man stands in front of all of Israel, reminds them of their past, and warns them of their future. Have we read this before? The way this book is going, we may see it again. Now, what is it about this message that seems similar? God is good and mighty to save? Check. The people have the promise of a blessing if they obey the Lord’s laws and commands? Check. There is a forecasting of future disobedience and curses because of it? Check. All we are missing is a mountain and a golden calf...how about king? Ah, there is human nature! Instead of a splendid cow, the people of God had dethroned the Immortal God in exchange for a fallen man of flesh and blood.

A Bittersweet Coronation

March 12, 2023 • Will Anderson • 1 Samuel 10:17–27, 1 Samuel 11

1 Samuel 10:17-11:15 | Will Anderson | Where the farmer king fights his transformation, the Lord of All remains sovereign. The bleating of His sheep Israel when Ammonite wolves threaten them stirs the Father to raise a savior for his people. The Lord would not suffer disgrace upon Himself or His people. Saul cannot help but listen to the Spirit and unite the people as a king should. The Lord does this, He is the savior of his people.

Losing Donkeys, Finding Kings

March 5, 2023 • Andrew Murch • 1 Samuel 9, 1 Samuel 10:1–16

1 Samuel 9:1-10:16 | Andrew Murch | Imagine scouring the county for your missing dog only to be told by a smelly, scraggly fortune teller that you’ll one day be President. “You’re going to rule the nation. Don’t worry about your doggy; he’s a good boy. Have a leg of lamb. Mazel tov!” That scenario is similar to what Saul thought happened up until he realized he was talking to the prophet of the Living God. Instead of paying a fee to learn about missing livestock, Saul was receiving a down payment on discovering Israel’s deliverance. Instead of reading the future, the son of Kish was availing himself to the One who writes the future. What happens next to Saul is supernatural and changes his very self into something grander than his donkey-keeping would suggest. Saul may have looked the part of what the people were hoping for in a king: he was a tall man from a rich family in a fierce tribe. These were not enough on their own. The Lord still had to shape this Benjaminite into a leader. In the Lord’s mercy, Samuel played into Saul’s simple desire for fortune telling and tells him the future as a sign. When these come to pass, Saul is anointed with the Spirit and prophesizes amongst the prophets. From these initial moments, the evidence seems to be there. It looks like Saul may have a heart for the Lord and treasure the word of the Lord. Only time will tell what really lies in the center of Saul’s heart.