Samuel’s farewell address in 1 Samuel 12 is an eye-opener. And it’s packed with valuable and timely insight. It’s take on human government is something that in our own politically charged climate is not to be missed. And it’s lessons, need to be recalled in every generation.
It is Samuel’s farewell address at the installation of Saul as the 1st king of Israel that captures my attention today.
If we learn nothing else from this farewell address, the first thing to note is that human government is a gracious gift of God – but! – it is in response to our sinful desire to be led by men rather than by God directly. It’s not God’s best for us, but it is His mercy on us rather than leaving us completely abandoned.
It is government’s dual nature here we must grasp. Yes, it is a gift of God to keep society ordered and punish evil. And, the need for it is also a perpetual reminder that we need it, only because we are unwilling to serve God directly and individually.
It is a graciously given bit and bridle.
Note secondly it is not enough that a people has a godly leader. There must be parity for a nation to stand. If either one or the other, the leader or the people or both forsake the Lord, destruction will come. Count on it. And, it is just as true with Church leadership too. Just look at the 7 letters to the Churches in Revelation.
So we get:
This is why human government cannot save us from the judgment of God in our disobedience. And why human government – even the best human government still requires us to love and serve God. We cannot serve the government in place of God.
Isn’t it interesting then that Samuel can call this new government – instituted by God – and the kingship of Saul: “an empty thing that can’t profit or deliver” in vs. 21.
Isn’t that a powerful rebuke regarding how much emphasis the Church in America right now places on political power and societal position?
All of it is worthless and cannot possibly profit us, nor can it rescue us from the true dangers we face – the spiritual ones. Only a people bound together to seek and serve the Lord is of any real good.
Our greatest dangers right now are far more severe than Covid 19, government overreach, secret cabals, deep state shadow governments or globalist conspiracies – it is standing in the judgment of God for our rebellion against His Lordship. Personally, and as a society.
Heavenly Father, prevent us, prevent me from slipping into that all too commonly visited abyss of imagining that the hope for the Church or the nation in any fashion rests in government or leadership. We need Christ! And to look to Him as our King. To love and serve Him. Then and only then will it be well with us. As Jesus taught us to pray – Father – “Thy Kingdom Come!”
Let that sink into your soul today listener.
God bless. And God willing, we’ll be back Monday.