Pastoral Commentary for 1 Samuel 11:12-12:25
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
When the people saw Saul's leadership demonstrated so dramatically they wanted to kill the men who had questioned Saul's anointing. Saul, however, rebuked them saying, "Not a man shall be put to death this day, for today the LORD has worked salvation in Israel." Saul's kingship was reaffirmed that day in a great celebration with offerings to the God of Israel. In order to complete the leadership transition, Samuel appeared before the people of Israel to address them one more time. As if to seal his credentials as a prophet of God, he asked Israel if he was guilty of any wrongdoing. When Israel affirmed Samuel's innocence, Samuel began to confront them with everything the Lord had done for them as His chosen people. Samuel reminded them that because they had forgotten the LORD, he gave them into the hands of their enemies. Samuel told Israel that if they and the king God appointed would serve the Lord, then He would be good to them, but if they rebelled against His commands then the LORD would come against them. Samuel called on the Lord to send thunder and rain, and the people of Israel were in awe of the Lord, and of Samuel His prophet. In fear the people asked Samuel to pray so that they would not die. Samuel assured the people that if they would not turn from the LORD to idols, then He would not reject His own people. Nevertheless, Samuel concluded with a warning that if they persisted in doing evil, Israel and their king would be swept away.