1 Samuel 9 … Consider Him Who Has Regarded His People

I found myself distracted as I approached this chapter.

We live in distracting times. Watching the news has become a feat to be tackled by only the brave and the strong. There is no shortage of items to fret over with political conflicts, threats of war and violence, economic hardships, suffering and family breakdowns.

Of course, not all distractions are evil; there are plenty of virtuous ways we can become distracted. Our family, friends, work and ministry all deserving our love and attention can often times demand more fuel than our energy tank holds; and the distraction of “how will I ever get it all done?” sets in.

Fears worries, questions, concerns, over-commitment and the everyday demands of life all offer ample opportunities for distractions.

And so it began for me in Samuel 9; I was distracted: news stories ran through my mind; the state of my own country; concerns for my family and others’ needs; upcoming holiday plans and my son’s approaching wedding in a little more than three months repeatedly emerged into my thoughts; and not to mention, I was still reeling from the people’s rejection of Almighty God as their King in 1 Samuel 8.

The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them…21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. 22 The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king,” (1 Samuel 8:7, 21-22).

Then enter the exceptionally handsome, and in the beginning humble, Saul. And unfortunately, I know how his story unfolds, and the distraction of wondering why… why did God choose Saul as king at all?

So many distractions, some extremely fretful, some joyful, and some stemming from my finite mind; but each one vying for His place on the throne of my heart and mind.

And then I read His Words, His grace-filled Words of His truth and life and love.

“For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me,” (9:16).

He breaks through, into the lives of His disobedient and stiff-necked children; He breaks through, for He Has Regarded His People.

This word translated, regarded in the NAS is a verb meaning to see.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 7200. רָאָה rāʾāh, רֹאֶה rōʾeh: A verb meaning to see… to perceive… to be concerned with… to take heed… to discern… to distinguish.

His people cry, and He hears. He hears and He sees, perceives, is concerned, takes heed to discern and distinguish the decisive need.

And in the midst of my fretting, my joy, and my questions, His great truth broke through, clearing away the distractions, “For I have regarded My people…”

Consider Him Who Has Regarded His People

Nothing escapes His notice; nothing escapes His attention; and nothing shall escape His perfect will. What more do we need?

Often as we read accounts of His flawed children, it is easy to get distracted and fix our attention on the costly detours chosen in rebellion. But what deserves our attention is His truth, He Has Regarded His People, not to merely observe them, but to intentionally act and accomplish His perfect will.

Unbelievably, His Regard for His People was a response to His children’s cries for another king. But even in the face of rejection and sin, He was setting into motion His plan, to demonstrate His definitive Regard for His People in providing the way of salvation to all who would believe.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life, (John 3:16).

“For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me,” (9:16).

He has Regarded His People, and it is not dependent upon His children at all.

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life, (Titus 3:5-7).

“For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me,” (9:16).

How do we respond to Him Who Has Regarded His People?

Perhaps the best response is to remember. Remember He Has Regarded His People and His Regard for His People is an intentional act.

Let us pray we would be moved with such gratitude as to live intentional lives as well.

  • Let us be intentional in reminding ourselves as well as others; He Has Regarded His People for no other reason than He is faithful.
    • If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself, (2 Timothy 2:13).
  • Let us be intentional in fixing our eyes and hope on Him Who Has Regarded His People.
    • Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, (Hebrews 12:1-2).
  • Let us be intentional in seeking Him in prayer, knowing He Who Has Regarded His People is near to hear and answer.
    • The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
      To all who call upon Him in truth.
      19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
      He will also hear their cry and will save them, (Psalm 145:18-19).
  • Let us be intentional to give Him all our concerns, for He Who Has Regarded His People faithfully cares for His own.
    • …casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you, (1 Peter 5:7).
  • Let us be intentional in putting aside distractions as we seek Him in His Word; we can be confident He Who Has Regarded His People will certainly grow us in our faith.
    • Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, (1 Peter 2:1-2).

Oh Father, that we would worship You, intentionally, with all that we are. Grow us in our faith to desire only You, for You alone are worthy and faithful. May we honor You with all that we are, fully convinced of Your sovereign care. And may our lives bring You glory that others may also come to know You Who Has Regarded Your People.

Let’s Grow Together!

1 Samuel 8 … Consider Him, King Unlike Any Other

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them, (8:4-7).

This is truly one of the saddest, most appalling accounts written of the nation Israel; they rejected Him as King over them.

God instructed His prophet, Samuel, to explain exactly what they were asking to receive; not only were they rejecting Him as King, they were placing themselves in servitude to a king who would not have their best interest at heart.

Samuel held nothing back; he fully informed them of what to expect from the king they wanted. As I read of what their chosen king would surely do for himself, with little to no regard for the people, I could not get over it.

The Lord was to be their King; and after all He had done for them, His signs and wonders, His presence and commands, His power and provision, He had demonstrated time and time again His faithfulness and worth. He had established and confirmed Himself as King Unlike Any Other.

And yet their desire was fixed on the world. Did they not realize rejecting Him as King, also meant rejecting His support and help?

“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” [8:18]

But even so, they rejected Him, King Unlike Any Other.

Consider Him, King Unlike Any Other

  • Their chosen king would take their sons.
    • He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots,” (8:11).
  • God, King Unlike Any Other would give His only begotten Son.
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
  • Their chosen king would make appointments to benefit himself.
    • “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots,” (8:12).
  • God, King Unlike Any Other would appoint mercy, forgiveness and His salvation for the benefit all who believe in Jesus.
    • For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
  • Their chosen king would take the best for himself.
    • “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants,” (8:13-14).
  • God, King Unlike Any Other would give His best for us.
    • He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32).
  • Their chosen king would deplete the people’s resources.
    • “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants,” (8:15).
  • God, King Unlike Any Other would fill us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
    • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Their chosen king would use the people to do his work.
    • “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants,” (8:16).
  • God, King Unlike Any Other would do His work, in us and for us.
    • Lord, You will establish peace for us,
      Since You have also performed for us all our works,
      (Isaiah 26:12).
    • For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
      Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
      Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him,
      (Isaiah 64:4).
    •  For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe, (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
    • For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them, (Ephesians 2:10).
    • for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure, (Philippians 2:13).

How do we respond to Him, King Unlike Any Other?

It is incredulous. Upon hearing the irrefutable outcome of the rule of a human king, still they insisted.

 Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles,” (1 Samuel 8:19-20).

But before we sit back on our high and mighty heels in judgment of these worthless, despicable and unappreciative people, we best begin with some honest self-analysis.

  • Don’t we also refuse to listen to the wisdom of God’s Word and look to the ways of world?
  • Don’t we also refuse to listen when we seek to somehow adapt, to fit in, and become more like the world so we don’t rock the boat?
  • Don’t we also refuse to listen when we attempt to fight our battles with the world’s rules of engagement?
  • Don’t we reject His support and help when we refuse to listen?

How should we respond to Him, King Unlike Any Other?

  • Acknowledge our sin.
    • If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:8-9).
  • Determine to listen.
    • “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it,” (Luke 11:28).
  • Recognize His good gifts with gratitude.
    • Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, (James 1:16-17).
  • Depend on His support and help as He works in us and for us.
    • For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus, (Philippians 1:6).
  • Worship Him, our King Incomparable.
    • Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

May the Lord God transform us and grow us in our faith to depend on His Holy Spirit to know, love and serve Him, our King Incomparable.

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect, (Romans 12:2).

Let’s Grow Together!