This week's Haftorah reading is from I Samuel 11:4-12:22. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he examines the motives of the Israelites' hearts, for wanting an earthly king. Do we only want ELOHIM's permissible will for our lives, or His best for us? ELOHIM is all we really need, and when we have HIM, we have His best!
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah Portion – I Samuel 11:4-12:22
Let me ask you these questions as we look a this haftorah portion…Is Elohim all you need? Is Elohim all you desire? Does His Presence give you satisfaction? Israel has demanded a king to lead them because they wanted to be like the other surrounding nations. Elohim has guided and led them into battles, took care of them, met their every need. However, it wasn’t enough because they wanted to look like the rest of the nations. Elohim told His people that He is their King and that He will go before them as He has done in the past…but the people desired an earthly king! Elohim gave the people what they wanted. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way and realize His ways are higher than ours. Elohim didn’t choose Saul…the people did! You get what you deserve. Even though Samuel anointed Saul as king he was still what the people wanted not Yah. Saul’s responsibility is to restrain wickedness, turn Israel back to Elohim and deliver them from their enemies. They have what they want but Elohim is going to reveal to the people that He is all they need! The complete message of this haftorah is that Elohim is all we need! In fact, the complete narrative of our life is to reveal that Elohim is all anyone needs! He is more than enough! Let this truth be understood!
The people of Israel arrive at another time of testing. Elohim brings about a difficulty to reveal where their trust is placed. He knows…so it is no shock to Him but He wants our heart to be revealed to us. Samuel calls for repentance and they do, only to have the Philistines attack to see if their repentance is real. What will they do? Who will they look to? Will they look to their King? No…they ask for a treaty with the Ammonites. They don’t look to Elohim but only rely on themselves…sound familiar? They need to save themselves…they think!
We certainly know where our help comes from. We know we are weak and He is strong. We know He is our source but at the same time we make ourselves our own savior instead of looking to our true Savior. Israel made a treaty with the Ammonites. Everyone will lose their right eye and be disgraced. The city responds by asking for seven days to see if anyone in Israel will come to save them and if not, they will abide by the treaty. Stop…the people still refuse to call on Elohim to save them but will send a message through the land of Israel hoping that flesh and blood will come to their rescue.
Saul hears about what is happening and the Ruach falls on him with power and he burned with anger. However, no one wanted to fight the Ammonites because they were fearful. Saul cuts a pair of oxen into pieces and proclaims that this would be done to anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel into battle. Saul gathered an army—300,000 men of Israel and 30,000 from Judah. Saul arrives and strikes down the enemy and gained total victory as salvation was accomplished through Saul by Elohim’s power.
The Kingdom is renewed and Saul is placed as king before Adonai. This kingdom picture is very important because it is showing us how Elohim will renew His Kingdom when Yeshua arrived in His first coming. Elohim will renew His Kingdom, giving victory to the fearful, bringing joy to the people. Salvation comes to Israel, not because Israel had a king, but because the king had the Ruach of Adonai upon him.
This is what we need. We need people, pastors and leaders who will successfully renew the Kingdom of Elohim and give victory to the fearful because we have let the Ruach rest upon us. When Yeshua declared that the Ruach was upon Him as prophesied in Isaiah 61, we need to see what that means. Yeshua is declaring that He is the King we need who will renew Elohim’s Kingdom and give victory to the fearful because he has the Ruach upon Him. “And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Ruach of Adonai is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.” And He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them. “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Look what it meant to have the Ruach on Yeshua (you and I). It meant proclaiming good news to the poor and liberty to the captives. It meant He was giving sight to the blind and liberating the oppressed. It meant He was proclaiming the year of Adonai’s favor. Saul is representing this hope for Israel as Elohim’s anointed. We are representing this hope for the world (our small world) as Elohim’s anointed. Today is a day of rejoicing because Elohim has worked His salvation for us!
Let’s now look at I Sam. 12:1-19…. Now that Saul is established as the king over Israel, Samuel is going to decrease while Saul increases as king. I Samuel 12 is Samuel’s farewell address to Israel and his message is very important for Israel’s future. Samuel has faithfully served Israel and served Elohim with integrity. He gives them a small history lesson on what Elohim has done for them. He tells the people in verse 9, “But you forgot your Elohim.” Even in this narrative and their victory they still did not turn to Elohim to be their King and rescuer. Elohim is enough to be your King he proclaims! However, you wanted your king and Adonai has given you a king that you desired. Ouch…not the one Elohim desires but what they desired---this rings true in our own lives…our desires and not His is what we truly desire.
Samuel tells the people that they and the king must follow Elohim and serve Him. If they obey and not rebel against the voice of Elohim it will go well but if not, the hand of Elohim will be against them. Samuel is renewing the covenant with Israel like Moses did, noting in his proclamation it is the wheat harvest (Shavuot). He calls on thunder and rain so that the people will see that their wickedness is great because they have asked for a king (12:17). In I Sam. 12:19 they ask Samuel to pray on their behalf so that Elohim does not kill them for asking for a king. Samuel wants them to understand that they have made a royal mistake. He gives a final call to Israel. He tells them to turn away from empty things that cannot prosper or deliver. He proclaims “Elohim is all they need because nothing else can help them or rescue them!” These words are true today for all of us. Can wealth, health, job, possessions ever recue you?
Everything that we think is so important becomes nothing during times of trouble. He reminds the people not to turn away from Elohim because whatever you turn to is futile, useless and empty compared to Elohim. Everything that seems so important is no longer important. It is non-essential! Empty!
Samuel wants them to know, unlike people, Elohim does not abandon them (12:22). Elohim is all we need because He does not forsake or abandon us. Elohim is the surest thing in our lives. Samuel reminds them, “Elohim is all you need.” He is reminding us also! Stop looking for more! Our desire for more out of this life is killing us and destroying us. Elohim is all you need!
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Fear Adonai and serve Him with all your heart. Stop looking for more because Elohim is all you need! See you at the altar!