Day 107: Samuel's Speech

1 Samuel 11:1-15 Saul’s convincing victory over the Ammonites dispelled any doubts about his leadership. He was confirmed again as king of Israel at Gilgal, this time with the support of all Israel.


Ch 12:1-25 Samuel briefly reviewed the history of the Israelites, pointing out the many times when God had intervened and delivered them from evil and ruin. He reminded them of a basic truth: As long as Israel kept its covenant with God, God would shower blessings upon them; When they chose evil instead, they faced painful consequences. Now, with a monarchy in place, it was incumbent on both the people and the king to uphold the covenant, the contents of which are the Mosaic Law. (CCC 2060)


Ch 12:23 Here we see a succinct summary of both the benefit of interceding for others in prayer and of the negative effects of failing to do so. It is virtuous to pray for others, and it can be a sin of omission not to pray for others. Samuel, as an anointed prophet, promised to teach proper and effective intercessory prayer to the people. (CCC 946-948, 961-962, 2578, 2634-2635, 2647)


Psalm 55 This psalm speaks of false friends who caused the protagonist tremendous grief.


It is not an enemy who taunts me: What makes the situation all the more painful is the betrayal of his friend, one to whom he was exceptionally close, a companion in conversation and a fellow worshiper at the Temple.


Cast your burden...trust in you: Christ, like the psalmist, urges us to place all our trust and confidence in the loving care of God the Father. By abandoning all our troubles, fears, anxieties, and suffering into the hands of God, we can be assured that a good outcome awaits us. (CCC 322)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Saul leads the Israelites to victory over the Ammonites at Jabesh-gilead and is made king “before the Lord in Gilgal” with peace offerings (1 Sam 11:15).

  • His enthronement, like his election at Mizpah, is placed within the context of Israel’s covenant with God.

  • Samuel recalls God’s goodness toward Israel by recounting key moments in salvation history when the Lord delivered his people from their enemies.

  • This kind of historical remembrance is an important aspect of the peace offering, but Samuel is also determined to remind the Israelites that their insistence on an earthly king sprang from ungrounded fear.

  • Ignoring God’s saving acts in the Exodus and Conquest, they instead insisted on an earthly king as a means of bolstering national security.

  • And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, “No, but a king shall reign over us,” when the Lord your God was your king. (1 Sam 12:12; emphasis added)

  • Nevertheless, Samuel insists that all is not lost in Israel’s wrong-headed request.

  • What matters now for the Israelites and their king is that they should together keep the covenant with God, since both parties stand as equals before Israel’s true King.

  • Over the long haul, fidelity will determine the destiny of Israel, in spite of mistakes she might make along the way.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)


  • 1 Sam Ch 11 we get to see Saul as a great, actual leader

  • Nahash the Ammonite, an enemy of Israel, says the men of Jabesh-Gilead are terrified of him and will serve him

  • As a mark of serving Nehash, a sign of disgrace was done to them, gouging out the RIGHT EYE

  • Realize how compromised you would be in battle without your right eye

  • The shield in your left hand compromises your left side

  • The right eye no longer being in your head blinds you to your right side

  • This was Nahash neutering the men so that they would never be able to rise up against him

  • What does Saul do?

  • Saul decides to go to war and battle Nahash the Ammonite

  • Every person who belongs to Israel unites behind Saul against the challenge of Nahash

  • Saul shows that he has leadership capabilities, and the Spirit of God with him

  • Why?

  • At the end of Ch 11, the people who fought in that battle, while extolling the greatness of Saul, wanted to slaughter every one of Saul’s enemies

  • Saul shows a great amount of restraint and wisdom in NOT just destroying those who were opposed to him

  • Well done, Saul

  • Saul is a COMPLEX character

  • He isn't a HERO

  • But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do HEROIC THINGS

  • Just because Saul dies without the Spirit of God in many ways, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the Spirit of God IN THIS MOMENT, IN THIS TIME, to accomplish THIS CALL that God has given to him

  • Ch 12 Is SO POWERFUL

  • We need to pay attention to what Samuel is saying in this FINAL ADDRESS

  • He recounts the fact that in the past, what did God do?

  • He led the family of Jacob (Israel) into Egypt and they became slaves.

  • And the people cried out to the Lord God.

  • And what did He do?

  • He sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them.

  • Then they had other enemies

  • Remember any of them?

  • Sisera

  • The King of Azor

  • The King of Moab

  • The people called upon the Lord and he sent LEADERS aka JUDGES

  • Here is the Lord God TAKING CARE OF THEM

  • Jephthah, Samson, etc

  • SAMUEL HIMSELF

  • Here is Saul who has been ANOINTED BY GOD as King

  • Even Saul has demonstrated that he can UNITE THE PEOPLE AS KING

  • Samuel is demonstrating that THIS IS NOT WHAT GOD WANTS

  • GOD IS ALLOWING YOU TO HAVE A KING

  • GOD IS EVEN GIVING THE KING STRENGTH

  • GOD IS EVEN GIVING THE KING A ROLE

  • GOD IS EVEN GIVING THE KING POWER

  • BUT…

  • GOD DOES NOT WANT THIS

  • THIS IS NOT PART OF GOD’S PLAN

  • GOD TOLERATES THIS

  • BECAUSE…

  • OF THE HARDNESS OF THE PEOPLE’S HEART

  • This is IMPORTANT for us

  • We have read through Scripture and the battles the people of Israel had

  • We need to be reminded

  • We mistakenly think that THOSE BATTLES WHERE WHAT GOD WANTED? 🤔

  • NO!

  • THOSE WERE BATTLES THAT GOD ALLOWED✊🏾

  • Even though Scripture may have said XYZ about battle and leading people into those places of violence, it was NOT THE ORIGINAL PLAN

  • JUST LIKE how God is giving the Holy Spirit upon Saul

  • So this seems like GOD’S PLAN

  • But actually, GOD IS DOING THESE THINGS because of the HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS

  • God is doing this IN SPITE OF HIMSELF

  • We will hear later on in Matthew 19, at one point the Scribes and Pharisees ask him about DIVORCE

  • Jesus will remind them that Divorce and Remarriage is NOT ALLOWED, it is ADULTERY

  • They try quoting Moses to support divorce and remarriage

  • Jesus said it was because THE HARDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS that divorce was allowed back in the day

  • We will find that God’s call is ALWAYS HIGHER

  • But God sometimes allows us to “stay lower”

  • We have to keep our mind

  • We have to keep our hearts

  • We have to keep our eyes

  • SET ON THE HEIGHTS

  • WHAT WOULD GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN BE?

  • Not just when it comes to The Bible

  • God allowed things he didn’t LIKE (like violence, warfare, divorce, and destructive situations)

  • In our lives, ALL OF US have made the wrong decisions

  • AND YET...😁

  • What has God done?

  • God hasn’t said, “Well, you made the wrong choice therefore I don’t want to go where you’re going. You’re done. Hey, it was a good run. We’re over now.”

  • God DOES SAY, “Ok you made a choice that is against my will. I can send you my Spirit even now. Ok you made maybe even a permanent choice. But here you are now in a state of life that you can’t get out of. Ok it is not my will. It is not what I wanted. But, I can still work with this. I can still give you My Spirit.”

  • Samuel is saying that even though they are choosing WHAT GOD DOES NOT WANT, God will STILL be with them

  • That’s SO DIFFICULT FOR US

  • ON ONE HAND, if that’s the case then I’ll just keep choosing WHATEVER I WANT since God is going to be with me anyway

  • ON THE OTHER HAND, we can say are we sure, maybe that’s not the case.

  • I still believe that I’m DISQUALIFIED from the Lord’s Anointing

  • I’m DISQUALIFIED from the Lord’s Spirit

  • I’m DISQUALIFIED from the Lord’s being PRESENT to me

  • 1 Samuel 12: Here are the people going directly against what God wants AND YET God is going to cooperate with them in their HARDNESS OF HEART out of the GREATNESS OF HIS OWN HEART

  • THE PATIENCE OF HIS OWN HEART

  • THE UNLIMITED MERCY OF HIS OWN HEART

  • This will be BLESSED provided the King and the People are FAITHFUL TO GOD

  • If NOT…

  • CATASTROPHE!!

  • Yes, God can give them the thing they asked for, He doesn’t want that, but He will do it

  • God will still be with them

  • HOWEVER…

  • They aren’t DISQUALIFIED, but they MUST KNOW that FROM NOW ON, they were called TO BE FAITHFUL

  • That’s all CONVERSION is

  • We recognize our BROKENNESS

  • We recognize that WE NEED GOD’S GRACE

  • We recognize that WE NEED GOD’S HELP

  • God gives us His MERCY AND FORGIVENESS

  • Remember John 4: The woman adulterer? Jesus told her she was forgiven and SIN NO MORE

  • It wasn’t what Jesus wanted for her to sin, but he healed her and she can more forward and sin no more

  • YOU ARE FORGIVEN, BUT SIN NO MORE

  • THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANTED, BUT I AM WITH YOU

  • MORE FORWARD, YOU ARE NOT DISQUALIFIED

  • I AM PRESENT TO YOU

  • I CAN HEAL YOU

  • I CAN RESTORE YOU

  • LET’S MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER

  • That’s the message of Samuel’s last big speech

  • Don’t worry we aren’t done with Samuel yet 😉

  • We all have broken lives

  • NONE OF US are disqualified

  • WE HAVE ALL chosen things God didn’t want for us

  • GOD IS STILL PRESENT

  • YOU ARE NOT DISQUALIFIED

  • GOD IS PRESENT TO YOU

  • GOD CALLS YOU FORWARD

  • GOD ALWAYS MOVES FORWARD

  • YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, GO AND SIN NO MORE

  • It can be so intimidating

  • But that is our call

  • WE NEED GOD’S GRACE

  • WE NEED TO PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • WE NEED TO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we do trust in you. We give you thanks. Lord God, even in the midst of not just enemies but friends who have failed us, friends who have betrayed us, even in the midst of love that has run out, people who have promised, who have made covenants to us and promises to us and then failed to live up to those promises and broken those covenants. We know that you are faithful. And you love us. And you fight for us. And you never break your promise. And you never break your Covenant. And so we give you thanks. You delight in us. And you love us. And you choose us. And you sustain us. And so we thank you and we love you back. Help us to receive your love more and more this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”