King's Business - 1915-04



take the work to which God had commis­ sioned him for fear of the consequences (v. 2). When God says “Go” we ought not to reply, “How can I,” but to start out and go and leave God to settle the “how.” It was the fear of man that brought the snare to Samuel in this instance. “If Saul hear it,” he says, “he will kill me” (cf. Prov. 29:25). How foolish that fear was. How could Saul or any one else kill a man who had a work to do for God? Xt the first glance it may appear to some as if Jehovah in the second verse told Samuel to tell a lie when He said to Samuel, “Take a heifer with thee and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” But if we look carefully at it in the connection we will see that Jehovah did nothing of the kind. He did not even tell Samuel to conceal the purpose of his mission. Jehovah is never put to such straits as that, and it shows a lack of faith in God when we resort to false­ hood or indirection to secure our ends. What God did do was that He simply re­ fused to argue with Samuel the question of his going. Samuel had asked, “How can I go?” and God disregards his ques­ tion utterly and simply repeats the com­ mission and tells him what to say and further tells him that at the proper time, He will show him what to do (v. 3). What Samuel was bidden to tell was the exact truth as far as it went. We are under obligation to tell the exact truth even to our- enemies if we tell them anything; of course, we are not under obligation to tell them all we know. The way in which God led Samuel here is the way in which He usually guides His servants, a step at a time. He tells them as much as it is neces­ sary for them to know at the present and withholds the rest until they need to know it (cf. Acts 22:10). It is “the steps" of a good man that are ordered of the Lord (Ps. 37:23), and usually a step at a time. In this way God tests and develops our faith: too many wish the Lord to point out the whole way before they will take the first step. “The elders of the town trembled at his

c o m i n g The elders of the town knew that there had been a breach between Sam­ uel and Saul. ; They had confidence in Samuel but did not wish to antagonize Saul. They feared his coming was to de­ clare open opposition to Saul. While they probably knew that God had rejected Saul, still they were not ready to be out and-out and take their stand with Jehovah against their king who still retained much power. They were like many today who are not willing to pay the price of standing out and out with God against their leaders. v. 5. “/ am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to i the sacrifice.” Samuel told the truth and nothing but the truth. His purpose in coming was to sacrifice unto the LORD. As incidental to that sacrifice he was to anoint some one to be king, but just who or when he did not know. Jehovah had promised to show him that when the time came, but the sacrifice to Johovah at Je­ hovah’s commandment was the worlfimme- diately in hand and in this work he invited the co-operation of the elders, in the work of anointing David they will have nothing to do. As a condition of coming to the sacrifice they must “sanctify” , themselves, i. e. separate themselves from everything .unclean and wrong and set themselves apart for God. No sacrifice is acceptable to God if it is offered by unclean hands or unclean persons. v. 6. “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.” This was a hasty judgment on Sam uel’s part and he was very confident in it but wise man that he was, he did not aci Upon this hasty judgment which was only his own natural judgment, but waited foi the voice of Jehovah and that soon came and set him right. If he had been like some of us, he would have acted at once upon his own impressions and so would have anointed the wrong man. How many mistakes we would all avoid if we had less confidence in our own judgment, no matter how sure the case seems to us, and would

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