Summary: The conclusion highlighted the corruption and sinfulness of life without God and without His Word. We need to cling on to the compass and map of life - God and His Word.
Israel’s attempts at trying to do life on their own have failed miserably.
• Man’s attempts at doing “what is right in their own eyes” would never succeed, we are lost, like sheep gone astray.
• They could not even maintain a decent life. With each account of a judge that God raised to rescue them, we see further corruption.
• Each chapter gets more disturbing than the last. They went further and further away from God and away from the ways of God.
These accounts are not organised strictly chronologically. That’s not the intention of the author, Prophet Samuel. They are organised for meaning.
• He has a theme. We can tell it from the way he ended this book, with a double-conclusions.
• Both parts of the conclusion featured a Levite. They couldn’t be random stories. Why would you want to conclude your book that way? Why put in random stories and tie them together to form an end?
Let’s RECAP the conclusion. Two Sunday ago we look at a Levite who had become sort-of a “priest for hire”, engaged by an Israelite to do the work of a priest in his home serving his idols.
• The people from Dan (fellow Israelites) came to steal his master’s idols and he decided to jump ship and follow them, and taking along with him the idols (as if they are precious commodities).
• Then last Sunday we looked at another Levite who married a concubine, went back to her home to get her, but on the way back she was abused and raped by the men from Benjamin (fellow Israelites).
• The Levite decided to cut her up into 12 parts and sent them to the rest of the tribes, calling for a revenge. That sparked off a messy civil war and great atrocities.
Why do you think Samuel ends his book with this “almost-glamourous” portrayal of chaos, corruption and evil? Why would he want to glorify evil?
• Think for a moment. This is the lingering thought I have. There is something that Samuel is highlighting to us and this is the thrust of the book.
• He said - Judges 21:25 “Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”
Under such conditions, corruption and evil prevails.
• This is the result of a life lost without God, and a life lost without the Word of God. No compass and no roadmap.
• After Joshua, Israel began to spiral downwards – spiritually, morally, socially, continually, one generation after another.
The message is clear for us. Is this the life we want? Is this the conditions of life we want to find ourselves in? If NO, then don’t repeat the same mistakes today!
I used two metaphors to help me remember - the Levites lost their COMPASS and their MAP. They live life ignoring God, and ignoring His WORD.
• The first Levite lost sense of God. He was called to serve Him, but end up serving a man and his idols.
• The second Levite lost sense of God’s will. He does not know what is right and good. Life is without purpose and meaning.
Samuel emphasized to us they have no king. They have no king because they have rejected the ONE King they have – God.
• This king has nothing to do with a human leader. Samuel was referring to their rejection of God.
• How can we be so sure? When Israel demanded for a human king later on in 1 Sam 8:6-7, this was Samuel’s reaction: 6But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
• They have rejected God. They have chosen to ignore God.
This was prophesied by Moses - Deut 4:25-29
25After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time - if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29But if from there you SEEK THE LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.