Summary: 6thin a series on characters mentioned in Heb 11
Chico Alliance Church
December 8, 2002
Pastor David Welch
“Samuel & David”
Unlikely Heroes Part Seven
The point of this brief series has been to emphasize the fact that an all-powerful God delights in using the weak things of this world to accomplish the impossible.
Those who listen, trust and obey God in the face of impossible odds bring Him pleasure.
Hebrews 11 lists those who please God by their faith and who from weakness became strong because at some point in their life they listened, trusted and obeyed God’s voice.
Barak in all his reluctance courageously faced impossible odds and brought about victory.
Gideon, in spite of a long list of significant inadequacies became a courageous warrior and leader to bring about deliverance for Israel.
Jephthah, in spite of a shameful heritage and impulsiveness, also believed that God would deliver Israel through his leadership.
Samson lived a life of selfish sensuality and fleshly indulgence resulting in severe life-long consequences but finally realized his desperate need for God which resulted in significant deliverance from Philistine occupation.
Introduction / Background
There are two more unlikely heroes left in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews which highlights those who by faith realized the power of God against the impossible.
Today we look at Samuel and David, the final two names listed in Hebrews 11:32.
Samson’s persistent disobedience resulted in a premature demise which left God’s plan for deliverance incomplete.
In 1 Samuel we stumble on another godly barren woman.
I find the comparison and contrast between Samson and Samuel quite striking.
A leadership void arose in Israel not only politically with the life and death of Samson but spiritually with the corruption practiced by Eli the priest’s perverted sons.
God addressed this void in answer to the humble prayer of a godly woman named Hannah.
Hannah was one of two wives married to Elkanah.
Elkanah loved Hannah even though she bore him no children.
In fact he treated here more special than his other wife who had given him children.
His other wife however persecuted Hannah and never let her for get that God had closed her womb to children.
This became a continual point of distress for Hannah and she cried out to the Lord for a child.
She promised if God granted her a child she would dedicate him to life-long service to God in the tabernacle as a Nazirite. (A substitute for Samson?)
God heard her plea and granted the desire of her heart.
Samuel was born and presented before to Eli the priest for service in the things of the Lord.
From a very young age Samuel ministered to the Lord by doing chores and serving Eli.
Because of Eli’s corrupt children and his failure to rebuke them, God pronounced judgment through a prophet of God.
God then issued a call to His young servant Samuel.
We are told of his early growth and sensitivity to God.
Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD. 1 Samuel 3:19-21
Through this unlikely boy who was raised by an impotent priest, God accomplished what Samson failed to do.
Through Samuel, God brought greater deliverance from Philistine rule.
Samuel became a powerful prophet and a highly respected judge of Israel.
Perhaps Samuel lacked a parental role model because his very own son’s failed to follow in his godly example and the people feared what would happen when Samuel died leaving his sons to rule in his place.
Their fear was based on their unbelief in God’s ability to effectively rule over them.
They rejected God as their supreme ruler and expressed a desire for a monarchy modeled after the other nations rather than a unique Theocracy.
God granted their desire and anointed a human king to rule over them.
Saul does not appear in Hebrews because Saul’s life was a disaster and full of disobedience and selfishness to the very end.
He was impatient, impertinent, impulsive and incomplete in his obedience to God.
"Your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you." 1 Samuel 13:14
Because of such a self-centered focus and a heart like Samson’s rather than Gods, God ripped the kingdom from his hands and removed His Spirit’s anointing on his life.
That opened a new chapter and the anointing of a successor to Saul.
Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons." 1 Samuel 16:1