Section : Melchizedeks In The Running

Samuel is  Melchizedekian Prophet / Priest / King descended from Moses’ tribe of Levi. Any time of transition is chaotic, stressful, uncertain. For believers, the word of the LORD is all the more precious during these times. The account of Samuel’s rule labeled I and II Samuel are worth much more than the children’s Sunday School stories for which they are usually consigned.

“And [the child] Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground [fail to come to pass]. And all Israel from Dan [northern border] even to Beersheba [southern border] knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. (I Samuel 3:19-21)

During Samuel’s rule, the primary enemy was the dreadnaught Philistines, in battle after battle after battle.

image_1723_1e-tell-abu-al-kharaz

And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines:” (I Samuel 4:2)

This drove the people of Israel to insist on a king to lead them in battle during war and enhance their prosperity during peace. 

“all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah. And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations…And the LORD said unto Samuel…hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.” ( I Samuel 8)

Judah was destined for kingship, but the 10 generation hiatus was not yet completed. Judah had taken Benjamin under his protection, and that relationship had remained close, with the tribe of Judah effectively amalgamating into Judah. So it makes sense that, barring the tribe of Judah, the first king came from the tribe of Benjamin.

“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken…Thus saith the LORD of hosts / armies, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel…

Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not…[and] ox and sheep, camel and ass.

But Saul and the people spared Agag [undoubtedly to ransom], and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good [again the profit motive], and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

  • Problem #1, rebellion / disobedience: And Samuel came to Saul…Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD?
  • Problem #2, stubbornly denying he did wrong, which is even worse, because we can be forgiven and restored only when we confess our sin. And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me…
  • Problem #3, blame shifting: But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed,
  • Problem #4, dissociating himself from God: and have brought Agag the king of Amalek to sacrifice unto the LORD thy – THY!!! – God in Gilgal.

And Samuel said…rebellion is as [equal to] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king…The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.” (I Samuel 15)

Then Saul, (who is also called Paul)..said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, .give audience. The God of this people of Israel…gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king… (Acts 13)

I can’t help but sidebar here to note that the Apostle Paul had a reason for mentioning his namesake King Saul in his first recorded sermon. Being from the same tribe of Benjamin, he may have been a direct descendant. He certainly was named after him, and had much in common with him. It does lead me to wonder if both Paul and God didn’t have a soft spot in his heart for King Saul. Certainly Samuel did. For certain God must have mourned being forced to set Jonathan aside.

Perhaps, a thousand years later, Jesus recruited Saul of Tarsus so persistently in order to restore kingship to this family, and to once again enjoy the eternal love that his Spirit had experienced in David with Jonathan,  surviving through the ages in their descendants. This concept is nicely presented in the movie Cloud Atlas.

3c8f110a1dc19868650f6cc09a19b094Doesn’t every epic story consist of heroic deeds during which the fighter lays his/her life on the line? The stories we know thousands of years after they occurred were even more well known in the mere centuries after the events originally occurred.

  • Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel…
  • And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots,
  • and six thousand horsemen,
  • and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up…

then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits… (I Sam 13:1-6) 

112366586_smallmed_1494300816“Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. And Jonathan said…there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart….And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him…

article-2138404-12e1abaa000005dc-687_964x633

  1. and they fell before Jonathan;
  2. and his armourbearer slew after him…
  3. and the earth quaked…and, behold, the multitude melted away,
  4. and they went on beating down one another….every man’s sword [of the Philistines] was against his fellow…
  5. And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and there was a very great discomfiture. 
  6. Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. 
  7. Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. 

So the LORD saved Israel that day.” (I Samuel 14) 

Naturally Jonathan’s fame as the champion of Israel spread throughout Israel. One man – make that two, including Jonathan’s faithful armourbearer – leading the defeat of 50-100,000 enemies! Can you not see all the boys throughout Israel play-acting this famous scene over and over, and daydreaming that one day he would be a hero like the Crown Prince?

But only David acted in reality on a conviction that he could also trust in the God of Israel, and found salvation not only for himself and his family but for the whole nation of Israel through his faith in action.

Think about how little of the written word of God David had at his disposal on which to base his trust. All he needed was Genesis 3:15. The first principle to believe – and act on – is that the Promised Savior would reverse the curse of death in some mysterious way when a human would crush the head – utterly destroy leadership and all that follows – of the adversary. We can infer he knew that because he acted on that – he personally crushed the head of the enemy of God’s people. Would there have been salvation if David and the men who followed him into battle had simply believed that God would send a deliverer?

No.

davidandgoliath

“Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle [again]…And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together.

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together…

And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid

And David said to Saul, thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine… 

Then said David to the Philistine…This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; that all the earth may know that there is a [singular] God in Israel [Purpose for nation of Israel].

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him…And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines…to the gates of Ekron. (I Samuel 17)

When David returned triumphant from battle, Saul had a choice to make.

A man of the tribe of Judah had already been anointed to king through the written word and through the prophet Samuel’s spoken word.

Samuel said unto Saul…thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he [Saul] laid hold upon…his [Samuel’s insignia of office]mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.” (I Samuel 15:23-28)

Would Saul

  1. compete with this most evidently exceptional individual and become his enemy, or
  2. acknowledge his superiority and become his friend.

As Saul’s son / extension, Jonathan was also disinherited. He too had the choice to believe and act on the evidence that David was Yahweh’s Anointed king, or not.

Can you see how this image would have been in Jonathan’s – and Saul’s – minds’ eyes as Jonathan acts on his faith that the LORD has given David not just the victory that day, but the kingdom in the future – by handing him his mantle.

the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soulThen Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.” (I Samuel18:1-4) 

Jonathan’s behavior towards David is exactly what anyone who claims to accept the son of David as their lord and savior must do – publicly surrender to his authority. Like his father Saul, and the rulers of Israel in Jesus’ day, Jonathan could have clung to his self-glorifying sense of power. But he stayed true to the LORD’s Word, even giving up his life as the heir to the throne.

Righteous has always been defined, in God’s eyes, as restoring a right relationship with God. It starts by believing God but proceeds beyond that to acting in accordance with what pleases God. It’s like a marriage relationship. You can go through the ceremony and say the words “I do”, but unless you actually “do” and consummate the marriage you are not in a marriage relationship and it can be annulled.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works [can’t be done]I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 

“And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should  kill David…And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for theeSaul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger…”

This is what Yeshua meant when he said

“If any man come to me, and hate [refuse to accept, like lima beans] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

“in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David…David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. ” (I Samuel 20:3-42)This is what Yeshua meant when he said

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

07252191b5777ad761db19bce0f1f550

Because his soul was knit with the Chosen One’s soul, i.e. his identity was now one with the LORD’s Anointed One, Jonathan gave up his own life in every way possible – family, social standing, even to death, to promote God’s Anointed Savior’s supreme reign.

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Melchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers…So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.” (I Samuel 31:1-5)

“And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son…The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!…the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil…From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” (II Samuel 1)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s