Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Samuel Chapter 12

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Samuel, Nathan, & Gad 
Date Penned: (931-975 BC)
Overview: Samuel, Israel's Last Judge (c 1-31)
Theme: Samuel and Saul (c 8-15)
Message: Samuel Reminds the People of God's Blessings (v 1-25)

1 Samuel 12 Commentary

(12:1) Samuel Continues to Serve the People - Samuel continued to serve the people as their priest, prophet, and judge, but Saul exercised more and more political and military control over the tribes (see 7:15).

(12:1-3) Samuel Reminds the People of their Choice for a King - In his farewell speech, Samuel asked the Israelites to point out any wrongs he had committed during his time as Israel's judge. By doing so, Samuel was reminding the people that he could be trusted to tell the truth. He was also reminding them that having a king was their idea, not his. Samuel was setting the stage for the miraculous thunderstorm recorded in 12:16-19 so that the people could not blame him when God punished them for their selfish motives.

(12:10) Baalim and Ashtaroth -  The "Baalim and Ashtaroth" were pagan gods that we read about in 1 Samuel 7:4

(12:12-15) God Reminds the People that He is their King - God granted the Israelites' request for a king, but his commands and requirements remained the same. God was to be their true King, and both Saul and the people were to be subject to his laws. No person is ever exempt from God's laws. No human action is outside his jurisdiction. God is the true King of every area of life. We must recognize his kingship and pattern our relationships, work lives, and home lives according to his principles.

(12:17) God Shows His Displeasure - The wheat harvest came near the end of the dry season during the months we know as May and June. Because rain rarely fell during this period, a great thunderstorm was considered a miraculous event. It was not a beneficial miracle, however, because rain during the wheat harvest could damage the crops and cause them to rot quickly. This unusual occurrence showed God's displeasure with Israel's demand for a king.

(12:22) God Disciplines His People -  Why did God make the Israelites "his people"? God did not choose them because they deserved it (Deuteronomy 77-8) but in order that they might become his channel of blessing to all people through the Messiah. This was a promise God had given to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Because God had chosen the people of Israel, he would never abandon them; at the same time, because they were his special people, he would often punish them for their disobedience in order to restore a right relationship.

(12:23) A Failure to Pray - Is failing to pray for others a sin? Samuel's words seem to indicate that it is. His actions illustrate two responsibilities of God's people in this area: (1) We should pray consistently for others (Ephesians 6:18), and (2) we should teach others the right way to God (2 Timothy 2:2). Samuel disagreed with the Israelites' demand for a king, but he assured them that he would continue to pray for them and teach them. We may disagree with others, but we shouldn't stop praying for them.

(12:24) A Failure to Remember - This is the second time in his farewell speech that Samuel reminded the people to take time to consider what great things God had done for them (see 12:7). Taking time for reflection allows us to focus our attention on God's goodness and strengthens our faith. Sometimes we are so oriented toward the future and making progress toward success that we fail to take time to recall all that God has already done. Make it a practice to remember what God has done for you so that you may move ahead with gratitude.

(12:25) Our Sin Affects Our Lives - If we "still do wickedly," we will not enjoy fellowship with God and we will end up destroying ourselves. Persisting in destructive habits, immoral thoughts, and harbored resentments are examples of how we continue to sin by failing to heed God's Word.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Teaching a Lesson


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 1st Samuel with Chapter 12. In our text, we see Samuel reminding the people of the Blessings of God, and God sends judgment on Israel with rain. What catches my eye today is the Judgement God sent in verse 16. It was only a matter of time before God judged Israel on their decision for a King. It was when the people realized what they had done that God sent the rain. He did not destroy them as in the flood but reminded Israel of their sinful decision, then sent the rain to teach them a lesson. In applying, we see the Lord doing the same to us today. When we willfully sin, the Lord brings us to a place of repentance, then sends judgment to humble us and teach us a lesson. How about you? Do you see the Lord teaching you through His Judgement? Let us learn from our text today that the Lord will teach us and uses His Judgement to accomplish this task


1 Samuel 12

1 Samuel 12

 1And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

 2And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.

 3Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

 4And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.

 5And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.

 6And Samuel said unto the people, It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

 7Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the LORD of all the righteous acts of the LORD, which he did to you and to your fathers.

 8When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the LORD, then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place.

 9And when they forgat the LORD their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them.

 10And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.

 11And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

 12And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.

 13Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.

 14If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God:

 15But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

 16Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes.

 17Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.

 18So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.

 19And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

 20And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart;

 21And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

 22For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.

 23Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

 24Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

 25But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.