THE CONTRAST BETWEEN SAMUEL AND SAMSON
Some Bible students have pointed out that Samuel was a person of high character. The matter of character, however, is not the crucial point regarding Samuel. Many people have a high character, but they are just for themselves, their enterprise, and their kingdom. They are not for God’s kingdom. Samuel was not only high in character; he was high in the Nazarite vow.
It is worthwhile to compare Samuel with another Nazarite—Samson. Samson also was a Nazarite by his mother’s vow, but he was very different from Samuel. When the Bible speaks of Samson and the other judges, it often says that the Spirit of God rushed upon them (Judg. 14:6, 19). But there is no such word about Samuel. A Nazarite does not need rushing power; rather, a Nazarite needs a heart that is a reflection of God’s heart. Unlike Samson, Samuel did not gain a mighty victory by slaughtering a great number of others. On the contrary, Samuel was a Nazarite for God’s interest.
Although it was not easy for Samuel to stand for God in his particular environment, he cared for God’s interest and he turned the age. According to the Old Testament, Samuel is ranked with Moses in being for God and for God’s interest (Jer. 15:1).
GOD USING A NEGATIVE KING TO DISCIPLINE ISRAEL
The history in 1 Samuel was directed by God. God did not go directly to David because David was still young and because Israel, whom God loved to the uttermost, needed some training. They needed to be disciplined by God with a negative king so that they would realize that replacing God with a king was not a matter of blessing.
God is a God of patience. Even though Eli was not so positive, God allowed him to be the judge for forty years. It is difficult to determine the length of Samuel’s judgeship, which must have lasted at least thirty years before Saul came in to reign over Israel negatively. Next, God tolerated the reign of Saul for forty years, and then He brought in David.
GOD’S INTENTION THAT CHRIST
WOULD BE BORN IN THE LINEAGE OF DAVID
Without Samuel it would have been very hard for God to carry out His economy. God had the intention that Christ would be born in the lineage of David, and only Samuel could bring in David. Without a David there would not have been the lineage of Christ’s genealogy. In order for God to reach the time of incarnation, there had to be some preparation, and Samuel was a part of that preparation. God raised up Samuel and prepared him for God’s use to do whatever was necessary to gain, through David, the proper lineage of the genealogy of Christ.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEGINNING WITH DAVID
God used Samuel to anoint first Saul and then David. As we will see when we consider the history concerning Saul, Saul only had a monarchy. The kingdom of God came first under David, when God’s throne was established in Jerusalem. In Matthew 21:43 the Lord Jesus told the Jewish leaders that the kingdom of God would be taken from them. This indicates that the kingdom of God began in the Old Testament. It did not begin with Abraham or with Moses but with David. Therefore, what we see with David is not any kind of monarchy but the kingdom of God.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)