Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermoin
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
January 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM
From the Judges to the Kings

From the Judges to the Kings

1st Samuel Chapter 3:11-12, 7:7-8

The Book of Judges covers events that happened as reported in

the Book of Ruth and the first three chapters of the First Book of

Samuel. This fact is somewhat difficult to understand if attention

is focused on the order in which Books appear: Judges, Ruth and


These three books tell of Israel’s desire to have a king instead

of judges The Israelites pleaded with Samuel to appoint a judge. He

warned against such a drastic change. The account comes from the

First Book of Samuel. Because Israel’s history during the time of

Samuel was being shaped by colorful leaders and major political

events, each of these Books of Samuel will be the basis for a sermon.

Using the First Book of Samuel, today’s sermon has been entitled,

"From the Judges to the Kings". The sermon will seek to reduce

Israel’s experiences, as recorded in the First Book of Samuel, to three

major events. They are:

1. To highlight some historical problems in family life

2. To explore human reactions to those in positions of leadership

3. To highlight factors that lead from Judges to Kings

Hopefully, the sermon will add to our understanding of and

appreciation for Biblical history. Additionally, there is the intent of

continuing and intensifying our interest in a survey of the Bible.

Prior to addressing the earlier defined objectives, attention will

be focused on Israel’s history at the time of Samuel. The Israelites

had endured many years of leadership provided by Judges. Over the

years, the respect for Judges had declined. As noted in Judges 21:25,

"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which

was right in his own eyes".

That highly individualized type of morality, ethics, and people to

people relationships eventually eroded into idolatry and corruption.

In the process of time, the Israelites farther away from the Law. Soon

the worldly approach invaded the priesthood where sons of the Priest

yielded to corruption. As He always does - God brought judgment

against Israel. But He provided warning to the first Prophet after

Moses; his name was Samuel, the person whose life with appear

throughout this sermon - From the Judges to the Kings.

From the First Book of Samuel, it is possible to lift three topics

under which that narrative can be studies. Each of the topics

addresses one of the earlier stated objectives - the first of which

problems in family life.

Early in the First Book of Samuel, the account is given of a family

problem. It centered around a man, Elkanah who had two wives - a

custom during that time. One of them, Peninah, had children but

Hannah did not. While Elkanah loved and provided for Hannah, she was

nonetheless sore and provoked. Years went by and no change

occurred. On one occasion, Elkanah noticed that Hannah was deeply

grieved and inquired of her as to the reason. The next day after that

experience, Hannah arose and went to the temple to pray. There she

poured out her grief. She begged of the Lord for a male child and she

promised that she would dedicate the child to the Lord. Eli saw her

and accused Hannah of being intoxicated. She quickly corrected his

erroneous view.

Later the male child was born; Hannah named him Samuel and

she later carried him to live with Eli, the priest. It was at that

residency that the Lord called Samuel, gave him a message for Eli,

and told him of his impending leadership of Israel.

The second category of family problems found in this First Book

of Samuel involved sons of both Eli and Samuel. In the case of Eli, the

sons were promiscuous for the Bible states that "they lay with women

that assembled at the door of the tabernacle" ( I Sam. 2:22 ). Their

sin did not go un noticed nor un punished because the two boys were

later killed by the Philistines who also took the Ark of Covenant from

the tabernacle. When Eli, the priest heard the news of his sons’ death

and the loss of the Art of Covenant, he fell off a bench backwardly

causing his neck to be broken and the ninety eight years old man

died. Beloved this account of Eli and his sons is a grim reminder that

God, at his own time and in his own way, metes out rewards and


The second category of wayward children involved the sons of

Samuel. As priest, prophet, and Judge, Samuel had been an effective

leader and was respected by the Israelites. In his later years, how-

ever, Samuel made his sons judges over Israel ( I Sam. 8:1 ). His

son, Joel and Abiah, walked note in his ways, but turned aside after




lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. Soon the elders of

Israel gathered themselves together at Ramah and said unto Samuel,

Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us

a king to judge us like all the nations. ( I Sam. 8: 5 ).

Samuel was troubled by their request and he approached the

Lord about the issue. The Lord said unto Samuel, Harken unto the

voice of the people in all that they say unto thee, for they have not

rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign

over them ( I Sam 8:7 )

That divine mandate constitutes the third consideration in the

sermon - the shift from Judges to Kings. Although Samuel was sadden

by Israel’s request, he did as God had commanded; however, he did

warn them of problems that would come from a kingship. At first,

the King was admired and respected. Later the first King, Saul,

deviated from Divine leadership, was warned by Samuel, and later

died in warfare. The next King, David, eventually commenced to

fall into dishonor with God. In the interest of time, this sermon must

end before a complete recount can be presented on the kingship

of the Israelites. Fortunately, we - members of the Christian family -

have King Jesus who is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.


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