Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Samuel 8:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Make us a king - Hitherto, from the time in which they were a people, the Israelites were under a theocracy, they had no other king but God. Now they desire to have a king like the other nations around them, who may be their general in battle; for this is the point at which they principally aim.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Samuel was displeased; he could patiently bear what reflected on himself, and his own family; but it displeased him when they said, Give us a king to judge us, because that reflected upon God. It drove him to his knees. When any thing disturbs us, it is our interest, as well as our duty, to show our trouble before God. Samuel is to tell them that they shall have a king. Not that God was pleased with their request, but as sometimes he opposes us from loving-kindness, so at other times he gratifies us in wrath; he did so here. God knows how to bring glory to himself, and serves his own wise purposes, even by men's foolish counsels.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW), 1012-3

There are many whose hearts have been so hardened by prosperity that they forget God, and forget the wants of their fellow man. Professed Christians adorn themselves with jewelry, laces, costly apparel, while the Lord's poor suffer for the necessaries of life. Men and women who claim redemption through a Saviour's blood will squander the means intrusted to them for the saving of other souls, and then grudgingly dole out their offerings for religion, giving liberally only when it will bring honor to themselves. These are idolaters (The Signs of the Times, January 26, 1882). 2BC 1012.1

7-11. God's Intervention to Save Helpless Israel—It was the Lord's purpose so to manifest His power in delivering Israel, that they might not take the glory to themselves. He permitted them, when unarmed and defenseless, to be challenged by their enemies, and then the Captain of the Lord's host marshalled the army of heaven to destroy the foes of His people. Humility of heart and obedience to the divine law are more acceptable to God than the most costly sacrifices from a heart filled with pride and hypocrisy. God will not defend those who are living in transgression of His law (The Signs of the Times, January 26, 1882). 2BC 1012.2

12. Samuel's Diary—There are thousands of souls willing to work for the Master who have not had the privilege of hearing the truth as some have heard it, but they have been faithful readers of the Word of God, and they will be blessed in their humble efforts to impart light to others. Let such ones keep a diary, and when the Lord gives them an interesting experience, let them write it down, as Samuel did when the armies of Israel won a victory over the Philistines. He set up a monument of thankfulness, saying, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” Brethren, where are the monuments by which you keep in view the love and goodness of God? Strive to keep fresh in your minds the help that the Lord has given you in your efforts to help others. Let not your actions show one trace of selfishness. Every tear that the Lord has helped you to wipe from sorrowful eyes, every fear that has been expelled, every mercy shown,—trace a record of it in your diary. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” (Manuscript 62, 1905). 2BC 1012.3

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 664

It was when the nation was racked with internal strife, when the calm, God-fearing counsel of Samuel seemed to be most needed, that God gave His aged servant rest. Bitter were the reflections of the people as they looked upon his quiet resting place, and remembered their folly in rejecting him as their ruler; for he had had so close a connection with Heaven that he seemed to bind all Israel to the throne of Jehovah. It was Samuel who had taught them to love and obey God; but now that he was dead, the people felt that they were left to the mercies of a king who was joined to Satan, and who would divorce the people from God and heaven. PP 664.1

David could not be present at the burial of Samuel, but he mourned for him as deeply and tenderly as a faithful son could mourn for a devoted father. He knew that Samuel's death had broken another bond of restraint from the actions of Saul, and he felt less secure than when the prophet lived. While the attention of Saul was engaged in mourning for the death of Samuel, David took the opportunity to seek a place of greater security; so he fled to the wilderness of Paran. It was here that he composed the one hundred and twentieth and twenty-first psalms. In these desolate wilds, realizing that the prophet was dead, and the king was his enemy, he sang: PP 664.2

“My help cometh from the Lord,
Which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
He that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, He that keepeth Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep....
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy
coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”
PP 664.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 249-50

The way the Jewish teachers explained the Scriptures, their endless repetitions of maxims and fiction, called forth from Christ the words: “This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.” They performed in the temple courts their round of service. They offered sacrifices typifying the great Sacrifice, saying by their ceremonies, “Come, my Saviour;” yet Christ, the One whom all these ceremonies represented, was among them, and they would not recognize nor receive Him. The Saviour declared: “In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:8, 9. 6T 249.1

Christ is saying to His servants today, as He said to His disciples: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” But men are as slow now to learn the lesson as in Christ's day. God has given His people warning after warning; but the customs, habits, and practices of the world have had so great power on the minds of His professed people that His warnings have been disregarded. 6T 249.2

Those who act a part in God's great cause are not to follow the example of worldlings. The voice of God is to be heeded. He who depends on men for strength and influence leans on a broken reed. 6T 249.3

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Ellen G. White
Education, 50

In the rejection of the ways of God for the ways of men, the downfall of Israel began. Thus also it continued, until the Jewish people became a prey to the very nations whose practices they had chosen to follow. Ed 50.1

As a nation the children of Israel failed of receiving the benefits that God desired to give them. They did not appreciate His purpose or co-operate in its execution. But though individuals and peoples may thus separate themselves from Him, His purpose for those who trust Him is unchanged. “Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.” Ecclesiastes 3:14. Ed 50.2

While there are different degrees of development and different manifestations of His power to meet the wants of men in the different ages, God's work in all time is the same. The Teacher is the same. God's character and His plan are the same. With Him “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. Ed 50.3

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