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The necessity of obedience is further illustrated by the history of Saul, who had been anointed king over Israel. He arrogantly and impatiently called for a burnt offering and a peace offering, and he offered the burnt offering, whereas it was the office of Samuel to make the offering, and Saul had been directed to wait until Samuel came. And Samuel said to Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly; thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy GOD, which He commanded thee;-thy kingdom shall not continue." And when Saul, in his expedition against the Amalekites, had failed to fulfil the commandments of the Lord, and had brought away alive the cattle which he was directed to slay, excusing himself for this breach of command, by saying, that he saved the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto the Lord GOD; "Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams; for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Behold, thou hast rejected the word of the Lord; he hath also rejected thee from being kings." It was absurd, as well as
P 1 Sam. xiii. 9.
r1 Sam. xiii. 13, 14.
impious, in Saul, to suppose that an act of disobedience could be regarded as an act of service; and that the contempt of God's word should be accepted as the fruits of faith. "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"
After Saul had been anointed king" by Samuel," the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he prophesied," and "GOD gave him another heart"," as Samuel had predicted, "The Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and thou shalt be turned into another man." Yet we find, that Saul, notwithstanding his regeneration, acted disobediently, and that he was, upon that account, deprived of his station; and, moreover, "the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him"." Thus, the history of Saul proves, that the " regeneration" which is produced by the gift of the Holy Ghost, does not relieve a man from the necessity of keeping his heart and affections in continual subjection to the declared will of the Deity; the Spirit is given to direct and assist his own exertions, not to supersede them; to guide, but not to force him. So that, although a man possess the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be rege
t Luke, vi. 46.
* 1 Sam. x, 6.
z See PART VI.
nerated, have another heart, and be turned into another man, he is not thereby necessarily secured from sin; he is offered light, assistance, counsel, but he is left at liberty to adopt or to refuse these; he is left exposed to the temptations of Satan and of his own nature; and, unless he be ever on the watch, and ever armed against these spiritual enemies, he will, notwithstanding his regeneration, be " entangled again with the yoke of bondage." "Wherefore," says the Apostle, most justly, "let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
Saul having been rejected from being king, Samuel, by the direction of the Deity, made choice of David, the youngest son of Jesse the Bethlemite (who was the ninth in direct descent from Judah ), to succeed him. And he "took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward d." Thus David received "an unction from the Holy One," of which the anointing with oil was a figure.
David," of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ camef" (Christ being, in many instances,
• Gal. v. 1.
b 1 Cor. x. 12.
c Gen. xxxviii. 29. Ruth,
d 1 Sam. xvi. 13.
e 1 John, ii. 20.
f Rom. ix. 5.
styled the Son of David ), was himself a strong figure or type of our Redeemer. He was of the town of Bethlehem, in which town" Jesus was born." He was the keeper of his father's sheep when Samuel anointed him; and, after he received the holy unction', he resumed his office of shepherdm. Christ is announced as a Shepherd, under the name of David", and as a Shepherd who is the fellow of the Lord of hosts"; "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd P," says Isaiah; and our Saviour calls himself, "the good Shepherd 4." As Christ is called David in the prophetic writings, it is evident that David the son of Jesse was a representative of our Redeemer; and accordingly we find, not only that there are several leading particulars in the history of this son of Jesse, which are illustrative of the character and history of "the Son of GOD," but that the several passages throughout the Psalms of David which are applicable to the history and character of the Messiah, are, by the writer of those Psalms, applied to himself"; so that he makes himself the
8 Matt. ix. 27; xv. 22 ; xx. • Zech. xiii. 7. Matt. xxvi. 30, 31; xxi. 9, 15; xxii. 42. 31.
h 1 Sam. xvi. 1, 4.
i Matt. ii. 1.
k 1 Sam. xvi. 11, 19.
1 1 Sam. xvi. 13.
m 1 Sam. xvii. 15.
n Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24; xxxvii. 24, 26. John, xii. 34.
P Isaiah, xl. 11.
9 John, x. 14.
Psalm i. 2, 6–9; ix. ; xviii. 50; xxi.; xxii.; xxxi.; xxxv.; xl.; xli.; xlii.; liv.; lxi.; lxix.; lxxii.; lxxxix. ; cii.; cix.; cxlii.
representative of Christ, of whom he speaks, when he appears to be relating his own personal character and afflictions.
When Saul was possessed by an evil spirit, David played before him, and "the evil spirit 'departed from him;" so, with authority, Christ "commanded the unclean spirits, and they obeyed him t." David slew the beasts that came to devour his lamb ", and, when the second David was to appear, it was foretold, that "the evil beasts" should "cease out of the land";" for, where His kingdom is established, "no lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast*;" "the beast of the field shall honour mey," saith the Lord. David delivered the Israelites from their enemies; the second David was to break the bands of His flock and to deliver them1;" He was to "prevail against His enemies "." destroyed the Amalekites and rescued his two wives; Christ has defeated the spiritual Amalekites, and has rescued His two wives, the spiritual Israel and the spiritual Judah, Aholah and Aholibah," the daughters of one mother,"
1 Sam. xvi. 23. t Mark, i. 27.
u 1 Sam. xvii. 34-37.
Ezek. xxxiv. 25.
* Isaiah, xxxv. 9. Isaiah, xliii. 20.
Isaiah, xlii. 13.
c See SECT. II.
d Jere. iii. 14.
• Ezek. xxiii. 2, 4. See PART III.