To make matters worse, the Philistine armies had moved up against Israel and were defeating them. So the elders of Israel decided to get the ark of the covenant from Shiloh and carry it into battle. They reasoned this way: ''It may save us out of the hand of our enemies'' (1Sam 4:3). The ark symbolized God's presence with His people. But Israel failed to distinguish between having 'a form of godliness' and knowing God's presence in their midst. Not only was Israel defeated in the battle with the Philistines, but that heathen people also killed the two sons of Eli and captured the ark. Ungodly men cannot preserve the power of true faith. They turn the most holy things into ridicule. Furthermore, the Lord will not protect empty ritual when the Spirit is gone. Sin always brings defeat.
But let's get back to the primary thought of these studies. Perhaps someone is asking, ''Where in this book of apostasy, sin, and defeat do we see the Lord Jesus?'' First Samuel is really a biography of three men: Samuel, Saul and David. We shall consider each of them, probing to see how the Lord Jesus is pictured either by comparison or contrast.
Similarities between Christ and Samuel may be seen in the growth of Samuel, his acceptance as prophet and priest, and his place as a ruler. Samuel's activity was terminated when the people, demanding a king, rejected him (1Sam 8:7).
So, Saul was chosen king over Israel. He was head and shoulders above other men. He made an awesome sight as he stood among the people. The ''morning'' of Saul's life was calm and bright. How wonderful if he would have said something like, ''Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee!'' ...But no.
- ''There is a line by us unseen
- But crosses every path,
- The hidden boundary between
- God's patience and His wrath.''
Much about Saul suggests Satan's counterfeit, [the] Antichrist. The Lord Jesus came in the Father's name and was rejected. Antichrist will come like Saul of old, the people's choice. He will be received and exalted. But he will bring a holocaust of war, famine, despair, and death.
David was anointed as king long before he was recognized. He was sought and hunted by Saul, who desired his death even though he had done nothing to deserve it. David's first public act was the meeting of Goliath; similiarly, our Lord's first experience, following His baptism, was His temptation by Satan in the wilderness.
The first part of David's reign was met with great acclaim by the nation. The Lord Jesus was met in His triumphal entry with cries of ''Hosanna to the son of David!''
It was not long, though, until David was rejected by Israel and had to hide in the cave of Adullam. John tells us that Jesus ''came unto His own, and His own received Him not'' (John 1:11). A strange company of men gathered with David in that cave-- some 400 of them. Who were they? They were the distressed, the debtors, the discontented. But somehow they were attracted to David [cp. Mat 11:28; Luke 5:30-32]. The inspired writer to the Hebrews said, ''Let us go forth, therefore, unto Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach'' (Heb 13:13). You would find it most interesting to read the story of these men who joined David and who were faithful to him at the time of his rejection (2Sam 23:8-39). Paul wrote to young Timothy, ''If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us'' (2Tim 2:12).
Christ is the anointed of God. No doubt about it, Jesus Christ will reign! However, we are living in the time of His rejection. It will not always be so, for coronation time is coming!