Monday, November 7, 2011

From Samuel, prophecies of Christ

Peter says this to the people after healing the lame man:
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. (Acts 3:22-24, emphasis added)
Every time I run across these verses, I can’t help but wonder, “When did Samuel foretell of those days?” Elsewhere too, Jesus says that Samuel and all the prophets spoke of Him, and I couldn’t recall anything Samuel said like that.

So I decided I needed to look closer at Samuel’s life in the Old Testament. As I studied 1 Samuel, I first started to see that Samuel’s life was a type of Christ.
  • Samuel was born to a woman who otherwise would not have children—Hannah was infertile. (Christ was born to a woman who otherwise would not have had children—Mary was a virgin.)
  • Samuel was the firstborn son of his mother (Christ was the firstborn of His mother)
  • Samuel was given to the Lord all the days of his life. (Christ was given to the Lord all His life.)
  • Samuel grew up serving amidst wicked priests. (Christ grew up among hypocritical scribes, Pharisees and the corrupt sanhedrin.)
  • Samuel hid none of the things from Eli the priest that God had said against Eli. (Jesus hid none of the things from the chief priests that God had said against them.)
  • Samuel prayed for all Israel (1 Sam. 7:5) (Jesus interceded for all covenant Israel.)
  • Samuel traveled around Israel to judge them. (1 Sam. 7:16) (Jesus traveled around Israel to teach the people.)
  • Samuel witnessed how Israel rejected the Lord as their true king and wanted a man instead. (1 Sam. 10:19) (Jesus was rejected as “king of the Jews” when the Jews cried “we have no king but Caesar!”)
  • Samuel was cleared of any guilt or injustice. (1 Sam. 12:3-5) (Jesus was innocent of any wrong-doing.)
Seeing Samuel’s life as a type of Christ is helpful, but we are interested in seeing how Samuel prophesied of Christ. I found a few instances, somewhat disguised.

“And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house?” (1 Sam. 9:20) This was spoken to Saul before Saul was anointed king, but it was also true of Christ, who was the Messiah all Israel looked forward to, as well as his father’s royal Davidic lineage.

Samuel’s specific instructions to Saul that he should go to Gilgal and wait seven days until Samuel would come and show him what to do (1 Sam. 10:8) is a type of Christ instructing the apostles (Acts 1) to wait for the promise of the Father of the Holy Ghost to be poured out on them, which it was on the day of Pentacost, 8 days later (Acts 2).
“And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?” (1 Sam. 10:24) Samuel was speaking of Saul, but the words were also true of Christ. There was none like Jesus among all the people, considering his nature was part man and part God.

“the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people” (1 Sam. 13:14) This is Samuel’s words of rejection and chastisement to King Saul after Saul committed an act of unrighteous dominion by offering sacrifices that he didn’t have authority to offer. Jesus truly was a man after Heavenly Father’s own heart, being perfectly united in purpose and mission with Him in all things.
27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he [Saul] laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.
28 And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent. (1 Samuel 15:27-29)
These are Samuel’s words to Saul after Saul disobeyed instructions to completely wipe out the Amalekites. In verse 29, Samuel testified to the complete truthfulness and integrity of Christ as one who had no need to repent because he was “not a man,” which I take to mean “not a fallen man.”

I also found three other people in 1 & 2 Samuel who seemed to be prophesying of Christ: 1) Hannah, 2) the man of God who chastised Eli, and 3) Nathan.

Hannah

“The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up." (1 Sam. 2:6) Here Hannah spoke of Christ’s power of resurrection.

The man of God who reproached Eli

“And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.” (1 Sam. 2:35) Christ was a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek and did everything according to the will of Heavenly Father.

Nathan
12 ¶And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
Nathan’s prophecy, which spoke of the establishment of the kingdom by a son who would come from David. It speaks of a human being, Solomon, who would build a house for God. However, elements of the prophecy could be interpreted as having messianic meaning.

Having found all these instances of prophecy, it seems I’m going to have to go through all the other prophetic books and look for prophecies of Christ. (That will have to be another post, though.) It’s nice to know exactly what Samuel said that prophesied of Christ.

5 comments:

Curls said...

Wow, this is a great resource you've put together. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'M SITTING HEAR THINKING, IF YOU COULD RUN THIS QUESTION BY THE APOSTLE PETER, WHAT WOULD HIS REACTION WOULD BE?

SHAKING HIS HEAD AND HANDING THE ESSAY BACK TO YOU HE MIGHT SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT IT.

Anonymous said...

There is also the possibility that our book of Samuel isn't as complete as the book of Samuel from 2,000 years ago.

Eric Wilbert said...

I believe Christ was fully man and fully God.

Michaela Stephens said...

Hi Eric,

I can understand why you would wish to say that Christ was fully man and fully God. It sounds pretty. However, to say that was physically the case during His mortality is contradictory. If he was fully man, then a mortal man would have to have been his father with Mary. If he was fully God, then a Goddess would have to have been his mother, and as good as Mary was, she was not that.

On the other hand, I can definitely agree with you that he was fully God in the spiritual sense. He developed all the divine attributes to their fulness. He was also fully man in his mortal capability to suffer and sin, although He resisted every temptation to sin.

Thanks for stopping by.