Religion In Israel Just Prior To The Monarchy -- By: Gordon H. Lovik

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 13:1 (Spring 1970)
Article: Religion In Israel Just Prior To The Monarchy
Author: Gordon H. Lovik


Religion In Israel Just Prior To The Monarchy

Gordon H. Lovik

Registrar, Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis

For four hundred years after the exodus from Egypt the children of Israel were satisfied to have Jehovah God as their theocratic king. About the year 1043 B.C. the people of Israel demanded of Samuel the prophet, “make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (I Sam. 8:4). The decision was not a hasty decision but reflected a distinct repudiation of God. Jehovah said unto Samuel, “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them” (I Sam. 8:7). Jehovah elucidated further on their conduct, pointing out that Israel from the time of the exodus had “forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee” (I Sam. 8:8). The establishment of the monarchy and the institution of a non-Davidic king, Saul the Benjaminite, took place during a time when genuine spirituality seemed absent in Israel. This spiritual decline was, of course, not the design of Jehovah, because He provided for true worship among His people.

The first major section to follow will examine God’s provision for true worship in Israel. To understand more clearly the perverse-ness within the generation prior to the monarchy, the second section will set forth the false worship in Israel as recorded in I Samuel 1–12. The final section will contain several quotations from a recent archeological discovery showing a corruption of the temple worship in the days of Solomon. This is a reflection of the attitude of the people in the earlier part of the century following the founding of the monarchy. This study, it is hoped, will shed more light on Israel’s sin in demanding a king from Jehovah.

True Worship Established In Israel

God established in Israel at least four major elements, in addition to written revelation, within the religion of Israel to keep her faith

and worship centered in Jehovah. These will be discussed in the following order: (1) the tabernacle, (2) the ark of the covenant, (3) the priesthood, and (4) the prophets.

The Tabernacle. The plans for the tabernacle of Israel were first given in Exodus 25–27, 30–31, and 35–40. An extensive discussion of the tabernacle and its construction can be found in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia<...

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