2008-08-25 - Samuel: The Advisor Is In
Through faith Samuel administered justice. (1 Samuel 7-8, 12:1-5, 23-25, Hebrews 11:32-33)
People listened when Samuel spoke. His authority was respected. In cases of dispute, Samuel made the final decision. In his later years, Samuel retired from his post as judge and put his sons Joel and Abijah in the position. These men were deceptive, deceitful, and didn't take God or the job as seriously as Samuel did. We do not know why Samuel's sons ignored and rebelled against their father's Godly lifestyle. In spite of Samuel's imperfections as a parent, he was still used by God.
Since Samuel was too old to continue as judge, and his sons were too dishonest, the people asked Samuel to appoint them a king like other nations had. Samuel wanted the best for the people in his community but didn't like this idea. Samuel immediately sought counsel of the Lord instead of himself or others.
Samuel didn't try to figure things out for himself, didn't lecture his boys to change their ways; instead, he went to the Lord for guidance. God told Samuel the people weren't rejecting Samuel but rejecting Him. Samuel was to warn the people of the ramifications of having a king (loss of private property, forced labor, and sons drafted into battle). The people still wanted a king like other nations, and wanted a military leader. When Samuel's warnings did little to budge the people, Samuel went back to the Lord, and God told Samuel to give the people what they wanted. Thus Saul the king, and later King David, came into being. Samuel warned the people that even with a king, they still had to obey God, or they would open themselves up to God's judgment.
Samuel was a true man of God. He loved and obeyed the Lord. He was a wanted child, who grew up learning about the Lord, doing His work. Even though Samuel didn't approve of the people's decision to have a king, it did not stop his concern for the people. He was committed to continue to pray for them and teach them right from wrong. "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." (1 Samuel 12:23 NIV)
Lord, I am very grateful that You are on the throne. I daily ask that You show me the mission You have for me. May I use Samuel as an example of true connection and communication with You, my Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.