In the last devotional we examined the story of Hannah, pouring her soul out to the Lord, asking for a son. God answered her prayer, and in response, she gave her son back to Him. “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord… And Samuel’s word came to all Israel” (1 Samuel 3:19-21)
“Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit… judging Israel.” (1 Sam 7:15-16) As his career draws to a close, however, the national leaders throw him a curve ball: “They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have… this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord (1 Sam 8:5-6)
Those must be difficult words for Samuel to absorb. The Israelites are asking him to let go of his life’s work, and allow them to undo all that he has attempted to accomplish. I can understand Samuel’s dismay, can you?
To make matters worse, God directs him to give in. “And the Lord told him: “listen to all that the people are saying to you;” ARGH – really God!?
God explains that, “it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”
In those few words, God gives Samuel the perspective that He needs in order to obey. He reminds Samuel to take his own pride and ego out of the situation and to serve Him faithfully, recognizing the true nature of his work and of the people’s rebellion.
If Samuel were concerned with making a great name for himself this would be difficult. Fortunately, he has different priorities. “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people” he declares. He recognizes that God’s name is at stake here, not his own.
In the midst of this situation, however, he still has work to do. Samuel assures them, “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 what is good and right.” (1 Samuel 12:22-23)
As we serve God today, let’s remind ourselves of the same. We are serving for the sake of His great name. He will not reject His people. We are to pray for those we are serving; to teach them what is good and right, and leave the results to Him.
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
Blessings on you today,
Pastor of Women