For most of this past week, I’ve been reading in 1 Samuel, the ninth book of the Bible. I’ve been humbled, touched, encouraged, and challenged through this book.
Chapters 1-7 center around Israel and the story of the prophet, Samuel. Before childbirth Samuel was dedicated to the Lord and during boyhood he was in the temple courts. The Lord was with Samuel and he became the judge\prophet over Israel. [1 Samuel 1:9-28, 3:1-17]
By chapter 8, Samuel was getting along in his years, and the Israelites requested a King to rule over them.
They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do no walk in your ways, now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
1 Samuel 8:5 (NIV)
Do you understand the enormity of this request?
Leviticus 20:26 says this; You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (NIV)
God had set Israel apart.
The Lord had separated Israel as HIS nation, and the people rejected Him, by desiring to become like all the other nations.
God had rescued the Israelites and shown mercy to them, time and time again. Thus, can you imagine the anger Samuel should have been harboring towards Israel?? This prophet, this man who walked so closely with God, was asked to appoint them a King; he was asked to be the trigger of Israel’s departure from God!
But at this request, it only said that Samuel was displeased and he prayed to the Lord. [I Samuel 8:6 b]
If I had been in Samuel’s shoes, I would have probably blown up on the Israelites!! I would have been very angry!!
This isn’t even the best part…The Lord then told Samuel to listen to the people’s request! And Samuel accepted the Lord’s command without a complaint!
Wow, I am so awed and challenged by Samuel.
All of this made me ask myself…
- Can I be as gracious and compassionate to others, as Samuel was to the Israelites?
- Am I as willing to heed what God commands of me?
- Am as I willing to listen to what God says, even when it seems impractical?
- Can I be like Samuel??
I hope this has challenged you, as much as it has challenged me. 🙂