April 12, 2015

The Shepherd's Corner

1 Samuel 12:1-3 records a very important—yet often overlooked—piece of information.  It is important because what happened then dramatically altered the course of the direction of a nation—the nation of Israel.  It tells us that when Samuel was old, he then appointed his two sons as leaders of Israel.  But, Verse 2 continues “his sons did follow his ways.”  1 Samuel 12:1-3 records a very important—yet often overlooked—piece of information.  It is important because what happened then dramatically altered the course of the direction of a nation—the nation of Israel.  It tells us that when Samuel was old, he then appointed his two sons as leaders of Israel.  But, Verse 2 continues “his sons did follow his ways.”

The Bible tells us, not only did they not follow Samuel’s righteous ways, they also went the opposite ways.  They sought “dishonest gains and accepted bribes and perverted justice.”  Nothing can be farther from who Samuel was and what he stood for.   I can only imagine how devastated he must have felt seeing the children he raised turned out to be a big disappointment and embarrassment.

But, that was not the end of it.  Because of his sons, the people of Israel asked for a king.  Hence, the country changed from theocracy—where God ruled through His priests—to monarchy—kings rule.  Samuel then appointed Saul to be the first king of Israel and we know the rest of the story—Saul turned away from God and proved to be a big disappointment.  1 Samuel 15:35 tells us, “Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him.”  First his sons, now his successor!  All failed him!

But, God has never failed!  We, who live today, have the vantage point of witnessing the proof of God’s sovereign work—3,000 years later the nation of Israel is still standing.  You see, God is neither dependent nor affected by humans.  Samuel’s sons failed to lead, Saul failed to lead, but God never fails to lead.  He will lead us in spite of failures, disappointments, and even devastations.  What He asks of Samuel—and all of us—is just to do our part.

Pastor Paul

The Bible tells us, not only did they not follow Samuel’s righteous ways, they also went the opposite ways.  They sought “dishonest gains and accepted bribes and perverted justice.”  Nothing can be farther from who Samuel was and what he stood for.   I can only imagine how devastated he must have felt seeing the children he raised turned out to be a big disappointment and embarrassment.

But, that was not the end of it.  Because of his sons, the people of Israel asked for a king.  Hence, the country changed from theocracy—where God ruled through His priests—to monarchy—kings rule.  Samuel then appointed Saul to be the first king of Israel and we know the rest of the story—Saul turned away from God and proved to be a big disappointment.  1 Samuel 15:35 tells us, “Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him.”  First his sons, now his successor!  All failed him!

But, God has never failed!  We, who live today, have the vantage point of witnessing the proof of God’s sovereign work—3,000 years later the nation of Israel is still standing.  You see, God is neither dependent nor affected by humans.  Samuel’s sons failed to lead, Saul failed to lead, but God never fails to lead.  He will lead us in spite of failures, disappointments, and even devastations.  What He asks of Samuel—and all of us—is just to do our part.

Pastor Paul

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