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Posted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:40 pm 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: 1 Samuel 10-12; Luke 19:1-27

Good morning Church,

I can’t help but like Samuel. At times he appears to be a crusty old prophet but other times his joy and humour make him to be young at heart. The most enjoyable thing to watch with Samuel is his relationship with the LORD God Almighty. This awesome relationship started when Samuel was first called at a young age, when God revealed his plans to him concerning Eli and his sons. God was open with his prophet/priest/judge from the very beginning and appeared to have a father-son relationship with him.

This point is made clear when the people began to demand for a king to rule over them. Samuel complained to God about it. The Lord’s reaction was a tender one toward Samuel, “It’s not you they have rejected. In calling for a king they have rejected me.” This is hard for any pastor, prophet, evangelist, teacher, apostle to understand. We usually take these things very personally because we do not always remember that we are mere representatives of God, his servants. Rejection is a hard thing to take. But then again, many people forget that these servants are not here in their own name or power and are representatives of God. They do not realize that by rejecting the servant they are rejecting God.

As we know, God gave the people what they were asking for but he was not pleased with them. He wanted to make his point with them to cause them to realize who they had rejected. So he had Samuel to call for a thunderstorm at a time when thunderstorms do not occur. The people were in awe of God and Samuel. (Imagine their reaction if they had seen the sea divide.) They realized what they had done. They sought forgiveness and received it. God forgave them, but what about his servant’s attitude? Again, servants forget who they are in the Lord and they allow the pain to go deep. God forgives yet his servants hold on to the hurt. Not so with Samuel. This is a testimony to his relationship with the Lord:

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. But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away." (1 Samuel 12:23-25)

The greatest means for Samuel to serve God’s people was to pray for them. If God would not reject them who was Samuel to reject them? If God still held them close to him who was Samuel to keep them at a distance? If God was patient with those who rejected him who was his servant to refuse to teach them? In the world there is the teaching that a leader is not a leader without followers. In the family of God this is not necessarily true. The prophets were leaders but they were constantly rejected. Samuel’s leadership was rejected. Yet, he could not stop being what God called him to be. With God we cannot measure the human response to leadership, we can only measure the leader’s faithfulness to God.

Just as we place human failings on God we also put worldly expectations on our leaders. God forgive us and lend to our leaders and teachers the strength of your patience that they would not give up but remain faithful to you. Where you lead us Lord there we will follow. Amen.

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