1 Samuel 12:23,24—As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. Above all, fear the LORD and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you.
Israel sinned in God’s sight. Instead of relying on Him, they determined to have a king like all the other nations around them. God graciously relented and granted their wish. Israel broke Samuel’s heart. Instead of abandoning them for ignoring his counsel and holding a grudge, like his Father, he modeled graciousness. His words of commitment are a masterful example of wise leadership.
“I vow that I will not sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you.” So often when we are hurt or asked to do something we know to be wrong, we focus on the fault of others and dwell on their shortcomings. Not Samuel. He focused on what hisresponsibility was before God. His job was to persevere in faithfully praying for his countrymen. So sacred was this task that he made a public vow to continue praying.
“I will teach you the good and right way.” Even though a king was selected, Samuel would not cease dispensing wisdom. He would mentor Saul. He would not compromise truth. He would instruct until he died, faithful to his God-given mandate. The world has consistently mocked the “good and right way” and suffered the consequences. The temptation is to join the bizarre parade; to coronate the people’s champion; and, to idolize power, possessions and pleasure.
“Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart,considering the great things He has done for you.” Notice Samuel’s pure focus. He does not adjust his course to teach the people how to follow their new king. He warns them that their main mission is centered on wholehearted reverence and worship of God; the very thing he models. He reminds them that past reflection provides clear proof of God’s sufficiency in caring for them.
“As for me. . . “ If you have a pulse and are breathing, someone you love has let you down. With all the sin in the world it is not real hard to find mistreatment. However, if you love Jesus and follow Him, you know that you don’t belong to yourself, you belong to Him. And that knowledge should arm you with an attitude of commitment to pray for and to teach those who are in need. Who could estimate the value of a committed Samuel? For God’s sake, be one.
One thing I’ve discovered about Jesus is that He never tolerated commitment on a percentage basis.—R. James Shupp in One Blinding Vision
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)