Year 2 Day 245
Read - 1 Samuel 8:1-5
Message - Alan Burke
Samuel was the man that the Lord had raised up to lead his people. If you can remember back to chapter 1, there the Lord used Hannah at her point of need by answering her prayer, giving her a son whom she gave to the Lord. Since then were told how Samuel ministered before the Lord (3:1), then how the Lord reveals himself to Samuel through his word and Samuel’s word (therefore the word of the Lord) came to all Israel (3:21-4:1). Were not given a full blow by blow account of his life, but then last week we were told of how Samuel continued to judge over Israel all the days of his life (7:15). Now as we come to chapter 8 Samuel is old, he has been a faithful leader of God’s people and all the while Samuel was Judge things were good in Israel. To help him in his role he had appointed his sons to judge in Beersheba which is about 50 miles down the road from Ramah (1-2).
Things initially seemed to be on the up for the people of God. But then we hear about his son, it’s like history repeating itself. Do you remember the sons of Eli? Well Eli’s sons were hellions, they had shown contempt and scorn for the Lord, they had made worship a circus, when you compare it to what the sons of Samuel were up to and what they were doing it is very different. While sons of Eli had made a mockery of worship, the sons of Samuel were using their position to line their own pockets and justice was perverted. Eli’s sons were right under his nose whereas Samuel’s sons were doing this at a distance away from his watchful eye.
What we are told is of the elders coming to Samuel and it seems encouraging. After all this is didn’t happen with Eli, it seems the elders in Eli’s day didn’t give two hoots, they were just as bad as Eli’s sons, after all they were the ones who wanted to use the Ark as a magic wand, it was their idea, then a generation or two passes and things are so different. What a change!
Actually, not much had changed at all, here we have the elders, alright they are different elders than at the time of Eli, yet the main reason why they have an issue with Samuel’s son and there wasn’t an issue with Eli’s sons, is because Eli’s sons let them live however they wanted to live. The sins of Eli’s son’s did not impact them, whereas the sins of the sons of Samuel did, as they are putting their oar in, they are lining their pockets, they are suffering as a result.
Samuel was a man who served the Lord, a man who loved the Lord, who led the people of God but his sons were not like their father. It’s one of those things that we see repeated time and time again, and we see the reality of it in our lives, you might see the reality of it in your life, that even though we do all that we can our for our children there will come a day that they will stand on their own two feet, and our faithfulness to the Lord does not mean that when they reach that stage they will walk in his ways.
There comes a time that all we can do is to trust them into the hands of the Lord. In our anguish with our hearts desire, praying that they might be saved (Rom 10:1), knowing that we need not be anxious anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
Q12 What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
When God had created man, he entered into a (covenant of life) with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death. (Gal. 3:12, Gen. 2:17)