Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

Prayers of a Leader

I love reading the Books of Samuel. They are rich with history, and lessons from the past.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 15:4 that whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, that we might have hope through endurance and encouragement from the scriptures.

This week I thought I would share things I have learned from Samuel, the great judge and prophet.

As a parent I cannot just assume that God will bless my children with the same skill set and calling that I have. Samuel tried to install his two sons as judges to follow after him, but they were failures in the task.

Samuel tried to force something – but God had a different plan.  I must have the grace and wisdom to allow God to work in my two sons.  It’s His plan and His calling.

Samuel was gracious when his calling changed.  After leading the nation as Judge for many years, the people cry out for a king.  Samuel was old and his two sons were terrible judges – the people wanted a King!

At first Samuel laments the cry of the people but God reminds him in Chapter 8 that the people are not rejecting Samuel – they are rejecting God!  Wait – that’s what Jesus said, in Luke 10:16! So much I can learn here in my own ministry.

With the installation of King Saul, Samuel would no longer be Judge, no longer the leader. He passed along the baton so to speak.

I have learned that things change in our walk, people come and go, and at times, hurt follows. But I, like Samuel must accept these changes in my walk, in my ministry, in my family.

After reminding the people in 1 Samuel 12 of their calling to follow and serve the Lord with all their heart, as must the king – their new leader, Samuel tells them that he will continue to pray and instruct them.

Samuel saw his role changing from Judge to Prophet and Intercessor. I felt great conviction as I read through 1 Samuel 12:23:

“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.”

Oh how far short I fall when it comes to praying for the church, our congregation, my family, my 8-15! Wasn’t it Paul who also prayed without ceasing?

Awhile back I was struck by a passage in Jeremiah 15:1.  It comes to mind here as I write.  I am not sure I understood the significance of it then.

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go!’”

Moses and Samuel both stand as great intercessors in the Old Testament. We learn in Hebrews 7 that today, Jesus serves as intercessor for those that draw near to Him.

Coming back to our story, with the life and calling of Samuel we can see that a new era was under way. Revelation through priest and ephod was passing away, and revelation through prophets was beginning.

Until next time, keep reading…

Jim

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