We recently read a scripture in our Wednesday evening bible study that absolutely spoke to my heart. The children of Israel made the decision to request a king, but in doing so, they were rejecting God as their king. Samuel took this rejection personally and had to be encouraged by God as they were not rejecting Samuel, but they were rejecting God. After Samuel rehearsed this decision with the children of Israel, he calls them all together once again in I Samuel chapter 12 to prove that their rejection caused displeasure. He proved it by calling down thunder and rain during the harvest season. This alone was proof to the people that God was displeased. When Israel was convinced that they were out of God’s will, Samuel assured them that God would not forsake His people. Secondly he expressed that as a servant of the Lord he would be committed to keep praying and teaching the people of the Lord.
I Samuel 12:22-23
22 For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.
23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
What a statement! Samuel is truly displaying the character of God in his approach to the people. I find it true in my life that God is probably displeased with me quite often. How many times have I missed His leading or instruction. I have to express my appreciation for His unmerited grace and favor. I am convinced, that there is nothing that I can do to ever earn His grace, but there are many things I choose not to do, so that I may not frustrate the grace that has been given to me.
Samuel had a right to be upset with the choice of the people, just as God could have forsaken them after being rejected by them. God’s love and commitment was demonstrated in those few words. As a pastor, I can understand how Samuel is feeling, but I am challenged to forfeit every right and to simply commit to praying and teaching everyone I can.
Pastor Jack E. Duff