Read 1 Samuel 8
The people demand a king and ignore the true King (I Sam. 8:5). God directs Samuel to anoint Saul (9:27 — 10:1). King Saul is challenged and defeats the Ammonites (11:1-11).
Samuel was one of the most godly men in Bible history. In Israel's 400 years in the promised land, no one person had served as judge, priest, and prophet, but Samuel faithfully served God in all three positions. He was known as a man of prayer (I Sam. 12:23; 15:11; Ps. 99:6), but both his sons perverted judgment (I Sam. 8:3).
During my 90 years, I have been very close to many who have faced similar heartbreak. One of the most godly men I have known in the past 60 years had two sons. The younger son became minister; the older son was a strong, robust, person until he began to drink a little wine now and then. As time went by, it was obvious that he had become a drunkard. One night when he was drunk, he had a heart attack and died instantly. As my minister friend told me about his older son, his voice quivered, the tears rolled down his cheeks, and his voice lowered as he commented: "According to the Word of God, I know he is in eternal hell."
In one city where I was pastor, the director of our city missions had a son who had a "social" drink now and then. After drinking one night, he had a wreck and was thrown out of the car.. When they turned him over, a bloody tract fell out of his shirt pocket with the heading, What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36). No smoker believes he will die of lung cancer. Every one thinks he will be the exception to the rule. But the statistics tell a different story.
Samuel's sons were anointed priests, "serving the Lord." They walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment (I Sam. 8:3). They chose a self-serving way rather than the way of God. In hell they are crying out much like the rich man who said . . . have mercy on me . . . for I am tormented (Luke 16:24-25).
Like Samuel, Christian parents have a responsibility to guide and discipline their children, and to pray that they will have a sincere desire to be obedient to the Lord. But some godly parents have suffered heartbreak because their children chose not to live for Christ according to the Word of God. Each one of us must decide who will be master of our life.
Fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served . . . and serve ye the Lord. . . . (Like Joshua, Samuel remained faithful, declaring the truth.) As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:14-15).
Thought for Today:
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve, them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish (Deut. 8:19).
Through Samuel who faithfully served Israel as judge (I Sam. 8:1,3), prophet (8:10-18; 9:6,9,19,27; 10:1-9), and priest (8:10,21; 10:8). Jesus was the Prophet promised through Moses (Deut. 18:15); He is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14); and one day He will judge all mankind: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).
8:3 lucre money gained dishonestly; 8:9 protest solemnly object seriously; 8:12 ear slow; 9:2 goodly handsome; 9:7 spent used up; 9:16 captain leader since God was the true King; 9:26 spring of the day dawn, the first coming of light; 10:1 vial a container; 11:1 encamped against but his forces in position to attack.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. and Mrs. Walter W. Swanson • Staff: Dan Murton • Country: Botswana (1.5 million) in southern Africa • Major languages: English and Setswana • Limited religious freedom because of local chiefs • 58% Christian; 40% Indigenous; .8% Baha'i; .2% Muslim; .2% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and give thanks to the Lord for your brothers and sisters in Christ (Col. 1:2-3).
Optional Reading: Acts 4
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9