January 29 – Samuel – I Samuel 7:3 thru 8:22; 12:1-25
As we begin reading today, Samuel is going to God on behalf of the Israelites as the Philistines are about to go into battle with them. In 7:9-10 we read Samuel asking God for help, and God delivering an answer in a thunderous manner.
As you read chapter 8, it is a bit sad to see Samuel making the same mistake as Eli. It is pointed out that as Samuel has gotten old he appointed his sons to be judges. His sons, much like Eli’s sons, did not have the same heart as their father. In any spiritual leadership position, it is very important to have a good relationship with God, and a heart to serve Him as a priority in your life. Joel and Abiah placed their own desires above God’s desires (v. 3). The Israelites used these two stumbling blocks to ask Samuel for a king to rule and protect them. The Israelites were transferring their faith in God to faith in a king. Samuel warned them that a king would tax them, take their sons and daughters for soldiers and servants, but the most harmful thing that would happen is that God would not hear you when you cry out to him about this king (8:18).
Samuel’s plea in chapter 12 can be summed up in verse 24. He challenges God’s people to 1) Fear the Lord 2) Serve Him truthfully 3) Serve Him wholeheartedly 4) Be grateful. As we do our best to Please God today, may we keep these four challenges on our minds to practice.