THE STORY chapter #10
(My home church is participating in the study of THE STORY – The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People. Foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Each week, my Thursday post will focus on our current study chapter.)
Samuel was a genuine servant of the Lord, conceived by a previously barren women named Hannah, who was married to Elkanah. Hannah prayed her heart out to the Lord, asking for a son. Eli the priest witnessed her prayer of anguish, and told her God would grant her what she asked.
Hannah did become pregnant with a son, who she named Samuel (in Hebrew meaning “heard by God.”) And just as she had promised in her prayers to the Lord, after she weaned him she took the boy to live in the house of the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:26-28
Under Eli’s guidance, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. The Lord spoke to Samuel, 1 Samuel 3:1-14, and as Samuel grew his word was given to all of Israel. But, as Samuel grew closer to the Lord, Israel continued on their path of rejecting Him. This rejection lead to Israel’s defeat by the Philistines.
Samuel insisted Israel return to the true God. But the Israelites still complained. They still wanted a king like other nations had, even though, through the leadership of Godly Samuel, they eventually did defeat the Philistines. Despite their failure to be obedient to God, God in His loving nature instructed Samuel to give Israel their first worldly king. 1 Samuel 8:22
From the smallest tribe of Israel, and the least clan of all the clans, God instructed Samuel to anoint Saul, the tall and handsome son of Kish the Benjamite, to be king. This so pleased the people of Israel that when Samuel presented Saul before them, the Israelites shouted “Long live the king!”
Samuel, because of his true devotion to God the King, decided to show Israel God’s true power. He asked for thunder and rain to come upon the wheat harvest. This time of year is normally a very dry season, but God answered Samuel’s request. When the people saw this miracle, which could have potentially ruined their wheat crop, they repented for their sin of asking for a king, and asked Samuel to pray for their forgiveness. This is part of what Samuel said to them –
For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. 1 Samuel 12:22
Just like God continued to love the Israelites, it is His loving nature to continue to love us, despite all our shortcommings. Samuel – the judge, priest and prophet, continued to pray and intercede for the people of Israel, but God was always first for him. Samuel –
- was dedicated to the Lord after he was weaned
- remained God’s servant and tool for all God requested of him
- always focused to the Israelites God was already their King
- had faith enough to call upon God for a miracle
Like waves in the ocean, Samuel’s natural love for God surged long and constant. Something I aspire towards.
THE STORY foreword by Max Lucado & Randy Frazee