Samuel – A Lifetime Serving God
· Has there been anyone in your life that has been a person of character for all the time you have known him or her? Has this person been a consistent model?
· After a great victory over the Philistines (Ch. 11) Samuel delivers a farewell speech. He's been with them a long time (12:2). He has been used by God (7:13), but the people wanted a king (8:7).
· Samuel begins by defending his character (v. 3) Why? (See e.g. Exodus 22:1,4,9)
· The people acknowledge Samuel has been of great character (v.4, 5). So, Samuel turns the table on them. Instead of being a defendant, Samuel is now the accuser, and the people are the defendants, with God as Judge. (v. 7)
· Samuel speaks of Moses and Aaron. Had Israel forgotten what God did through them? (v. 6,8)
· Samuel reminds them of what happened when they sinned (v. 9-11, see Judg. 4:2,3;3:12-14;10)
· During those hard times, God sent judges to deliver them
· Now, despite these lessons in the past, the people still wanted a king when trouble came (v. 12,13)
· Now it is time for yet another reminder. Samuel charges them to stand still and watch. His words are very similar to the words Moses spoke in Exodus 14:13
· God wants Israel to remember again that God does not take sin lightly. It is the message of the Book of Leviticus, which contains the Law these people lived by.
· The great sign here is a storm. It servers two purposes. First, it seldom rained during the harvest season (17,18). Second, these Israelites had followed Baal too many times…
· It was an honor for Samuel to share in the glory (v. 18) Few people have been so honored…
· The people respond, and turn to Samuel (not Saul), and ask for prayers (v. 19)
· In keeping with his character, Samuel does not use this opportunity to berate the people for rejecting his, and God's, leadership
· Instead, Samuel reminds the people of the Covenant (v. 14-15, 20-25)
#1) No matter what our past failures, God still wants us to be men and women who reflect His character
#2) We can only build godly character through obedience to God's will
#3) Godly character gives us the credibility and the right to help others develop the same qualities
#4) God will never forsake us even though others may reject our offers of loving concern
#5) If we are people of character, we'll always demonstrate love for others no matter if we are rejected
For next week read I Samuel 13:1-14; 15:1-16:7