“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant” (Luke 22:26)
Samuel had been leader of Israel for a while. However, as he grew old he passed on the mantle to his sons who were a disappointment. “But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (I Sam 8:3).
This is when Saul comes up in the picture. “Give us a king to lead us” ( verse 6), the Israelites pleaded with him. “The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king” (vv 22). Soon thereafter, Saul was anointed king, “Then the people shouted, “Long live the king” (1 Sam 10:24).
Later Samuel gathered the Israelites and he gave them a farewell address. He said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me ... Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right” (1 Sam 12:1-3).
Can you imagine hearing such a speech today!
In a time when we long for good leaders Samuel gives us a clear picture of inspiring leadership. After his people had rejected him, wanting a king, he did not insist on them but found a replacement. His last address clearly shows noble leadership. Unlike his sons he had not used his position for self again. “You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand” (1 Sam 12:4).
Prayer for today: Lord God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that in a time as this, you will raise among us leaders who are after your heart and have a servant heart, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!