“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 turned out 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” (vv 6), the Israelites pleaded with him. “The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king” (vv 22). Soon after Samuel found Saul and anointed him 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 grey, 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).
Wouldn’t you love having a leader like Samuel! After the people had rejected him, wanting a king, he did not insist on them but found a replacement. His last address clearly shows the leader we need. 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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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!