Godly Leadership:Teaching and Prayer
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 9:1-12:25
My selection: I Samuel 12:18-25
So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
My reflections: The people of Israel had demanded a king so they could be like the other nations. God allowed them a king but, through Samuel, showed His power and displeasure by sending them thunder and rain in the midst of harvest season. Samuel taught the nation with a most memorable object lesson. They DID respond well to this message.
1. Full and prompt confession. They confessed that they had sinned in asking for a king and that this was not their only sin.
2. Humble recognition of needed prayer. They asked for prayer from Samuel.
Continuing his teaching, Samuel reminded them of God’s faithfulness to keep His covenant with them. He told them that instead of being fearful, they should serve the Lord faithfully with all their hearts. He promised to pray for them and to teach them as to how they should walk before God.
As people redeemed by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must be quick to confess our sins and ask forgiveness. We must not lose heart and become fearful, for God will be faithful to forgive us. We also must not become passive and think that diligent obedience does not matter. We will not obey perfectly, but we must not think obedience is unnecessary. Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone.
My challenge: If you are a Christian with leadership responsibilities, your role is to teach and to pray for those you lead. Are you doing that? It is easy to worry and try to pressure others to do what is right rather than teach faithfully and pray fervently. Teach and pray today. Challenge the complacent. Confront the disobedient. Encourage the hopeless. May your ministry be as effective as Samuel’s was.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Samuel 13:1-14:52