We began this week, the Sunday sermon, and the devotional series for the week with one word: Lead. It may seem strange that we spend so much time, then, focused on following. It isn’t strange though. It is necessary.
Our comparison and contrast this week has been between Samuel and Saul. Samuel was a non-king leader. He was old and gray-haired (advanced in years). He had been leading Israel for a long time as a prophet (speaking God’s words) and a judge (balancing the scales of justice by applying God’s law). He lead the people of Israel by following, and teaching them to follow, God as King. In his “retirement” speech, he encouraged and warned the people of Israel to remember that God is King.
Don't go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you--they are totally useless! The LORD will not abandon His people, because that would dishonor His great name. For it has pleased the LORD to make you His very own people. "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you. And I will continue to teach you what is good and right. But be sure to fear the LORD and faithfully serve Him. Think of all the wonderful things He has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:21-24 NLT)
Saul, on the other hand, was a young, untested king. He was chosen by God, empowered by God, humble before God, and a servant-warrior. Only time would tell whether he would be faithful to God or not. Faithfulness can only be seen over a long period of time. When we are faithful, our life-choices will show it. Saul wasn’t faithful, though. Right away, he didn’t trust God’s instructions, God’s prophet (Samuel), or God.
But if you continue to sin, you and your king will be swept away." (1 Samuel 12:25 NLT)
Leadership is not about power, position, or politics. Leadership is about walking with God and helping others do the same. Samuel was a good, Godly leader. Saul was not. This cost him his role of leadership. That’s because he didn’t recognize that his role was one of sub-leader. He was supposed to lead people to follow the One True King. We do that by leading ourselves first. We lead others by following The King.
Samuel then left Gilgal and went on his way, but the rest of the troops went with Saul to meet the army. They went up from Gilgal to Gibeah in the land of Benjamin. When Saul counted the men who were still with him, he found only 600 were left! (1 Samuel 13:15 NLT)
How about you? Are you more of a Samuel or a Saul? Do you lead others by following The King?