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When the people we lead ask for another leader

Posted by Pastor Dylan Wong on

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Publishes on Sundays.


Scripture:

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord.  The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

1 Samuel 8:19-21 (NIV)

Samuel, who is sometimes known as the last of the Judges and the first Prophet of God, was also the leader of the nation whom the Israelites sought, for direction and revelation from God.

He is known throughout ancient Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, as a messenger of God, as the Lord continued to speak to the Israelites through him.

Here are Samuel’s attributes:

  • He had a great fear and honor for God.
  • He is a trustworthy man and one that does not bow down to greed.
  • He is a man of great humility.

 Observation:

When the people demanded for a king to be appointed in Israel, Samuel brought to God their demands without prejudice and he, in turn, conveyed the Lord’s answer to them.

The Israelites’ request could have tempted him to flex his muscles and quash this proposal without seeking the Lord’s direction, but he obeyed the Lord.

So indeed, God is the real kingmaker and not Samuel. And Samuel knew that too.

Application:

Though we might not be in Samuel’s shoes but we are, in many ways, called to lead. Very often, we are put in position like Samuel when we could be shaken because our authority is challenged. To some this challenge can come in the form of losing our autonomy. The way we respond matters. Had Samuel responded differently, it will impact what the Lord has in store for us throughout the history.

Perhaps like Samuel, it is wise to reflect on these points whenever we are faced with a similar situation:

  • God’s plan and God’s way is bigger than mine.
  • There must be something God wants me to learn through this.
  • The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding.

In our journey with the Lord, we ought to be careful that we do not assume to know God’s wishes without asking Him. Rather, simply put our trust in Him to the end, because he is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Response:

Sovereign God, forgive us for we at times oversimplify our understanding of who You are. Forgive us Lord when we, as leaders, cross the line and make decisions that are inward and selfish.

Help us, Lord, to be more like your servant Samuel who feared you, trusted you and put his comfort or power at the back seat. Who humbled himself by acknowledging that without You, he is nothing.

Lord, show us, reveal to us Your bigger picture so that it will easier for us to surrender more to Your will no matter how big the circumstances are.

In Jesus’ most precious name, we pray, Amen.


Pastor Dylan Wong is District Pastor for PJ North 2, PJ North 3 and PJ North 7.

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays.