“But I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Samuel 12:23b)
Samuel was the last judge over Israel as God’s representative to speak God’s Will to them. Israel had been in a constant cycle of forsaking the ways of God; then God allowing the enemy to place them in bondage; then Israel would cry out unto God for mercy and deliverance; and then God would raise up a Judge to lead them out of bondage. Samuel was the last of these men that God used to judge and deliver Israel.
The last thing that Israel did to add to her sins was to ask Samuel to anoint a king over them when God was their King (1 Samuel 12:12).
Samuel related to Israel, even though they had sinned in asking for a king to be like all the other nations around about them, that God would never forsake them “…because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.” (1 Samuel 12:22). Also, in verse 23, Samuel said, I will not cease to pray for you and “I will teach you the good way and the right way.”
Samuel summed up (verses 14-15) and in verse 24 as to what was the good way and the right way to have God’s blessings on the Nation itself and upon her king.
1) “Only fear the Lord” (See Proverbs 8:13; 9:10; Psalms 34:11-14; 32:8-11.) When one fears the Lord, it is defined in a surrender that God is God; a submission to His Word as Truth; an obedience to that Word; and an endurance in the same. To fear the Lord is the new attitude that is placed in a person that has been born again by God’s Spirit. It is an attitude of submission, forbearance of others, and desire to walk in holiness with a goal of pleasing and honoring Christ. When you fear the Lord, He alone is your God, and He alone is Who you worship and serve.
2) “And serve Him in Truth” Not just a “hearer” of God’s Word, but be a “doer” of God’s Word. It is when you walk in Truth; when you walk by faith; when you do His Will, and not your will; and when you pick up His cross and follow Him.
3) And “with all you heart” This means not only a “doer” of His Word, but a “doer” in your entire being; body, soul and spirit completely given to Christ daily. It is when you love God with all your heart, soul, and mind; with all of your strength. It is when your eye is single to God; when you have only one Master and that Master is Christ your Lord. It is when you not only give yourself, but like Joshua of old, you say, “… as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15). So, it includes you and your family. It includes your money and all that you possess. All, everything that you have, are, and hope to be, is in line with God’s plan and purpose for your life.
4) “For consider how great things He hath done for you” Or what a great thing He has done for you. He has saved you from sin’s bondage and punishment. He has given you His Spirit to dwell in you, lead you, guide you, teach you, comfort you, and to convict you of sin. You should surrender, submit, obey, and endure with a praise on your lips of God’s Grace, Mercy and Power in delivering you from the power of darkness and having translated you into His Kingdom of His dear Son. Praise of Him is commanded, pleasant, and comely; therefore it is to be your daily practice as you “consider how great things He hath done for you.”
Are the Pastors of God’s churches teaching the Sheep (the church members that are truly saved) the good way and the right way as Samuel of old did to Israel?
Something is wrong in many churches today, because they have become “social centers” and not “teaching centers;” they have become “playing centers” and not “praying centers;” they have become “entertainment centers” and not “worship centers.” They are concerned more with physical food when they gather together, instead of spiritual food. Spiritual growth is stunted; many are milk drinkers, being babes in Christ, and not meat eaters. (Hebrews 5:11-14) The problem is not in the pew of the churches, but it is the diet being given in the pulpit of the churches.
If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:14-15)
Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king. (1 Samuel 12:24-25)
Men of God, your responsibility is great. You must teach the good way and the right way to your people if they are to grow, to mature, and to bear the fruit of Righteousness, without which they will remain babes in Christ and will walk in the flesh.
(This devotional was previously posted on January 11, 2011.)