Samuel and America

I do not mean to burden my readers with posts three consecutive days.  God placed a sense of urgency in my heart this morning.  Here it is.

I now have several phrases I’ve gathered from my Bible reading that are waiting development for this blog.  They will have to wait because I feel such an urgency about this topic.  If you have been following my blog, you know how very much I admired Moses.  Samuel was not in my heart as admirable until this morning.

Samuel’s story is remarkable.  He had a remarkable birth, and an unusual rearing.  Instead of growing up in a normal home, he grew up in the Tabernacle.  Samuel was also the last judge in Israel.  I do believe that Samuel did know the laws of Moses well and Eli, the priest groomed him well to serve as a priest.  Samuel also possessed the traits of a prophet.  That is a combination that is rare, even today with all of our seminaries and theological schools of learning. It is one thing to teach a man how to deliver a sermon,  it is another thing to have a clergyman deliver a sermon spoken in truth and love.

An attribute that puzzles me most about Samuel is his grumpy spirit.  He is grumpy with the nation of Israel because they wanted a King.  He must have missed the part in Deuteronomy 17 about the laws regarding kings.  Actually, Samuel must have felt rejected himself.  We can learn that lesson for ourselves.  Another day.

As I read I Samuel 15 and 16 today I saw another side of Samuel.  His outspoken delivery of truth to Saul was fearless.  Saul, the King, feared Samuel and he feared the message Samuel delivered.  Ah, there is the difference.  Saul’s carelessness and fear of the people brought him to shame.  Samuel knew the truth and he delivered it courageously.  Samuel’s demeanor must have been stern, almost to a fault. Well, maybe in fault.  There is a line that preachers can cross that turn people away from the Word of God.  There is a line that far too many clergy are not even willing to come near because they want to be loved, admired for kindness. Honestly, they fear people.

The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesians to stand strong for sound doctrine.  I quote here at length his steadfast doctrine laid out in Ephesians 4:14-15: But henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.”  The first century church had problems of diverse doctrines so it is not a new problem. Liberation theology is not new.

So, after reading 14 chapters of I Samuel and having a growing concern for grumpy Samuel, I see him in a better light this morning.  We do need stern, firm teaching, preaching, straight from God’s Word by men of God who can take the heat if they need to—but, by all means speak the truth in love at the same time.  Our nation will not turn back to God without some Samuels in our pulpits and in the community.  The fear of the Lord is steadfastness people must witness when they meet their pastor in Wal-Mart!  Our clergy must wear that fear of the Lord as a mantle.  How many of our clergy, and those deemed faithful church members pause before leaving the house, “Let Christ me seen in me”?

This may appear to be a rant.  Perhaps it is.  I can tell you, it comes from deep within my heart.

 

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. Glenda

    If it is a rant, it is a much-needed one. ALL of us who claim the name of Christ must realize that we are ALWAYS on display to the world, and that the simplest slip-up, whether a lack of patience in the check-out lane or a “naughty” word spoken during a time of stress, or some of the more egregious sins (although sin is sin, no matter how “small” we may think it)….ANY of these things will be greatly magnified in the minds of those who think of us as Christians, and we will do more harm than those who never profess to know Him. Thank you for reminding us of this today, Karyl….I’ll be more careful, for sure!

    You know, Pastor Koster is often stopped at hospitals, even if he’s not carrying his Bible or wearing a suit and tie. We should all carry that air that will set us apart as believers.

  2. First, your posts are never burdensome, even if they are written on three consecutive days.

    Second, you’ve made me wonder if I’m posting too often, making it difficult for people to keep up. I’ll have to think about that. My response right now, to my own thinking, is that I feel compelled to write every day. Your feedback would be valued.

    Third, this was a great post, Karyl. Wonderful observations and insights. Thanks.

    • I wasn’t “fishing” for compliments, but thanks! Linda, you do post often and sometimes I fall behind and catch up on Fridays on the reader rather than from e mail notifications. What I try most of all to avoid is LONG posts. The student in me has disappeared somewhat. Even if the post on Morningstory and dilbert is long, I skim it! What? I am getting lazy. You just keep right on doing what you are doing! After all, and foremost, we need to do as God dictates. My temptation right now is to strive for a goal. I am almost to the goal I set for my first year on wordpress. Thinking on it carefully, I don’t want what God does not want: I want what readers and number of reads that will help people. If I don’t help, I may as well stop. I am just looking for the correct personal balance, I guess. Thanks for listening!

      • I agree with you. I always worry if my posts seem to become lengthy–striving always to be concise. Interesting, though, is that my “rants” tend to be pretty long, and my readership soars when I do a rant. Hmmmm.

        I’m almost to my first year, too. I first posted on April 19. It’s been quite a journey, especially since I started connecting with other bloggers.

  3. Regarding rants: I understand the feeling. Hank is my most popular feature! Hank? Who would have thought. . . but if God can use my little hamster to challenge hearts. . . that’s okay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: