October 28, 2021
Scripture: And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 1 Samuel 8:7 ESV
Observation: Samuel had many sacrifices for God’s people as their priest, prophet, and judge. In the preceding chapter, we read of how Samuel interceded to the Lord to deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. God responded favorably and granted them victory. Samuel then traveled a tireless circuit year after year, providing just judgment and priestly intercession for all Israel. What more could Israel want? A king, like the rest of the nations around them. Understandably, this did not sit well with Samuel. It felt as if they had rejected his leadership.
Takeaway: Spiritual leadership is a gift that carries much responsibility and hardship. If we follow this path motivated by a desire to be respected and appreciated for our sacrifices, we will be sorely disappointed. In 2020, over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month on average. So how can we persevere (whether a pastor or anyone who is ministering to others)? By remembering that rejection comes with the territory. Sometimes, others reject our acts of service or our message due to our misguided intentions or mishandling of the situation. But more often, our leadership is not in question. Our listeners or care-receivers have come under conviction and are not ready to repent. Meanwhile, we would do well to remember that we cannot do anything apart from Christ (John 15:5), and just as many rejected Christ, so they will reject his messengers (John 15:20).
Prayer: Father God, please grant us your grace to persevere when other’s reject our message or our acts of kindness, remembering that we are following in the footsteps of your Son. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling