Monday 18 November 2013

“… but turned aside after gain”

(June 27)

1 Samuel 8 starts by telling us “when Samuel became old …” and the next few chapters tell us of all the drama that happened in his old age. The first problem was that Samuel’s sons whom he had made judges “did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain. They took bribes and perverted justice” (verse 3).
There is no record of Samuel’s wife. How important it is for a wife to support her husband in the spiritual training of their children especially one as busy as Samuel for “he judged Israel all the days of his life. And he went on a circuit year by year to Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah. And he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel …” (7:15-17).
We live in a world where few if any of those in authority have any real Bible based principles, everyone is “after gain” in some way to some degree. Those who seek to serve the Almighty and his Son must be after a different kind of “gain” – treasure that they can lay up in heaven (see Luke 12:21,33,34)!
When Jesus returns those who have done this will be “judges” – reigning with him in his kingdom. Maybe Samuel’s role as a judge is an example – but they will have divine power, which the Apostles experienced as a foretaste of “the powers of the age to come” (Hebrews 6:4).
In those days the whole world will be taught righteousness and what a wonderful word picture we read today in Isaiah of this time! “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says in Zion, ‘Your God reigns’ … The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (52:7,10).
To talk of beautiful feet is a poetic expression of the joys of doing the Lord’s work. What a challenge it is to “walk” in that way now. As a final passage look at Hebrews 13, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he (Jesus) has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (verses 5,6). Let us confidently say that!

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