March 9, 2023 - 1 Samuel 12-15
It was time for Samuel to make his exit, and he gave his farewell address (ch. 12). The people applauded him and acknowledged that he had been a trustworthy leader. It is good to leave behind us a good reputation. Samuel also counseled Israel, “If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well” (12:14). It is good to obey God; only good can come from such obedience.
At the end of Saul’s reign (later), however, he would not be able to say of himself and his rule the things that Samuel testified of. Saul’s reign is fraught with problems: his unlawful sacrifice, his rash vow that almost ended in Jonathan’s death, his disobedience in sparing Agag, his battles with David, etc. Saul had started well with his rescue of Jabesh-Gilead, but it seemed downhill from there. A good start is not good enough, we must persevere in obedience and right actions. It is good to continue to do good. Lots to learn from Saul. May our lives finish better than they started. May we in grace grow.
May we in faith receive thy word,
in faith present our prayers,
and in the presence of our Lord
unbosom all our cares.
The hearing ear, the seeing eye,
the contrite heart, bestow;
and shine upon us from on high,
that we in grace may grow. –John Newton (1790)