bribes

Honest Samuel

Friday, August 9, 2013

“And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand” (1 Samuel 12:4 KJV).

How many politicians and church leaders could we say this to today?

About 1,000 years before Christ, Samuel (“heard of God”) served as a prophet, a priest, and a judge over the nation Israel for many years (although the Bible does not provide a numerical figure, it does tell us he served from “childhood” to him being “old and grayheaded” [1 Samuel 12:2]). His sons are wicked rulers in Israel, guilty of administering crooked judgment and accepting bribes—they “walked not in [Samuel’s] ways” (1 Samuel 8:1-5). Thus, Israel desires Samuel to choose his successor, which is Israel’s first king, Saul (1 Samuel chapters 8-10).

Later, after Saul is anointed as Israel’s king, Samuel addresses the nation (today’s Scripture). Let us see how this man of God ruled God’s people (1 Samuel 12:1-5):

“And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walketh before you: and I am old and grayheaded; and, behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed [Saul]: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you. And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.”

Even the LORD Himself testified to Samuel’s honest reign! It was such a shame that his sons did not follow his example, for their corrupt administrations led Israel to reject Samuel, and more importantly, God’s wisdom by which he ruled.