The Journey is a daily devotional published by the Bible Reading Fellowship in Winter Park, Florida. I have enjoyed reading their daily devotionals for several years and recommend them to you. And that was even before they invited me to contribute to their publication!
In their current issue they are setting aside two months in order to do a “Bible book review.” Every day is taken from a different book of the Bible. I was invited to write about Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel and I and II Kings. This week I will post my daily contributions but be sure to subscribe to The Journey yourself (or recommend it to your church) as a regular devotional resource.
Read: I Samuel 3:11-21, 8:1-9
The book of I Samuel introduces the next two forms of leadership that God uses to guide the chosen people of Israel.
Samuel is recognized as a priest, prophet and judge over Israel (I Samuel 3:20, 7:15-17). The people turned to him for deliverance from the Philistines (a job left undone by Samson) and God subdued this enemy during Samuel’s lifetime.
But at the end of Samuel’s ministry the same weakness that ended his predecessor Eli’s ministry was exposed. Neither Eli nor Samuel had been effective fathers. Their sons were unfit to carry on as priests or judges for the people. This precipitated the call for a king to be ruler over the nation (I Samuel 8:1-5). This would set aside the priestly order from political power but not solve the problem of hereditary succession in leadership.
The judgment of death that followed Adam and Eve’s disobedience created the necessity of passing leadership to new generations over and over. The solution to this problem will be found once God has a perfect priest and king who does not need to be constantly replaced.