Despite | Joe Stearns | Sermon on Samuel
From the series: The World Was Not Worthy Of Them
Today we begin to talk about Samuel. You you may not have heard of Samuel or you may not be familiar with his story, many people, when they start reading the Bible cover to cover, they quit early on. I’ve done that myself. I’ve had times where I started in Genesis and I start reading… See more
Today we begin to talk about Samuel. You you may not have heard of Samuel or you may not be familiar with his story, many people, when they start reading the Bible cover to cover, they quit early on. I’ve done that myself. I’ve had times where I started in Genesis and I start reading the Bible. But when it gets to either the genealogies or other parts that I viewed in the past as tedious, like the descriptions of the temple, I ended up quitting.
And so I read about famous people like Noah, like Abraham, like Moses, but I never got to the story of Samuel. The story of Sam is buried in the middle of the Old Testament. But the Bible devotes many chapters to the story of Samuel, and his story is a powerful one and one that I believe that we can learn from today. So what we’re going to do in the message today is we’re going to talk about how Samuel was set up for weakness.
But how he ended up choosing strength now the first part, when we talk about his weakness, we’re going to do some in-depth Bible study. We’re going to learn some technical things from the scriptures only to more fully unpack the situation that Samuel was in so we can learn from it some more. And even when we talk about Samuel strength, we are going to read a couple of longer passages of scripture. But I think you’ll find the story very powerful and very helpful.
I think it’ll be helpful to both you and me.
Samuel had a pivotal faith in the word pivotal. I looked it up in the dictionary. It means of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else. Samuel was pivotal in the history of Israel. I’m going to show you a graph and explain it. This is this shows the pivotal role that Samuel played in the history of Israel, as some of you are probably familiar with the story of Moses and his right hand man, Joshua, who led the people out of Egypt into Israel, into Canaan or the Promised Land.
And when they died of old age, around fourteen hundred a period began. There was not a monarchy. It was the period of the judges. And this term judges simply meant leaders raised up by God, even though they were not kings. Samuel was the last of the judges, this period of the judges lasted about three hundred, probably as much as four hundred years. And then you see Samuel is the last of the judges. And then Samuel appointed and started the monarchy by appointing the first kings of Israel.
The first king that he anointed by God’s direction was a man named Saul. That was the first king of ancient Israel. Saul turned out to not be a good king, and God directed Samuel to appoint the most famous king in the history of Israel, King David. Even today, when you look at the flag of the nation of Israel, there’s that six pointed star that’s called the star of David. That’s the man that Samuel appointed King. And then Samuel began a period of the prophets, all of the prophets that you may have heard of in the Bible, Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, all of those men were during the period of the king’s or just after the period of the king’s.
And their job was to give God’s word to the kings and to the people. Samuel was the first prophet, even the apostle Peter, a thousand years after Samuel said this in a sermon that he was giving in the Book of Acts.
He said all the prophets who have spoken from Samuel and those who came after him also proclaimed these days and Peter was talking about the days of Jesus Christ. So, Samuel, into the judges, he was the last great judge.
He was the first of the prophets. And he anointed the first kings beginning the monarchy of Israel. This man who had such a pivotal role, you would never have guessed that he would have played that pivotal role from his story, the story of Samuel and the story that God wants us to have. It’s to move from a position of being weak to moving to a position of being strong. All of us have our weaknesses, all of us have our sins and our shortcomings, but God can take our weaknesses and he can make them strengths.
That’s the story of Samuel, and that should be and can be our story as well.
So as we look at this, when we talk about being strong, when we talk about moving from being weak to moving to being strong, we’re not talking about physical strength. It’s not like Samuel could bench press four hundred pounds or anything like that. So we’re talking about it’s a little bit different than the story of a Bible character with a similar name, Samson, where the Bible does talk about his physical strength. But with Samuel and in general, when the Bible talks about strength, it’s talking about being strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, a phrase we get from Ephesians six, 10.
But it’s many other places in the Bible. So when we talk about being strong, we’re talking about having a courageous faith or a person who has a strong prayer life, a deep knowledge of the scriptures.
A person who’s overcoming sends all of us continue to struggle with sin, but you know what it’s like to be an overcomer.
And that’s what a person is strong in the Lord is doing, they’re able to come to grips with those sins that haunt them or dog their heels, they’re able to have victory over them. That’s being strong in the Lord and being strong in the Lord. Is that your private life? Your personal life has a public impact on other people. Now, the story of Samuel starts off a little bit difficult.
He has what I consider a dysfunctional childhood and then in his childhood and even in his adult life, he’s living in a largely godless culture. Let’s begin the story of Samuel and we’re going to start with this mother. And Hannah vowed a vow and said, oh, lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but we’ll give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no raiser’s shall touch his head.
Hannah is a woman who could not have children. She was married, but she had no children and aggrieved her deeply and she made a vow, she made a commitment to God that God did not ask her to make. She said, Lord, if you give me a child. I’ll turn around and I’ll I’ll give him right back to you. Now, she did not have beaten this symbolically, what she meant was after she had this child, she was planning on taking this child to the nation’s worship center and literally dropping off a child at the worship center.
And we’re going to see that as we read the story. The man Elkanah, who was Hanna’s husband. And all this house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow, but Hannah did not go up for she said to her husband, as soon as the child is weaned, sure enough, God gave her a child, I will bring him so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.
Excuse me, Elkanah said to her husband, O’Connor, her husband said to her, Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him only may the Lord establish his word. So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.
And when she had weened him, she took him with her, along with a three year old bull and full of flower, a skin of wine. And she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh.
And the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull and they brought the child to Eli. Now Eli is the high priest at the worship center, which at this time in the history of Israel was not in Jerusalem, was what was in this small town of Shiloh. She said, oh, my Lord, as long as you live, my lord, as you live, my Lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord for this child.
I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord. So Hannah dropped off her small child with the high priest. Now, this was not normal. There was an idea in the Old Testament that you should devote your first born child or even the first born of your livestock to God. But it didn’t mean dropping your child or your bull or your sheep at the temple.
What it meant was you would redeem it by paying money. So this is not a normal practice. I can only imagine how the high priest e-Life felt.
All of a sudden unexpectedly having a toddler on his hands to take care of. I don’t know how long women breastfed their child, so I looked it up on the Internet and read several sources and one woman wrote an article called Scriptural Mothering, and she said prolonged nursing of several years was common during biblical times and weening was a cause for celebration of the child’s new stage and development. Probably Samuel was four or five years old, maybe even three years old.
And he has a new father figure, in essence, his two living parents have orphaned him. They’ve dropped him off at three or four or five years old and they left. They didn’t stay with them. They didn’t stay to take care of him. They left him in the hands of Eli, the high priest. So we’re going to pick up now. We’re going to take a look at the environment that Samuel had dropped off as a small town in Shiloh at the worship center.
Eli the priest
Now, Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of light and the word of the Lord was rare in those days, there was no frequent vision at that time.
Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the Temple of the Lord, where the ark was.
Now, if you’re new to the Bible, this might just sound like a normal historical narrative, but we’re going to talk a little bit technically now to unpack this, because there’s several things, three things in particular that are dreadfully wrong about the situation. In verse three, it says, The Lamp of God had not yet gone out. Then the sandman was lying in the temple of the Lord and it says, for the ark of God was. So we’re going to look at the setting he has here.
We’re going to look at some passages of scripture from the law and we’re going to see what we’re dealing with here. But one of the things that we do see. Is that it doesn’t look like Samuel. The boy was put with the local family like a mom and dad somewhere in Shiloh. It looks like he’s actually living right in the middle of the worship center. And Eli really is his new father figure. So I’ve got a rendering here of what the tabernacle was, what this temple was that Sammy was sleeping in.
It was a tent now later on in the history of Israel. They’re going to take this temp tent and they’re going to replace it with a physical building and they’re going to build a temple of the Lord. But before they did that, the temple was called the tent of meeting, or it was called the Tabernacle Now. And outside the tabernacle was a basin where the priest would wash their hands. And then there was an altar where people would bring their animal sacrifices and sometimes they would burn those animal sacrifices.
But most of the time they would actually cook the animal sacrifices and eat them as a form of payment for their services. This was like a large barbecue, but it was only for the priests who were Levites. So I’m going to show you an overview of the floor layout of the temple.
The temple was actually pretty small, it was only about forty five feet long, by 15 feet wide, and it was divided into two rooms, the first room called the Holy Place.
Was doubling as Samuel’s bedroom, so we got a four or five year old boy sleeping in the holy place. Now, some of you who are familiar with the Jewish religion and are familiar with the ancient Jewish religion will recognize these elements.
But there’s three pieces of furniture in this room, perhaps besides the cot that they might have set up, the bed that they might have set up for Samuel. There’s the menorah, a seven candlestick light. Then there’s an altar for incense, for burning incense, and then there’s a table where they would put fresh bread every day. Now, these two rooms are divided by a curtain. If you went through this curtain. Into the holy of holies. You were supposed to be put to death, only one man, the high priest, once a year on the day of atonement, only with the proper sacrifices could enter the holy of holies.
But Eli, the high priest who should know better, has a five year old boy, a four year old boy sleeping in the holy place. I don’t even know if he warned them about don’t look behind the curtain. So let’s look at a couple of laws about this, and it speaks to Samuel’s situation. Here’s an Old Testament law out of the Book of numbers.
The Lord said to Moses, this applies to the Levites from twenty five years old and upward, they should come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. And from the age of 50 years, they should withdraw from the duty of service and serve no more. You could not even be in this area. You could not be inside that courtyard. You could not be near the temple unless you were twenty five years of age, up to 50 years of age.
Before that you could not enter. After that, you had to stop. Back in numbers four, there’s even a passage where it says it needs to be from 30 years old to 50 years old in order to actually enter into the Tabernacle. Samuel, without realizing it should be put to death, or at least because he’s a child removed from this area. Eli, the high priest should know this and he’s either not obedient to God or the high priest himself does not even know the law that applies to the job of the tabernacle that he’s in charge of.
Let’s look at a couple of more aspects of what’s going on here. It says to the Levites, I give every tithe in Israel for an inheritance in return for the service, they do their service in the tent of meeting so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting lest they bear sin and die.
What God wants is for this area of the temple, this tabernacle area to be considered most holy, most sacred, by the way, this this tabernacle was so small that the Israelites never practiced worshipping God inside that tent. When we think of a of worshipping God, we think of coming together maybe in a church building to worship God indoors. That’s not how the Israelites did it. This this small tent represented the very presence of God. And the Israelites would gather around the tent of meeting around the tabernacle and worship outdoors.
Samuel had no business being in that tabernacle. It was ridiculous that Eli made it into a bedroom for this small boy. And about that lamp that was going out, the last thing that will look about in the law is that in Exodus twenty seven, it says come in the Israelites to bring clear oil of olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning in the tent of meeting outside the curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant.
Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning from evening until morning all through the watches of the night. This is a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come. Obviously, when it says that the lamp of the Lord had not yet gone out. The people running the Tabernacle did not know this, did not teach this to Samuel, and they were not obeying God’s word. Let’s read on. It says, But Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen fine each year.
His mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
So. You’re going to see where this is leading to, I know we’re getting into technical things, but there’s an application that’s going to apply to us and it’s about the idea of not even being taught your faith correctly. Samuel is not being taught his faith correctly. But here’s something that it’s almost comical. His mom is preparing for him, an outfit that he should never be wearing. He should not be serving there, and he certainly should not be wearing an E five.
And I’ll explain that in a minute. This idea of dressing up children in an occupational costume is actually something I have a bit of an emotional attachment to because I have a grandson who loves to dress up like a firefighter or like an astronaut. So this is my grandson, Finn, and this is Finn, the firefighter. He wears this uniform all the time. It wore out and his parents had to buy him a new one. He wears the hat the whole bit.
He imagines himself. He’s right about to turn four years old as a firefighter. But his other grandmother, besides my wife, Pam, Lisa Shacon, bought him an astronaut suit, so he loves to wear this astronaut suit. Recently, my daughter and friend and their family traveled on an airplane from Tampa, Colorado Springs, and he wore this in the airport on the airplane. He got a lot of people that really appreciated how cute it was for him.
Should a small child dress up? As as the main leader of the faith of a nation, should someone like him dress up like the high priest, I hope this is an OK illustration to use. But if you’re Catholic, would you dress your child up like the pope?
That’s what’s happening here. They’re dressing up this little boy like the high priest, and he was wearing these five. Now an E Ford is a tunic.
It’s like a long shirt. You can see that that priest has a tunic and over the tunic, he wears a breastplate. It’s attached to the tunic and the tunic and the breastplate together make up the effort and it has 12 jewels on it. Those 12 different jewels represent the 12 tribes of Israel. None of the priests, Warney Ford except the high priest. Now, so as you can see, Eli. Is a terrible high priest, he’s doing a terrible job of it, and he is Samuel’s father figure.
And let’s take one more look at how Eli is doing this time, not as a high priest, but as a father figure. Now, the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. A little bit later in this chapter says, thus, the sin of the young men, the sons of Eli, was very great in the sight of the Lord for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
So what it’s saying is, Eli, as a dad is raised worthless sons and what he’s done is he’s delegated his work running the tabernacle to his sons and they don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know the Lord. And they’re disobedient and they’re rebellious and they’re treating the whole process with contempt.
That is Samuel’s role models. Eli and Eli sons are his his bosses, his parent figures, his role models. And this is the summary that God told Samuel, even when Salman was a small child, about how good of a father figure Eli was. Listen to this. And the Lord said to Samuel S., I’m about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle at that time, I will carry out against Eli everything.
I spoke against his family from the beginning to the end, for I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about his son’s blaspheme God and he failed to restrain them. In the entire Bible, the worst father figure in the entire Bible is the man Eli.
Let’s summarize the week’s situation that Samuel is in before we start talking about Samuel’s growth. Look how he’s set up for failure. His parents orphaned him while they were still living. He had the worst father figure in the Bible. His older stepbrothers were also his bosses. They were evil and disobedient. And he was taught the structure of religion, but not the scriptures or the knowledge of God. And even what he was taught about his religion was grossly incorrect. So how does the Bible describe Samuel and as well being? Now, this is the astonishing thing, what we see in the life of Samuel is a boy who grows up to be a strong man of God despite being set up for failure.
He had the deck stacked against them, as they say. But listen to our first description. Of how Samuel is doing. Now, the boy, Samuel, continue to grow both in stature and listen to this in favor with the Lord and also with man. So despite saying as difficult circumstances, despite a dysfunctional childhood, it’s like not a single godly role model that we know of, except perhaps his mother and father who visited him only once a year.
Despite that, he’s growing up in favor, in favor with God. So now we’re going to talk about the strength of Samuel. We are going to read a couple of longer scriptures, but then we’re going to draw some applications and pull this together. Listen to this wonderful description of how strong Samuel was as he became an adult.
Good Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground and all Israel from down to Beersheba.
That means from the northern tip of Israel to the southern tip of Israel. All Israel from down to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of God, the Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word, and Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
Now, there’s a colloquial phrase here that we don’t use in the English language, and that is that it says none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. But I think, of course, we can figure out that that what that means is that what he said everyone took very seriously.
Apparently, he did not speak frivolously.
And when he did speak, people realized that it was from God and that they should take what he said very seriously. That’s how the man, Samuel, is growing up. A man rather than a man is weak, a man who’s strong in the Lord. Now, our last scripture is our longest scripture, it shows a powerful, deeply convicted, passionate Samuel, it’s going to take five slides.
I want to encourage you to give your attention to this, because what you’re going to read is powerful, pretty incredible for a man who had such a difficult beginning in his childhood. We’re going to be reading in first of 15. The word of the Lord came to Samuel, I regret that I have made Saul King four years turn back from following me and has not performed my commandments. And Samuel was angry and he cried to the Lord all night. And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning.
And it was told Samuel Saul came to Carmel and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgo.
So here we see Samuel’s deep conviction about the being of the people of Israel and how deeply disturbed he is about the fact that the leadership of Israel, now King Saul has become ungodly and disobedient and self exalting, setting up monuments for himself. It says the Samuel cried out all night to the Lord. And Samuel came to Saul and Saul said to him, Blessed be you to the Lord, I have performed the commandment of the Lord. And Sam said, What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears and the lowing of oxen that I hear.
So they said they have brought them from the Amalekites noticed some blame shifting. He’s now blaming his people for making a wrong decision. That actually was a wrong decision that he made. So instead, they have brought with them from the Amalekites for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the auction to be sacrificed to the Lord, your God and the rest we have devoted to destruction.
Then Sam said to song Stop. I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night. And the king said to him, speak. And Sam, you said, though, you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel and the Lord sent you on a mission and said, go devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites and fight against them until they are consumed.
Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what is evil on the side of the Lord? And so also the same. I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I’ve gone on the mission of which the Lord sent me. I brought Agag, the King of Zamalek, and but the people took the spoiled sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord, your God in Gilgo.
So obviously King Saul is not taking correction from God’s prophet. And so as we conclude this scripture, Samuel shares this beautiful line that God gave him.
Has the Lord as great delight and burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord, behold, to obey is better than sacrifice and to listen than the fat of rams for rebellion is as the sin of divination and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord. He has rejected you from being king. What a man of power, what a man of conviction who’s willing to speak truth to power, and you can see that same was not taught the heart of his religion when he was a child, but he fully understands it now as God’s prophet.
Would a man of strength. As we apply this, I have three reflections or applications on the strength of Samuel that we can apply to ourselves today. This is a powerful story that we can learn from, of moving from a situation of weakness to a situation of strength.
The first thing that I see in the story of Samuel is that Samuel’s childhood and adult environment did not hold him back. Your past and present circumstances certainly have an impact on who you are, but they do not define who you are or dictate your future.
This is what we learned from Samuel, is that even if you and I have had rough childhoods, even if we’ve had dysfunctional things happen to us, it does not prevent us from doing great spiritually, from being strong in the Lord.
I had. Significant, dysfunctional things happen in my family, I don’t have time to share them, but for starters, my mother suffered all my childhood life with paranoid schizophrenia and it made our home life very, very difficult. I know many of you were raised and what we used to call broken homes. We don’t call them broken homes anymore because they’re so common. We just don’t call them that anymore. But both Pam and I, my wife and I come from divorced homes.
We grew up in that environment. Many of you come from single parent homes. Maybe you have a wonderful single parent, but it was difficult. Some of you come from homes where there was abuse, physical, verbal, maybe even sexual abuse. Some of you may have been neglected. Some of you may have suffered from the opposite, having overbearing or highly controlling parents.
Maybe some of you came from extreme poverty, whatever your situation, I want to honor that, I want to respect that. But I also want to encourage you, those do not need to define you and those do not need to dictate your future. We learned that from Samuel. We learn that from the word of God.
I love what the apostle Paul says. He says brothers. One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
You may be legitimately a victim, but God can lift you above that status to have a positive spiritual impact on others. I made kind of a simple I’m not a graphic artist, but I just think of things this way that God can lift us out of the position of being a victim, to having vision for our own lives and vision from God for the lives of other people. The second point that I see in the story of Samuel is it Samuel was set up for weakness and failure, but he chose to draw close to God and find strength in him.
You know, the one characteristic that we see most in the life of Samuel was that he was communicating with God, he was crying out to God, praying to God, and God was responding with him, responding to him. There’s no doubt the scriptures clearly describe it. Samuel walked with God and he found his strength in God. Now, this idea of strength and weakness is something that’s talked about in a famous passage, again, by the apostle Paul, and I’d like to look at this and see how this applies to Samuel and the lessons that we’re supposed to learn here.
But God said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect and weakness, therefore I will boast on all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me for the sake of Christ, then I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For what I am weak. Then I am strong. This is such a great encouraging passage of scripture. But we can draw a wrong conclusion from this passage, we can draw from this passage that it’s fine to not only be weak, but to stay weak.
And that’s not what’s being communicated here, what’s being communicated here is that in our weakness, we can find strength from God. So to use this math symbol, it’s much better to be lifted by God, from weakness to strength than to wallow to remain in weakness. You might say my to yourself from this passage, you might say. I’m so glad that it’s OK to be weak. But I would question that I really don’t believe that the scriptures are communicating that.
God wants to start with your weakness, but he wants to move you to strength to find strength in your weakness. Listen to a couple of passages of scripture that talk about this idea of God calling you to make yourself strong in him. And Isaiah says, strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees, say to those who have an anxious heart, be strong, fear not behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God, he will come and save you.
The same idea is repeated again in the New Testament, and he was 12 and similar in similar language. It says, therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weakness and make straight paths for your feet so that one is lame, may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. God knows that you and I are weak, but what he’s offering, even while we are weak, is a path of being strong, even in our weakness, even with our humility, even in humble circumstances, even in challenging situations, God can lift you from a position of being weak to a position of being strong enough to choose this.
It takes courage on your part. In some ways, it may be easier, easier to settle for weakness than to have the courage to step up and be strong.
This is a problem that we see and famous Bible characters. Moses wanted to remain weak and God had to call understrength. Jeremiah wanted to stay weak and God had to call him to strength. Elijah wanted to stay weak, Paul complained about how afraid he was of public speaking. And he was chapter two, but God calls these people and he calls you and me in our weakness to choose strength. And the third lesson. But well, before we get to the third lesson, I just wanted to encourage you with this in my weakness, God can make me strong.
If you believe this, I’d encourage you to put it in the chat line if you’re joining us for our live stream.
If you believe this, put it there. In my weakness, God can make me strong. And the last lesson as we draw to close here. Is the same rule developed a close personal relationship with God that led to a public impact for God, his personal walk moved him to a position. Of public impact. And I tell you, Israel needed the leadership of Samuel. He was a crucial, a pivotal figure. God’s people always need godly leaders to step up.
Others need your strength.
If you’re a parent, even a single parent, if you’re a parent, your children need you to not wallow in weakness, but to be strong in the Lord to find your strength in the Lord.
At your job place are in your school, the people around you need you to find strength in the Lord rather than settling for weakness. God has called us to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, the little bit of yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough. Those are three different metaphors that are all saying the same thing. You’re supposed to be having a positive impact for God in the world around you. And that positive impact happens in two ways, at least two ways.
You can help other people become Christians. But in addition to that, God has called us to make the world a better place. You can make your job place a better place. You can make your school environment a better place, but not.
If you remain in weakness, the church needs your strength. One of my responsibilities in the ministry is overseeing our churches, small groups, we have thirty eight small groups that are English speaking. We have seven small groups that are Spanish speaking. The leaders of those small groups are some of the best leaders in our church. They help hold our church together. They give us a fabric of leadership, of concern, of shepherding that is so beneficial to our church, but we don’t have enough of them.
Our thirty eight small groups really ought to be forty one or forty two small groups because some of our small groups are so big that they’re no longer that small.
We have small groups with 20 people in them. Twenty two people in them. Twenty four people in them. But we don’t have enough leaders to split those groups. So if you have it on your heart to provide more leadership of the church or more leadership in your workplace or more leadership in your home, God is offering strength to you. The scriptures are calling to and the example of Samuel is showing you you can do it by the strength and the power of God.
So as we conclude, I just wanted to review that we can be strong like Samuel. We can choose God to determine our future despite our past. We can choose God’s strength when we’re weak.
And we can choose to impact others for God, we can move from a position of weakness to strength. Now, as we conclude, I know many of you are going to have the Lord’s Supper together in your homes, I have a final thought that we could use for the Lord’s Supper. And it’s this.
In Jesus’s weakest moment, he performed his greatest act of strength when Jesus died on the cross, making himself vulnerable to people to the point of death. He achieved the offering of salvation to the entire world for all generations. Listen to what Peter says about it. For Christ also suffered once for for sins, the righteous, for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, were made alive in the spirit. Let’s pray together.
Holy Father, thank you that you support us in our weakness, you provide ways to comfort us, strengthen us and save us in our weakness, in our shortcomings. Thank you so much, Father, that as we see in the example of Samuel, you can give us strength as we see in the example of your son. Weakness to strength can lead to great blessings and great benefits. We love you and we pray in your son’s name. Amen.
Thank you. Today, we’re going to sing a song that’s new for us, but the words are quite ancient and no Chapter six, God himself gave these words to the Levites, to the priest to give to the people of God he gave him as a blessing. And my prayer is that those words will satisfy you the same thing. Lord, bless you and keep you. Make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turned his.
Face towards you. And keeping. The Lord bless you. And keep you may his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turned his face towards you. Your children and their children and their children.