And Samuel grew up, and Yahweh was with him. He did not allow any of his prophecies to go unfulfilled. All Israel from Dan to Beersheba realized that Samuel was faithful as a prophet to Yahweh.” (1 Samuel 3:19–20, LEB)

The word that the LEB translates “was faithful” means: “to be firm, to build up, to support, to nurture, or to establish… Metaphorically, the word conveys the notion of faithfulness and trustworthiness, such that one could fully depend on (Deut. 7:9; Job 12:20; Ps. 19:7[8]; Isa. 55:3; Mic. 7:5).” [Zodhiates Word Study Bible].

As Samuel grew up and grew into his position as last and greatest judge and prophet in Israel, his fellow Israelites were witnesses to the fact that God had established him as judge and prophet and that Samuel was faithful to that call.

Samuel’s faithfulness bears pondering in light of the last verse of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25, ESV) Samuel was not living in a time marked by broad faithfulness to the Lord among his fellow Israelites, indeed, it was quite the opposite [read the last few chapters of the book of Judges as an example].  Samuel’s faithfulness went against the grain of the culture around him, the people by and large did whatever they felt was right in their own eyes.

Faithfulness is going to cost us something and never more so than when we are in a situation in which even those around us who claim to follow the Lord, do not sincerely follow the Lord.  For Samuel it was rejection of his God-ordained office–though Samuel stayed faithful to the Lord all of his days.

All of which reminds me of the words in the song by Steve Green:

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful

God has not given us the office of Samuel, that of a prophet and judge in Israel, however, he has given us the opportunity to be faithful.  May we pursue our God-given task with joy.

 

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