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Week 12 - Samuel's Unique Ministry to Israel

Samuel lived and led during an interim time between the judges and the kingship. It is hard to categorize the kind of ministry role that Samuel had during his time of service. We could look at his service in the temple and call him a priest. At the same time, chapter 3:20 calls Samuel a prophet. Interestingly, chapter 7:6 describes Samuel as the leader of Israel and in some translations, Judge. Could Samuel be categorized as the final judge of Israel? Did you notice that Samuel is also under a vow to never cut his hair, like Samson was? And also how he led Israel to military victory against overwhelming odds?

Whatever we call Samuel, one thing is clear, he followed God with his whole heart and he was used by God to do many good things. And unlike Samson, the secret of his great spiritual strength is actually no secret. He had a mother who set a good example of faith for him. He was taught to say at an early age, "speak Lord, for your servant is listening", and this would shape his heart attitude for the rest of his life. But the most apparent reason for Samuel's spiritual strength was that the Lord was with him!

Among the many ways to describe Samuel's ministry, I personally prefer to think of him as the final judge over Israel. But what makes Samuel so different than many of the other judges is that he actually walked with the Lord and was faithful to God all the days of his life.


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