ďIn those days, when the boy Samuel, was serving the Lord under the direction of Eli, there were very few messages from the Lord and visions from him were quite rareĒ (I Samuel 3:1).
The Lord appeared to Samuel as a young boy.
He told Samuel, ďSome day I am going to do something to the people of Israel that is so terrible that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. On that day I will carry out all my threats against Eliís family, from beginning to end. I have already told him that I am going to punish his family forever because his sons have spoken evil things against me. Eli knew they were doing this, but he did not stop them. So I solemnly declare to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sinĒ (1 Samuel 3:11-14).
The next morning Eli demanded to know what God told Samuel. Now Samuel was faced with a choice: tell the truth or lie.
From an early age, it seems that God was training Samuel to be the speaker of truth. But his big showdown didnít occur until much later when God had Samuel anoint Saul king of Israel.
Saul and the Israelites went to war against the Amalekites. God had instructed Saul to kill all the men, women, children and babies; the cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys.
But Saul did not obey.
When Saul came back, all puffed up from his victory, God gave Samuel a message for Saul: ďEven though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord anointed you king of Israel, and he send you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you had killed them all. Why, then, did you not obey him? Why did you rush to grab the loot, and so do what displeases the LordĒ (I Samuel 15:17-19).
Samuelís mission from God was to confront people with the truth, to stand up for God and defend His principles.
Standing up for God and His truths is our mission too.
Most people believe that love and tolerance go hand in hand, which is not the truth.
Letís say you are the parent of a teenager. You are hanging up his jacket, which he conveniently left in the kitchen. And a joint falls out of the pocket. You love your son, but to be a good parent, to do what is best for him, you must confront him with the truth.
Tolerating the behavior is only going to allow his drug use, or his potential drug use, to continue. You are his parent. You are supposed to guide him, to show him right from wrong. If you donít, you will cause him to stumble.
But for most of us, in our every day walk, we are not called to confront people.
Instead we stand up for Godís truths and His principles every time that we choose God over the world. Going to church instead of going bar-hopping. Tithing instead of blowing our money at the roulette wheel in Vegas. Getting married instead of co-habitating.
It is in our every day choices that we stand up for what is right, just and fair. If we canít be trusted to choose God in the small choices, how can we be trusted to choose Godís way when it comes to choosing a mate, raising our children or our eternity?
Practice choosing God in your every day choices, and you will have no trouble choosing His ways in the bigger ones.