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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Unpleasant, Unpopular, Loving

Why Samuel was such a godly prophet, Samuel grieved for the ungodly, Samuel boldly spoke God's truth
Samuel was only a boy* when God began speaking to him in an audible voice (1 Samuel 3). 

God told the boy Samuel that he would punish his guardian, the elderly priest Eli, because Eli had allowed his sons to blaspheme God. 

Samuel delivered God's message accurately to Eli even though it was condemning (v.15-18).

This first message was representative of many others Samuel would deliver for God. It was unpleasant, unpopular and basically ignored. 

But Samuel had a prophet's heart. He not only transmitted hard truths, he prayed and grieved for his disobedient countrymen. 

For example, when King Saul made a mockery of God's commands, Samuel delivered a final judgment against Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-23), but Samuel grieved for Saul the rest of his life (15:35). 

If God has called you to share hard truths, share them like Samuel, boldly and accurately but with compassion and sorrow for the disobedient. 

If you're offended by hard truths, repent and listen. They are God's loving warnings. 

* According to her promise, Hannah, gave Samuel to God's service when he was weaned. Most commentators agree this is does not mean weaned from breast milk, but a spiritual weaning. That is, after she had taught him about the Lord. Bible scholars disagree about the actual age he started serving in the temple, but it appears to be between 5-10 years of age. 

Bible Study 

In every era of history, there have been people giving messages that are soft, self-focused, and not from the Lord. Those messages are present in our modern Churches, sometimes transmitted by well-meaning people, but we must refuse to listen to them. 

Why Samuel was such a godly prophet, Samuel grieved for the ungodly, Samuel boldly spoke God's truth
Samuel rebukes King Saul, from Bible Picture Gallery
2 Timothy 4:2-3: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 

Jeremiah 6:10, 13-14: To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it... 13 prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 

Colossians 2:8: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. 
copyright 2015, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com 
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted.

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