May 7 – Leadership and Servanthood

Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:21, John 5:1-23, Psalm 105:37-45, Proverbs 14:28-29

Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests.
But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord.
(1 Samuel 2:12-13, 18)

Relate: There is a bit of irony shown here in 1 Samuel 2. Eli’s sons were priests. They were supposed to be the ones who were mediators between God and his people. But although they had the position, they failed in their role. Rather than using their leadership position to serve the people, they used it to exploit them. They abused the sacrificial system for their own greed. On the flip side, Samuel was a servant. He didn’t have the bloodline of a priest. He was simply a boy given up by his parents to serve in the Temple. But Samuel served the Lord. As a result, he wore the garments and, in time, served in the function of a priest. Jesus is the only person in Israel’s history to combine the three roles of Prophet, Priest, and King. As a prophet, priest, and judge, Samuel is the next closest thing.

React: Am I like Eli’s sons, or am I like Samuel? Have I used my leadership positions and roles for my own greedy gain, or am I truly a servant? Am I more concerned with the title and the potential benefits or does my heart beat for the needs of God’s people? In 1 Peter, God gives instructions for those who are supposed to be pastors. He says, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” Eli’s son’s failed this command as poorly as anyone possibly could. Samuel, though not at first a leader, fulfilled it and as a result, he was elevated into the role his actions had earned. What about me? What about you? Are we pursuing our own gain or are we eager to serve? 

Respond: 

Dear God,
I want to be available to be used for your glory however you see fit. All too often, I am more concerned with what others can do for me rather than how I can serve others. Give me the same attitude you had in humility valuing others before myself. Give me a servant’s heart.
Amen

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