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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Sam 12:23 | God forbid I should Sin

1Sa 12:23  Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

Samuel shows us a life lived for the Lord, Ministering in season, out of season, from young to Old, in good times and bad. Every minister hopes to see the people he ministers to change for the better and it is every minister's hurt to see the people he is called to declining and ignoring the commands of God. One thing that Samuel's life reminds us of is, that we aren’t working for people or even for results. God had many faithful men who led his people in the right way but despite their best efforts and most fervent prayers and warnings, the people did not follow. 

It is this phrase that captured the heart of Saul and shows us the motive of a minister, “God forbid I should sin against the Lord.” I imagine in Samuel’s flesh there were a thousand times he wanted to throw in the towel. He being a man like we are, we have to believe that he was subjected to the same passions, temptations, hurts, and disappointments that we are. It was not a view of the people that kept him ministering, praying, teaching, and living for their good, it was his view of God. He prayed for them, for God, He taught them, for God, He lived to serve them, for God. His service to them was service to the Almighty. To quit these duties wouldn’t just be tasteless but a sin. The gifts and the callings of God are without repentance, to cease to care and pray and teach and lead the people would be a sin on the behalf of the Minister. 

This scripture today reminded me of the importance of our motives. On the day that our works are tried by fire, the Bible says that they will be tried to see what sort they are. Not only what we did will be judged but even the motive behind what we did will be weighed. What is the motivation of our ministering? Is it self-image? What keeps us going when things are going terrible? Is it the thought, “What would others think if I quit?" Is it a love for the people you minister to? While that is noble it still falls short of the first and greatest command, Love the Lord.

 Secondly, Every motive besides the Love of God will eventually run out of fuel, and if somehow we manage to squeeze through life on weak motives they certainly won’t stand on judgment day. The one motive that will be sufficient to keep you going and pass the fires of God’s Judgement is love for Him. Remember what Hebrews 12:3 teaches us: “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” It is Jesus we are to recall in our hours of temptations, It is Jesus we are to look to in the running of our race. The Lord is Who we serve and he is why we serve!

Samuel is nearing the end of his life, the people are still as rebellious as ever, and yet he finds the motivation to continue praying and teaching and ministering. How? “God forbid I should sin against the LORD.” We see his heart was not set on the people, it was set on the Lord. His eyes had shifted from the rising and falling of man and had been set on the unchanging God who has been faithful through every season of Life. Here is the Motive that fuels us for a lifetime of service and ensures us success on the day our works are tried. “God forbid I should sin against the LORD.”

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