It is no secret that there is abusive authority, Prophet Samuel and King David both experienced the extent of this, yet they both submitted and the Lord rewarded them. Samuel before he become the great prophet of Israel, the live under the guidance of Eli the priest. Eli had sons whom he appointed as leaders the bible says that the sons of Eli [Hophni and Phinehas] were worthless (dishonourable, unprincipled) men; they did not know [nor respect] the Lord and the custom of the priests with [the sacrifices of] the people. They took offerings by manipulation and force, and they committed fornication with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle. See I Samuel 2:12-17
Eli was a compromised priest who did nothing about his sons. He was so insensitive to the things of the Holy Spirit that he couldn’t’ recognize a woman in prayer and accused her of being drunk! In our modern world he ‘d totally fit the description of a corrupt leader, yet Samuel was under his guidance from a very tender age. So what did Samuel do while all this kept on going on? The bible records :
“Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the LORD under the supervision of Eli.” 1 Samuel 2,:18
Samuel neither confronted Eli nor his sons. He understood the principle that God had placed him there, and he was neither responsible for the behaviour of Eli nor his sons. He was put under them not to judge them but to serve them. Samuel knew Eli was God’s servant, not his. He knew that God was quite capable of dealing with His own.
Children do not correct fathers. But it is the duty of fathers to train and correct the children. We are to deal with and confront those whom God has given us to train. This is our responsibility. Those on our own level we are to encourage and exhort as brothers and sisters.
How we response to those in authority over us is in important. Samuel served God’s pointed priest the best he could, without pressure to judge him or correct him. The only time Samuel spoke a word was when Eli came to Samuel and asked him what prophecy God had given him the night before. But even then it was not a word of correction from Samuel, but from God.
The bible records that …But the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men. Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words fail [to be fulfilled]. Wow!!! The Lord is serious about this reward of submission.
David before he was ever the appointed King, he had his fair share of abusive of authority. King Saul attempted to kill him.
Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul, and he raved [madly] inside his house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and there was a spear in Saul’s hand. Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice. 1 Samuel 18:10-11 (AMP)
It is no secret that King Saul hunted David down attempting to kill, he never succeeded regardless.
Meanwhile when the Lord gave David an opportunity to kill him he couldn’t. He even said “Do not kill him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed [king] and be guiltless (innocent)?” 1 Samuel 36:9.
His response is quite similar to Samuel’s conduct. What intrigues me is the song he composed upon learning of the demise of King Saul and his son Jonathan. The song is recorded in 2 Samuel 1:17-27, in it he refers to King Saul as the mighty twice! David honoured King Saul despite the fact that he passionately sought he life and hunted him down, to the point that David lived in caves. Indeed David had a different spirit one we must all strive to have, his character no doubt was developed in all the tough times he fled for his life, to the point that he honoured King Saul who sought his demise.
The Lord did appoint David as King when the time came. And a successful king his was, that Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David. He even referred to as Jesus Christ son of King David. God honors those who don’t tire of doing good, these includes submitting when it’s unfair and corrupt, these humble servants of God eventually get their promised rewards. So take heart, trust in the Lord don’t give up and when the time comes you will get your reward.
The same pattern is seen throughout the bible, a prominent example is the children of Israel in the book of Jeremiah where the were taken as captives to Babylon from Jerusalem. The Lord told them to “…build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and do not decrease [in number]. Seek peace and well-being for the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its peace (well-being) you will have peace.’ He goes on to say For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.
Most people commit this verse to memory without understanding the context of it. The Lord tells the Israelites, He has a good plan for their lives therefore they should demonstrate their trust for Him by submitting to the Babylonians.
In today’s devotion, I encourage you to trust the Lord by submitting to the authority He has placed you under and if you have rebelled, simply repent which means to change your mind. Go apologize and reconcile to the people in authority who you have rebelled against, knowing that the Lord who is with you will reward you just like Jesus, King David, Prophet Samuel and the Israelites.