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Who is Your Samuel?

David had a less than favorable relationship with king Saul. “Now Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David (1 Samuel 19:1).” And even after Jonathan tried to persuade his father to think differently, and even after he promised to do so, Saul’s rage against David arose again. “Then Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear (1 Samuel 18:10).” David was in trouble. His life was in jeopardy. He wasn’t even safe in his own home. Saul told his servants, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him (1 Samuel 18:15).” What would David do? Friends, where you turn at times like this in life, makes all the difference in the world! “So David fled and escaped, and went Samuel at Ramah (vs. 18).”

David went to Samuel. Clearly Samuel was someone David could confide in, trust, and rely upon when the chips were down. Of course, Samuel had anointed David, and therefore knew something of the Lord’s plan for David. Samuel was also an older man who had walked the path of life longer than David at this point. David knew that Samuel was a man who walked with God. I wonder if David came with questions for Samuel, like “Is this how things are supposed to go? I thought the Lord had set me apart? Why is God allowing Saul to hunt me down like this?” Distressing times are questioning times. I have to believe David had a lot of questions on his mind. And thus, in need of help and probably confused, David turned instinctively to the prophet Samuel.

Do you have someone you turn to when the pressures of life rise against you? We live in a time where people are frequently turning the wrong way when confronted with trouble. Some turn to alcohol, some to drugs, and some to other forms of unhealthy distraction. Most sadly, many find that they have no one to turn to at all, and make the tragic choice to bring their misery to an abrupt end. David had someone in his life that he knew could help him, and he went there. For this, David is to be commended. It’s a good thing to go to good men (or women) with your questions. Asking for help is not always easy. There is a humility required to admit we need advice. David, mighty David, warrior David, Goliath-killing David, needed the comfort and counsel of his older friend Samuel.

My question this morning for you and for me is this: Who is your Samuel? Do you have one? I think there is something to be learned here from David’s response. Yes, David was surely a man of prayer. Yes, David trusted in the Lord and would write that magnificent Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” But nevertheless, David found that in his time of severe distress and pain and confusion, he wanted and needed the comfort of an older saint. For him this was Samuel. Who is this for you? Is there an older, mature Christian in your life that you turn to for help and advice? A pastor, an older Godly woman, a holy older friend? Have you reached out to them about “that” problem you are struggling with right now?

I wonder, also, if you and I should also strive to be “that Samuel” for someone else. Am I working to build relationships with others that would encourage them to come to me in tough times? Is there an openness about my life that invites people in? Yes, I need those older, Godly people in my life to turn to…and I’m glad they are there! But I also want to be that person for some young man that just wants to talk, and listen, and open up about the hard stuff of life. Do you? Are you interested in becoming that man or that woman for someone? Surely this is worth praying about.

Photo by Nina Conte on Unsplash

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