And Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have obeyed your voice in all that you have said to me and have made a king over you. And now, behold, the king walks before you, and I am old and grey; and behold, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my youth until this day. Here I am; testify against me before the LORD and before his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Or whose donkey have I taken? Or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed? Or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? Testify against me and I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” And he said to them, “The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”
Comment: If you remember both Eli, under whom Samuel was brought up in his priestly duties, and his sons were removed from their office by God because of their evil ways.
- I think that Samuel is still upset that the people have replaced his leadership by king Saul.
- He talks of his long service and his honourable standing before Israel.
- He lists the common ways of bad leadership and requests any accusers to come forward if they wish to accuse him.
- The people deny any wrong doing.
- He calls God to be witness of his honesty, and the people accept that. It must have made him stand tall!
Prayer: May my life be honest before all men, O God. Please forgive me if I have let You down.