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Who is King?

  • 1 April 2013
  • Randy Wollf

God King Lord"When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel” (1 Samuel 8:1). However, they did not follow Samuel’s example; they pursued dishonest gain and perverted justice. The result was that the elders of Israel wanted a strong leader, a king, so that they could be like the other nations. Samuel was displeased with their request and gave them a list of reasons why it was a bad idea. They weren’t convinced. God’s assessment of their plan: They have rejected me as their king. The Israelite elders were looking for strong leadership in a person and forgetting that ultimately God wanted to be their King.

Who or what is my king right now? Father. I’m prone to wander away from you and to serve other kings. Help me and those who read this post to follow you as the King of kings – to place everything and everyone under You. Amen.

Raising My Ebeneezer

  • 30 March 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Ebenezer - Stone of HelpI remember as a kid singing a verse from the old hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, that encouraged me to raise my Ebenezer. The only Ebenezer I knew was good old Scrooge from Dickens' Christmas Carol. I later learned that the hymn writer's Ebenezer call was part of a larger story in 1 Samuel 7. In this chapter, we see how Samuel led the Israelite army to victory, with the Lord's help, against their archenemies, the Philistines. After the battle, Samuel set up a stone to commemorate the victory; he named it "Ebenezer," which means "stone of help." He wanted the Israelites to remember God's faithfulness - "Thus far the Lord has helped us" (v. 12).

How has God helped you? How is He helping you today? Don't forget God's faithfulness. As we remember and share God's faithful acts in our lives, we will raise an Ebenezer that will encourage us and others to trust God with the challenges that come our way.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing (second verse) by Robert Robinson, 1758



Leadership in the Home

  • 24 March 2013
  • Randy Wollf

Dad reading with daughter

I'm impressed by the example of Samuel’s parents, Elkanah and Hannah, in 1 Samuel 1. Year after year, Elkanah worshipped the Lord and made sacrifices to Him at the Tent of Meeting in Shiloh. During one of their visits to Shiloh, Hannah poured out her heart to the Lord because of her inability to have children. The priest, Eli, presumed she was drunk because of her obvious distress. The Lord heard the prayer of this praying woman and gave her a son. She named him, Samuel, which means, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

Of course, not all of the characters in 1 Samuel were outstanding parents. The Lord rebuked Eli for his inability to restrain his sons who were committing wicked acts as a part of their priestly service. Even though Eli was a religious leader, he apparently failed to lead his family well. This contrast between Samuel’s parents and Eli provides an important reminder that godly, servant leaders exercise good leadership in the home. Perhaps this is why one of the requirements of elders/overseers in the church is that they have believing children who are not wild and disobedient (Titus 1:6).