Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 16:1 (NIV)
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
1 Samuel 16:1 (MSG)
God addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.”
“The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve for Saul, when I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have chosen a king for Myself among his sons.” -AMPLIFIED
Samuel may have been old, but his work for God was not yet done. God had another mission to send him on; to anoint the new king of Israel!
God reprimanded Samuel for continuing to grieve over Saul and his failure to obey. (Take note of this fact, Samuel had not done the wrong, Saul had; yet, it was Samuel who mourned for Saul’s disobedience and sin, not Saul. There was something wrong with this picture.) Samuel was much like the father of a wayward child who grieves over the actions of the child, but can do nothing about them.
God said, “Enough is enough! It is time to anoint a new king. Fill your horn with oil and let’s get moving. There is still work for those old bones of yours to do!”
When Samuel first heard of God’s plan he was horrified. Samuel’s underlying fear came out in his response to God, “How can I do that? If Saul hears I am anointing a new king, he will kill me!” -1 Samuel 16:2 (VOICE)
God continued to give Samuel directions though. (You can make all the excuses you want, but God still expects obedience. Remember, if He calls us He will equip us; even if we are old.) God said, “Take a heifer with you and announce, ‘I’ve come to lead you in worship of God, with this heifer as a sacrifice.’ Make sure Jesse gets invited. I’ll let you know what to do next. I’ll point out the one you are to anoint.” -1 Samuel 16:3 (MSG)
Samuel may have been greatly troubled by what God wanted him to do, but God insists, “You go and do what I tell you to do and I will take care of the rest.” That my friends is stepping out in obedience and faith. You may not know what the outcome will be, but when God says go; you go!
Guess what? Samuel set out and did exactly what God had instructed him to do. He went down to Bethlehem and when the town leaders saw him coming they were a bit apprehensive. Whey approached him with fear and trembling, “Is there something the matter Samuel?” He responds, “I have come in peace. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Prepare yourselves to join me. Also, please be sure that Jesse and his sons is there to take part in the sacrifice.”
So far, things are going quite well. God has gone before Samuel and worked things out for him; just as He has promised to do for each of us. Once again we find that there is no excuse good enough that allows for us to disobey God; not even being old.
The writer of Psalm 71 wrote a whole Psalm pertaining to being old. In the Amplified Version it is entitled: “Prayer of an Old Man for Rescue.” There are a few parts to this prayer that help us understand the need to keep on keeping on for God; even when we have hit our golden years.
* “In you, O Lord, I have put my trust and confidently taken refuge;
Let me never be put to shame.” -(verse 1)
* “For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust and the source of my confidence from my youth.” -(verse 5)
* “Do not cast me off nor send me away in the time of old age; do not abandon me when my strength fails and I am weak.” -(verse 9)
* “My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your [deeds of] salvation all day long, for their number is more than I know.” -(verse 15)
* “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous works and miraculous deeds. And even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not abandon me, until I declare Your [mighty] strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” -(verses 17-18)
* “You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive and renew me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” -(verse 20)
God, Himself, has given this promise to be with us and sustain us even to or old age. Look at these words that God spoke to Israel through Isaiah, “Listen, you who count yourselves among Jacob’s descendants, all the remnant of Israel. It is you, not I, who have been carried from before you were born. Indeed, when you were still in the womb, I was taking care of you. And when you are old, I will still be there, carrying you. When your limbs grow tired, your eyes are weak, and your hair a silvery gray, I will carry you as I always have. I will carry you and save you.” -Isaiah 46:3-4 (VOICE)
“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” ~Unknown
Remember these words David penned and make them your own. “Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.” -Psalm 23:6 (AMP)
Lord, there is certainly no excuse for not doing what you have called me to do; including old age. You have promised to fill me with your strength and equip me for every good work that you call me to do; so be it, Lord. Here I am, use me. When I am weak; make me strong. When I am tired; fill me with your strength. When I am need; take care of my every need. When I feel like I cannot go on; fill me with your strength and confidence; then give me a push to get me going once again. Lord, be my All-In-All. One day, when I stand in your presence, I want to say I gave every last bit of me for your glory, Lord.