Editorial - They Said It All

by Joy Hunting

Moses and Samuel had many things in common, but one particular thing stands out in the long list of virtues they possessed -- between the two of them they said it all -- all the matchless advice their own people Israel needed to hear in their day. In fact one cannot imagine better advice for all the Gentile peoples, would they only hear and heed!

Moses had reached the end of his life; he was about to leave his people; he was about to die and leave the nation to enter their inheritance under the leadership of Joshua. It was a solemn moment for him and he had rehearsed in the ears of the people all the great things the Lord had done for them, and challenged them to follow the Lord in future days.

His words were: " ... choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey his voice, and that you may cling to him, for he is your life ..." (Deuteronomy 30:19,20).

In between Moses' time and Samuel's many years had rolled by. The people were now in the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and there had been a succession of judges in the place of authority to lead the people in the ways of the Lord.

Samuel had clearly been the servant of the Lord in his calling to be the judge in Israel, but as he was growing old the people were apprehensive about his sons whom he had appointed as judges to follow him. They did not walk in the ways of their father, and furthermore they took bribes, they perverted justice, and they worked dishonestly for their own gain.

So the elders of the people sought from Samuel a king to reign over them so they could be like the nations round them, and Samuel, though grieved at their demand, granted them their desire because the Lord directed him to do so.

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and right way. Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you" (I Samuel 12:23).

There we have it: Moses and Samuel between them giving the best instruction and advice for both their people Israel and indeed for all of us even to this day:-

Moses: "Love the LORD your God."

"Obey his voice."

"Cling to him, for he is your life."

Samuel: "Fear the LORD."

"Serve him in truth with all your heart."

"Consider what great things he has done for you."