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The Idolatry of Putting Our Faith In A Prophet

John Collins08/09/2012

1 Samuel 8 is a solemn warning from God that if we place too much faith in any man, we will fall.  It is commonly discussed that this scripture's sole warning is against the children of Israel appointing a king, but there is also an underlying story that is commonly overlooked.

Samuel walked before the One True God, and righteously judged the people according to the ways of the Lord.  While God blessed His people during this time, the people slowly began to move the focus of their faith from God to Samuel.  Samuel's righteousness and the confidence the people had in Samuel became a tradition rather than a devotion to God.

Even the sons of Samuel strayed from the righteous ways of their father.  As many men would do from their day until today, they were swayed by monetary gain, taking bribes and perverting justice.  The root of all evil was within them.

When the elders gathered before Samuel to discuss the end of his life and ask for his appointing of a king, there was not a riotous revolt against the righteous ways in which Samuel trusted the One True God.  All of the elders of Israel asked for a king.  Samuel was old, soon to be taken off of the scene, and there was not one found righteous for the people to appoint as a judge.  

Samuel was displeased with their request, and prayed unto God.  God comforted Samuel, telling him that the people had not rejected Samuel.  They had rejected God.  God compared the people's idolatry from the time they left Egypt until that day with their faith and devotion to Samuel.  As they served other gods in the path, God said "So they are also doing to you." God instructed Samuel to give the people a solemn warning, and tell the people that if they chose to allow a man to reign over them as king, that king would replace God as their king.

Samuel warned the people, but it was too late.  He had already became their idol, and their idolatry was too deeply embedded.  The people chose to deny God and appoint their king.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we place our faith in a man?  Has our reverence and respect for any man, even a prophet, became idolatry?  Has our focus left the One True God that is worthy of our praise and worship, to a man that is only worthy of God by grace?  Who would we choose this day as our king? A prophet?  A healer?  An Evangelist?  A minister?  or God?

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.