Hannah was a woman in Israel, who lived for many years childless. She prayed that God would give her a son and vowed that she would give the child back to God.
At a time when many had written her off as a woman destined to remain childless, God answered her prayers and she gave birth to a baby boy.
She called the boy’s name, Samuel and after she had nursed him, she handed him over to the Eli the Prophet according to the vow that she made. (1 Samuel 1)
Samuel grew up to become a Judge and a Prophet in Israel. At this time, Israel was under a Theocracy. When the people revolted and demanded for a King, Samuel was very unhappy.
He was not unhappy because he saw the action of the people as a slight to his person but rather he saw it as a slight to God’s rulership of the people of Israel.
His reaction was to go to God in prayer. God told him, ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king’ (1 Samuel 8:7)
Samuel proceeded to give Israel a King. In his farewell message to the people, Samuel testified to his integrity and demanded from the people any evidence of corruption on his part while serving as their Judge.
He asked them, “Whose donkey or ox have I stolen? Have I ever cheated any of you? Have I ever oppressed you? Have I ever taken a bribe and perverted justice? Tell me and I will make right whatever I have done wrong.” (1 Samuel 12:3)
It takes a man of integrity to ask these questions. Undoubtedly, among the people would be those who did not like Samuel. One would have expected that among the throng of the people, there would have been at least one person who would remember something that Samuel did to wrong them.
The people’s response, confirmed Samuel’s integrity. “No”, they replied, “you have never cheated or oppressed us, and you have never taken a single bribe” (1 Samuel 12:4)
How many of our Leaders today can boldly stand in public and make such claims with confidence? How many of our Church Leaders can ask the same questions that Samuel asked and get the receive the same response from the people they are leading especially at a time when people are not happy with the leadership?
Samuel was by no means perfect. He obviously failed as a parent. He was unable to train his children to take after him. In fact the behavior of his children was one of the reasons that the people revolted. Samuel however, was a honest man, a man of integrity and a man whose transparency could not be faulted.
I am always challenged by Samuel’s boldness to declare his integrity and challenge to the people to accuse him of any wrong doing while he led them.
We not only need Leaders with the kind of integrity Samuel possessed; as Christians, we should seek to walk in honesty, integrity and transparency so that no matter how hard people look, they will find nothing against us.
This will not only give us respect in the sight of the people, it will ultimately bring glory to God.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader, Home Group Leader and Bible Teacher in his local church. He also speaks at invited events. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org