“And Samuel Died” — I Samuel 25:1
So, I’m merrily reading along in 1st Samuel and the first three words at the beginning of the new chapter are: “And Samuel died.” That’s it? That’s all we get?? Three little words that just pop up in the narrative??? I want more information … please.
What’s interesting to me is that we have no previous information to prepare us for Samuel’s death. I for one like to know the details of such things. Was he sick a long time? Was it a heart attack? Some battle with cancer? Did he fall off his donkey while texting? What happened?
The bible is silent on the matter. I find that so interesting. This important man of God just fades out of the Scripture narrative.
Matthew Henry had a pretty interesting perspective on this verse. He said: “Though he was a great man, and one that was admirably well qualified for public service, yet he spent the latter end of his days in retirement and obscurity, not because he was superannuated [ie, retired, elderly, old] for he knew how to preside in a college of the prophets, ch. 19:20, but because Israel had rejected him, for which God thus justly chastised them, and because his desire was to be quiet and to enjoy himself and his God in the exercises of devotion now in his advanced years, and in this desire God graciously indulged him. Let old people be willing to rest themselves, though it look like burying themselves alive.”
I found that note very helpful. Sometimes God’s servants just sort of ride off into the sunset. And you know what … maybe that’s OK. With our day’s emphasis on mega-stardom preachers, (Christian and Messianic) it might be hard to accept the fact that God might not be as impressed with us as we are.
They don’t come much bigger than Samuel and yet God would do just fine without him. I love that. God really doesn’t need us as much as perhaps we think He does. This helps with perspective.
The truth is that most of God’s people live in relative obscurity. They just humbly go on from day-to-day living for God with no fanfare or public accolades. To me that’s more impressive (and convicting) than the celebrity preacher that has a big machine behind him to sustain him.
Let’s just be thankful God uses us at all. Though Samuel has been dead a long time his life still influences us. And perhaps, unbeknown to you, the life you’re living in relative obscurity is having an even greater impact than you can imagine.
Remember the widow who cast in her mite? If only we could do something as memorable as that with our lives.
One day it will be said of us: And he/she died. Let’s cast in our mite, before it’s too late, to the glory of God.