(This blog is excerpted from a sermon preached 9/27/15.)
Offered a commission on April 18, 1861 to command Union armies, Robert E. Lee thought, pondered and decided NO. For his home state of Virginia seceded from the Union that day. His choice brought him deserved fame as military leader who chose to serve a wicked, doomed cause.
In his book Centennial, James Michener wrote of two groups of Indians in early America. One group chose to move south in Mexico; the other remained in what is now Colorado. The former became the Aztecs, the latter the Utes.
Choices. In his mercy God gives us the freedom to make them. And while they may not lead to the dramatic destinies experienced by General Lee and ancient American Indians, all choices lead to results or consequences.
Samuel’s leadership of Israel—surely close to 60 years—provided a long generation of peace and prosperity. But, as always happens, mortality overtook him. His strength gradually failed; he couldn’t continue his annual circuit; his influence waned. And the sons he appointed as his surrogates expanded his ministry but didn’t imitate his spirit. As a result Israel revered the father and loathed his offspring.
That led the lay leaders to choose a new point man in Israel. It’s interesting that they didn’t consult Samuel for his input, and they didn’t seek God’s guidance on their decision. They simply followed their own untutored impulses, proving how little worthy of leadership they were, proving that any choice they made would be flawed.
The next blog studies the two mistakes they made. – End Part I –
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