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As Samuel grew up, he kept listening to God. Of course God liked that, so God was with Samuel.
Samuel was a prophet so connected to God that sometimes he could see things that were going to happen before they happened.
Samuel was also a Levite who served God and the people as a priest after Eli died.
And Samuel was one of the judges we told you about who helped the people settle disagreements. He traveled from city to city checking on how people were doing. He reminded people, “Put away the false idols and prepare your hearts for God, and He’ll help you.”
But, do you want to hear something I think is extra special about Samuel? God made every word Samuel said be something worth hearing.
Think about all the words you say in a day. Is every single word you say important? Are the words you say always valuable? Probably not yet. Sometimes the words we say come out of our mouths and THUD, it’s like they hit the floor with meaninglessness. What we said didn’t help anybody, or encourage anyone, or mean anything at all. Maybe the words we said just weren’t important.
Well, that wasn’t true of Samuel’s words. The Bible says that God didn’t let a single one of Samuel’s words THUD to the ground as meaningless. Is that something you would like to be said about you? Yeah, me too. And, later, when Jesus comes to live inside people, this can be even more true!
Do you think people noticed how every word Samuel said was valuable? Of course they did. They noticed how God was with Samuel. They noticed that when Samuel spoke, things changed! They noticed that when Samuel came around, God was close. It was clear Samuel wasn’t just repeating things he’d heard, or blab, blab, blabbing his own thoughts, or trying to be Mr. Bossy Pants.
Samuel loved people! He prayed for people. He took care of their needs. And God’s Family recognized that Samuel was close to God, and could help THEM be close to God, too.
That’s Godly Leadership. No one made an announcement that proclaimed, “Hey everyone, Samuel is the new leader!”
No one needed to called him “Judge Samuel” or “Prophet Samuel” or “Priest Samuel” or “Leader Samuel.” Nah. He was just “Samuel” — the man God had given them to care and help and watch over them — a leader from the heart. They saw it, and they liked it, and they knew they needed it.
Samuel served the people in many ways with lots of jobs God had given him to do — as seer, as priest, as judge — but Samuel didn’t need any fancy titles to BE a leader. He just was one! He just loved God with all his heart. And because he could hear God, he had influence over the people. If a man truly knows God, he will help God’s people. And if people want to be close, close, closer to God, they will notice and follow.