by Jim Henry

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Samuel and the Prophets (26 of 26)
Jim Henry
Hebrews 11:32-40; 1 Samuel 8

Winston Churchill said, ''Without courage, all other characteristics of life lose their virtue.'' Courage is the opposite of cowardice, and every one of us faces at some time in our life the choice of courage or cowardice. It usually begins somewhere in grammar school, when you begin to know the difference between right and wrong. When you see a wrong taking place-for instance, a bully picking on a little kid-if you're little, you know what it means for someone to speak up in your defense.

It gets a little more prominent in junior high, and then in senior high, when the peer pressure is so very strong, you face it even more. Then it's off to college and a fraternity or sorority. Then, maybe, in military service, where you feel sometimes that you may be the only one standing up for your belief in what is right.

It can be in the work place where you face all kinds of pressure from people whose values are different from yours. If you speak up or live a different kind of life, you realize that you are the target of whispers and some other kinds of intimidation.

It's always a challenge to live a courageous faith, and God gives us the names of some people who have done that. He ends with a man by the name of Samuel, along with some others.

Notice first of all that Samuel is a beautiful name which means, ''heard of,'' or ''asked of God.'' His mother, Hannah, had prayed for a male child and God heard her petitions. When He gave her this child, she named him Samuel, which means, ''asked of God.''

Samuel was born three hundred years after Moses. He was the only man in Israel's history who served as her prophet, priest and judge. Israel had gone through a series of judges, men who temporarily ruled; but no one seemed to turn the nation around. Then Samuel came on the scene. Here was a nation that had been battered, beaten and bruised. The Moabites, the Syrians, the Amalekites, the C ...

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