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February 2016

Text:

“Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.”  - 1 Samuel 12:3.

Comment:

Right conduct compels obedience and respect. One of the ancient patriarchs who stood out in this regard was Samuel the prophet. He was revered by his people for his impartiality, honesty, courage and fear of God.  After God had acceded to the request of the people to be given a King, Samuel the prophet openly requested that anyone whom he had maltreated knowingly or unknowingly should say so, assuring them that he would make amends immediately. But the people answered: “Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man's hand.” (1 Samuel 12:4) He further told them, “... The LORD is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness.” (1 Samuel 12:5) How many people today can openly challenge members of the public to expose them if they misused or abused their offices during their years in service? Samuel the prophet had a clear conscience and so could do so. St. Paul said, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” - Acts 24:16.

The good name that Samuel the prophet had with God Almighty and the people and with which he died is far more precious than money.  Scripture says, “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.” - Proverbs 10:7; Psalm 112:6.

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