Two important ‘RESPONSIBILITIES’ of a GODLY LEADER: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way." (1 Sam 12:23)
We should be aware that over and over God had proved Himself faithful to His people, even though Israel had grossly sinned and rebelled against God time and again. As God was so far loyal to His covenant pledges, Samuel challenged the people of Israel to reciprocate to the faithfulness of God by fearing God, serving and obeying His voice always (12:14–15). As a sign that God would continue to be with them, He sent thunder and rain in response to Samuel’s prayer, something unheard of in the time of wheat harvest (12:16–18).
Despite Israel’s sin, Samuel loved Israel and Saul (16:1) and pledged his continued help for them. His love for them, however, would not dim his perspective as to what ways were right or wrong in Israel. He would do his divine duty of speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). So, as Samuel was concluding his speech at the coronation of Saul as the first king of Israel, he revealed a very important truth that is essentially a two-part responsibility of a godly leader:
- Maintain a continued life of intercession for the needs of others, since failure to pray for God’s people was a sin against God; and
- Teach the people of Israel concerning “the good and the right way”, which is God’s standard for them.
Those two responsibilities continue to be the spiritual tasks of God’s shepherds in any era, even today! To stop praying for the needs of others would have been sin, since prayerlessness is sin and not just carelessness. Spiritual leadership differs radically from this world’s ideas about how to lead. God’s leaders must realize that they represent Him in their role, since He has given them their authority. In order to honor God, His servants must be faithful both to Him and to His people!
Today, godly leaders are tasked by God to act both as the priests, being part of the ‘royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9), and the prophets/teachers of God, who would teach the oracles/word of God. Our Lord is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), and it behooves every godly spiritual leader to teach people “the good and the right way” (v. 23). We please God when we fulfill our leadership responsibilities; otherwise, note that we are clearly sinning against God!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:16-18). “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Tim. 4:2).