Summary: Samuel learned to hear God’s voice, yet he did it under a bad leader and his two wicked sons. He was subject to a corrupt religious system, yet learned true temple service. God protected him. God taught him. You are not alone in having experienced hard things. In Samuel, God raised a leader that ultimately changed things for the better.
Church leadership can be hard. You can find yourself looking at the underbelly of an organization. I heard someone once say, “If you way how they made the sausage, you would never want to eat it anymore.” I get it. There are times when we are exposed to the darker and more human side of those in leadership of the church. It can be hard. You may say, “Josh, I feel surrounded by corrupt and deceptive leaders.” I get it. I honestly do. Sometimes leaders are not presenting things as they really are, at best and sometimes they outright deceive, at worst.
Let’s look at Samuel. Samuel learned to hear God’s voice. Samual learned true temple service. He learned these things under a bad leader and his two wicked sons. Samuel was subject to a corrupt religious system. The oppressive and dark leadership of Phineas and Hophni were deplorable and wicked. Beyond this, the man in charge, Eli, knew of their corruption and did nothing about it. Samuel found himself under a corrupt and sketchy leadership team. Samuel was not in charge. However, the scriptures say that Samuel grew in stature and favor with God under that oppressive regime. Long before he was elevated, Samuel was under some pretty oppressive leaders and in some pretty oppressive conditions.
Sadly, we will serve under and next to leaders who make choices not in line with what we think should happen. This can be hard. However, we have an example in Samuel. God protected him. God taught him. God raised a leader that ultimately changed things for the better. You are not alone in having experienced hard things. Be like Samuel and grow in wisdom and godliness.