old dad and saw a man who had wasted his life and not taken advantage of the financial advantages of bending truth. So they ended up taking bribes and perverting justice.

Essentially, that would mean their behavior wasn’t Samuel’s fault.
But now, there’s a delegation from the tribes Israel that has gathered at Samuel’s front door… and it appears they are blaming him for his boys’ behavior.

They don’t ask Samuel to CONFRONT his sons.
And they don’t ask Samuel to REPLACE his sons.
And frankly it doesn’t sound like they want Samuel much anymore.

Look with me at 1 Samuel 8:5
“They said to him, ‘You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.’”

In other words:
We’re tired of you
we don’t want YOU
we don’t want YOUR KIDS
we want a King.

Now, the next verse I want you to look at is the key to the entire message today. Look with me at 1 Samuel 8:7
“And the LORD told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; IT IS NOT YOU THEY HAVE REJECTED, but they have rejected me as their king.’”

What’s God telling Samuel?
He’s telling him: “Don’t take this personally. This isn’t about YOU!!!”

Excuse me. (pause) But it’s kind of hard to believe that Samuel wouldn’t take this a little personally.
Samuel had served God and Israel faithfully for a number of years. And now, after all that time of faithful service, a few things have gone wrong and the people he’s devoted himself to all this time want to dump him.
They may even have discussed this earlier amongst themselves. I can imagine that their discussion are not unlike many others we hear in our nation right about now. In a couple of weeks people are going to go the polls to cast their vote for their leaders.

Now, how many of you believe there might be some people who are saying some very unkind things about those are running for office? Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect there’s been a lot of unkind things said about different politicians over the past few weeks.

And I believe, the same thing has been taking place here. I believe that, long before they ever took up the courage to come face to face with him, there’s been a lot of nasty things said about Samuel and his family… and I believe much of what they’ve said has already made it’s way to Samuel’s ears before this delegation arrived at his doorstep.

And those comments hurt… they hurt a lot.

But now they are facing him. And, by their tone of voice and their body language, they’re telling Samuel: we don’t want you anymore.

Then God tells Samuel "Don’t take it personally. It isn’t about you."

Why would God say that?
Because Samuel was God’s servant. The Israelites hadn’t elected him. Samuel had been the leader of Israel because God had made him so. And thus, any rejection of Samuel was a rejection of God and HIS leadership.

(pause)… Don’t take it personally. It isn’t about you.

II. I’m going to let you in on a little
Robert Heller
October 24, 2006
our congreations need to hear this and understand--love those who hate us!