1 Sam 12:1-5 Guiding Principles in Positions of Authority CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In 1 Sam 12:1-5, Samuel asked Israel to witness against him if he had abused his office before them in any way. He asked several questions that reveal his guiding principles in his position of authority.
He did not covet – whose ox have I taken or whose ass have I taken? [Ex 18:21] Samuel was not a man who judged Israel for personal gain. He used his office to help them, not himself.
He did not defraud – whom have I defrauded? Samuel defrauded no one. He feared God and would not pervert judgment for anyone, not even on behalf of the king.
He did not oppress – whom have I oppressed? Judges are powerful. Samuel didn’t abuse his power to take advantage of others who were not nearly as powerful as he was.
He did not take bribes – of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? [Deut 16:18-19] In positions of authority, money talks. Bribes often influence a person’s decision.
Conclusion: Examine the men and women who hold offices of authority in law, in business, in politics, in religion, in the military, etc. Many of them are prone to abuse their power and violate any one or several of these principles. Choose people in positions of authority based on these principles. Abide by these principles yourself, when you are in a position of authority.