In the past several months, during America’s political process, the world has its eyes on the events as they unfold during the campaign process of nominating a Presidential candidate. On the way, we will read and hear many concession speeches.
In 2004, Secretary John Kerry, then a United States Senator, was running a fierce campaign for the highest office in the land; trying to secure his place in history as the next president. But it was not to be. The following is his CONCESSION speech [See Footnote [i] ].
“I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even with all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won’t be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And, therefore, we cannot win this election.”
[Definition, “to concede” : to confess, admit as being true, or to acknowledge defeat”]
Senator Kerry’s concession speech wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last.
In the Bible, God too gave a concession speech. One might say that He prefaced His speech when He said back in Genesis 6:3, “My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man.”
In First Samuel, Chapter 8, we read in the verses that God was no longer popular with the people. The masses thought He was irrelevant in their lives; unable to meet the needs of their nation. God had lost the popular vote, failed to secure the electoral votes and conceded by giving a speech through His former running mate, the Honorable Prophet Samuel.
THE PROBLEM (found in vs. 1-3):
 WHEN SAMUEL was old, he made his sons judges over Israel.  Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba.  His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.
The prophet Samuel had appointed his two sons to become judges over Israel. It seems as if Samuel was trying to create a family dynasty and placed his sons in a position where they were charged with judging ALL the people righteously, yet they instead had some favorites.
Samuel was a godly man, yet his children went astray. But you can’t be in a position of LEADERSHIP, claiming to be on God’s side, all the while JUDGING with partiality.
SCRIPTURE says they, “turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.”
In other words, only they only supported those who would make them wealthy. If you didn’t have any money, or any high-ranking social status, then you, unfortunately, were oppressed in the name of God.
One can appear to be in a position of FAVOR, receive BLESSINGS, yet be out of favor with God.
These two young men used their religious positions, backed by the name of God, to gain political and material advantages. Sound familiar?
They gave perks to the wealthy and if you had a problem with those in power, Joel and Abijah were bought off by the corporate powers that be, so you didn’t have to a fighting chance.
Many confess God but do not serve Him. And, the last time my Bible defined “AUTHORITY”, YOU HAD TO BE A SERVANT LEADER to ALL the people NOT just to the people in your inner circle.
THE PEOPLE (vs. 4-5):
So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 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” (NIV Bible).
The Bible teaches us, when the blind leads the blind, they all fall in the ditch.
Here we see in verse 4, the elders of the people, the Senate, the House of Representatives, came together in a joint session and told Samuel that they wanted a king like all the other nations, all because his sons were not walking with God. The “theys” saw an opportunity to pursue their endorsement because of the failures and mistakes of others–minimizing God! They were elders, and instead of them using their influence to unite the people, they told the people a partial truth, okay, a LIE, damaging their unique relationship with God.
All this was a teaching moment to me in my meditation on the verses here. Neither the LEADERS nor the PEOPLE were praying and seeking God. Instead, they were trying to get from man what they had available with God.
According to verse 20, they wanted a KING to fight for them, lead them in their frustrations and fears. No doubt, all because they were a ‘civil religious’ nation; probably all the time thinking they were doing the right thing–suppressing the poor and disadvantaged while demanding that all they needed to have was a LEADER to further their program.
THE PROPHET (vs. 6-9):
 But it displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.  And the Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them.  According to all the works which they have done since I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods, so they also do to you.  So listen now to their voice; only solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them” (AMP Bible).
To Be Continued in PART TWO…
CREDITS AND FOOTNOTES:
Footnote [I]: History’s Best Victory And Concession Speeches – November 6, 2012, Northwest Public Radio.
PHOTOS: Google Image Search.
Bible Translations: AMPLIFIED Bible, except where noted.