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Moses and Samuel: 2 Great leaders…4 Godly parents…2 Mixed childhoods …opposition …success… failure… and passing the baton

2 Great leaders

Moses and Samuel were two great leaders in the history of the Jewish people.

They came to leadership when the nation was at a very low point.

They confronted unbelief among God’s people. They also confronted entrenched false religions in the nation’s enemies.

They were key in God’s deliverance of his people.

They led the nation for decades and then passed the baton to the next generation of leaders.

4 Godly parents

Moses and Samuel both had godly parents.

Moses’s parents are listed among the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11. They shielded him from Pharaoh’s death order and were able to raise him until he was weaned.

Samuel’s mother did not have children and she prayed to God for child.  Once he was born, his father cooperated with her plan to give him to service in the tabernacle after he was weaned.

They were both probably weaned at about three years old.

These short, powerful early years of life laid the base for their great years of service.

2 Mixed childhoods

Moses was raised in Pharaoh’s court.  These years did not further his relationship with God but he was taught tools that prove useful when he became the leader of God’s people.  He knew Egypt, its laws, its customs, and its religion well.

Samuel was raised in the home of the High Priest.  Eli was a weak leader and his sons were corrupt.  But Samuel learned what was required in the worship of God, the piety of people like his mother, and the importance of the true worship of the true God as the basis for life in the Jewish nation.


Moses and Samuel both experience opposition from the people they tried to lead.

At one point Moses also experienced opposition from his brother Aaron, the first High Priest. He collaborated with the people by crafting the Golden Calf in support of their apostasy while Moses was up on the mountain with God.

Samuel found himself in opposition to Saul, the first person he anointed as king to lead a unified Jewish nation.

Successes and Failures

Moses and Samuel experienced success and failure.

Moses led the people out of Egypt and received the Law that laid the base for Jewish life. But he failed when he struck the rock in anger and as a consequence did not enter the Promised Land.

Samuel led the people in victory over the Philistines and governed the nation in peace for decades. However, near the end of his life, his sons could not succeed him because they were corrupt.

Passing the baton

In the end, if Jesus does not return, we will all pass the baton.

We will move from from being parents to empty nesters and maybe grandparents.

We will see our positions of leadership turned over to others.

And, if we live long enough, we will enter a period of decline as our pilgrimage ends.

What can we expect as we serve God?

We will have successes and failures.  Hopefully we will experience comradery.  We will probably experience opposition.

We will aim to keep our focus on God and our service in his Church will be a part of our growth toward Christlikeness.

Questions for consideration:

What have you experienced in your life from your parents, childhood, and mentors?

How have you experienced opposition, successes, and failures?

Will you be ready to pass the baton?

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