MAY 27 2022  



“Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you’” (1 Samuel 12:3 New King James Version).

Samuel had an unblemished ministry as a priest, judge, and prophet in Israel. He started serving the LORD when he was a boy and succeeded his mentor, Eli. He led the people meritoriously.

When he was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Unfortunately, his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gains, took bribes, and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:1-3). Exodus 23:8 forbids taking bribes, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.

As a result of the corrupt attitude of the sons of Samuel, the Israelites asked him to give them a king to judge them like all other nations. Saul was eventually chosen as the first king of Israel.

In Samuel’s farewell address, he said, “Here I am. Witness against me before the LORD and before His anointed: Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I received any bribe with which to blind my eyes? I will restore it to you’” (1 Samuel 12:3 New King James Version).

Samuel’s address was a challenge to the people to interrogate his leadership and testify against him if he had stolen anything from anyone, cheated anyone, oppressed anyone, collected bribes from anyone, or perverted justice.

However, the people had nothing negative to say about his leadership. His character was unimpeachable. He was incorruptible. “And they said, ‘You have not cheated us or oppressed us, nor have you taken anything from any man’s hand’” (1 Samuel 12:4 New King James Version).

Not many leaders today, especially political leaders, can honestly throw that kind of challenge to their followers or citizens. I am not talking of the usual stage-managed endorsement or passing of a vote of confidence. There are few leaders today whose followers can vouch for their incorruptibility.

Even if the people won’t come out to testify, because of the fear of persecution, they are laughing at their leaders’ hypocrisy and sanctimonious claim of integrity. Moreover, what may be hidden from the people is naked and exposed before the God to whom all must give account (Hebrews 4:13). Samuel said, “My hands are clean” (1 Samuel 12:5 New Living Translation). Are your hands clean?

Moses, during the rebellion against him and Aaron led by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, declared before the LORD his integrity in the leadership of the Israelites. Moses, who was very angry, said to the LORD, “Do not respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them” (Numbers 16:15 New King James Version). These rebels and their company eventually suffered divine punishment.

In Acts 20:33-34, Paul told the Ephesian elders, who came to meet him at Miletus, that in the course of ministering to them, he did not covet anyone’s silver, gold, or apparel, rather he laboured to provide for his necessities and the needs of those who were with him. Similarly, he wrote to the Corinthian church that neither he nor Titus and the brother he sent to them took advantage of them (2 Corinthians 12:17-18).

Everyone is a leader, one way or the other. In your leadership, at whatever level, and, even in your relationship with people, avoid or repent of abuse of power and maintain integrity. Lead in the fear of God. Don’t steal, cheat, or oppress others. Don’t collect bribes or pervert justice. If you are guilty of any of these stop it.

Embrace honesty and accountability among other virtues. Be accountable to God and the people you lead. King David said, “The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me:  ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3 New King James Version). A leader should open his mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:9). He should not judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked (Psalm 82:2). Provide unimpeachable leadership.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer nowO Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of the ways I have abused my power as a leader and lacked integrity. Holy Spirit, help me to be a God-fearing and incorruptible leader. Let me not fail God and the people I lead. Father, give our countries unimpeachable leaders. Let corrupt leadership cease in our nations.

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T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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