Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.
Samuel was the greatest prophet that Israel had ever seen. He was used by God beginning when he was a young child. He anointed Saul the King over Israel. He anointed David the next King over Saul. Samuel had these two books of the Bible named after him. He was a mighty prophet o God, and yet when he died, there was one (1) verse written about it.
Yes, the nation of Israel mourned his death, but by verse 1b, the text has moved on.
Samuel, of course, is an eternal being like the rest of us. He was waiting for Israel’s Redeemer. When Jesus went and preached to those waiting, I’m sure Samuel was in that number and is now forever with his God. But when it comes to this life, regardless of what we’ve accomplished or accumulated, we all get one verse. One verse to acknowledge and celebrate (or not) our lives. One day that people will eulogize us. One season where we’ll be remembered, and then life goes on. The people on the earth keep living their lives and society continues to churn away.
In this same chapter in 1 Samuel is the story of Nabal. He was very wealthy and very wicked. The story is engaging, for sure. Even so, Nabal got a verse.
About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal and he died. 1 Samuel 25:38
What we need is a sober perspective on our lives. We’re in the ‘thick’ of living and things seem so critical and important – and certainly we need to live our lives well – but those who were in the thick of living 100 years ago… only 100 years ago… they are long gone.
How does this help me? Well, if it doesn’t depress me, it can lay perspective and priority over my life! My relationship with God is my most important pursuit simply because He is the One who will usher me into eternity after my ‘one verse’ is written. Jesus is the One who has my eternity in His hands. He is gracious and patient with me, but I cannot neglect my relationship with Him.
And because only ‘one verse’ will be written for all of us, my relationship with others takes priority. My life is to be used up for God’s glory and for leading others to the abundant, eternal life that Jesus offers. After their ‘one verse’ is written, what else will matter?
Are there any other pursuits more important than these two? None that I can see. Nothing else will matter when my last verse is written.
Lord Jesus, I live for You! Thank You for Your love and compassion for me. Thank You for saving me. My eternity is with You. Help me to live this day with that day in mind.