Samuel led Israel for several years, not as a king, but as its judge. Then the people urged him to appoint a king, so that they could be like the other nations. After Samuel had appointed King Saul, Samuel spoke very seriously to the people. It was his last public speech.
What the people had done was wrong. Samuel had always told them that they should allow God to rule their nation. So now Samuel asked them to say whether Samuelís own actions had caused them to make this wrong decision. If Samuel had dealt wrongly with anyone, that person should now give evidence against him.
The people replied that Samuel had not taken unfair advantage of any of them. He had cheated nobody*. Therefore, the people were guilty when they would not allow God to rule their nation.
Paul could see that he was in a similar situation. God had given him authority over the church at Corinth*. However, the church members were trying to appoint new leaders, who seemed more powerful and impressive*. These leaders did not teach the truth about God*; in reality, they were serving the devil*.
So Paul urged Corinthís Christians to think about how he had behaved towards them. They all knew that Paul had not cheated them. Nobody whom he had sent to them had dealt wrongly with them.
Therefore, Corinthís Christians should know that they were responsible for their own actions in this matter. They must not appoint church leaders whom God had not chosen. They must not allow anyone who was not serving God properly to lead their church. Even if they did not want to follow Paulís instructions, they must still accept Godís authority over their church.
Next part: Paul was not defending himself (12:19)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.