In I Samuel 16:2, Samuel’s response to God’s command to go and anoint another king of Israel to replace Saul was less than faith-filled: “But Samuel said, ‘How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.'” It is interesting and amazing that this man of God, who had spoken with God personally, who had seen Him make His prophecies come to pass, and work in so many extraordinary ways, would respond so timidly. Surely he knew that God could protect him on whatever mission He would send him!
But the best of us are filled with inconsistencies — and the Bible definitely shows us that in its “heroes.” Elijah went from being the fiery hero of Mt. Carmel one moment, to running from Jezebel’s threat the next. We all have our ups and downs. As C.S. Lewis wrote, no one is always as good as he is on his best day, or as bad as he is at his worst. We all have our “undulations.”
Samuel’s response should help many of us understand ourselves a bit better — and also give us hope. If God could use him in a great way despite his “fluctuations in faith”, then surely He can use US too!