When Young People Do Not Walk in the Old Ways

1 Samuel 8:1-3, “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.”

2, “Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba.”

3, “And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

4, “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah,”

5, “And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

I honestly believe that young people do not realize how much their decisions today impact the destiny of tomorrow. Notice that Samuel’s sons “walked not in his ways.” Samuel was not just daddy, he was the preacher and man of God for the nation of Israel. So, in reality, these young men decided to NOT walk in the ways of the Preacher.

You may not think their decision makes much difference, but to the people of Israel, they were an excuse. Notice in verse 4 is says, “THEN…” A decision was not made to be like the other nations UNTIL the young men decided not to walk in the old ways. A decision was not made to modernize and come up with the times UNTIL the young men decided not to walk in the old ways.

We need a generation of young people who will take a stand and decide to walk in the old ways! The decision of those two young men sparked the entire nation of Israel to leave the old ways, leave the man of God’s counsel, and be like everyone else.

1 Samuel 8:9, “Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”

God now tells Samuel how to react. He tells Samuel to “hearken, yet protest solemnly.” This is exactly how a man of God reacts in the pulpit. He gets up and “protests solemnly.” He knows the end road of your decision making. He knows how things will turn out if you keep going the direction you’re going. Even your youth pastor will try to tell you not to make those “on the border” decisions when it comes to your Christian life. He tries to help you by “protesting solemnly.”

Here’s Israel’s response to Samuel’s protest:

1 Samuel 8:19, “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;”

20, “That we also may be like all the nations…”

Samuel told them what would happen and nevertheless, they still wanted to have their own way. What a sad day when young people are warned by their parents, their preacher, their youth pastor, and their other godly authorities and nevertheless, they still choose to be like the world.

One of the saddest verses is the last verse. God told Samuel to “Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.” The people of Israel forced the “new ways” to become “God’s will.” The very first thing they should have done was to ask God what He wanted them to do. Instead, they told God what they wanted and eventually, that became what God did. Because, “Ask, and it shall be given you…”

Young people today are asking the wrong thing and then they are saying, “This is what God wants me to do.” When in reality, you left God no choice. It used to be, “All to Jesus I surrender,

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His presence daily live.”

But, that’s the old way…

We still get saved the “old way” by accepting Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone! So, let’s live our life the “old way” by separating ourselves from the world and being different.

You may not think your decision matters much; BUT, because of the decision of these TWO young men in Israel, the entire nation stopped walking in the old ways.

Young person, YOUR decision can impact the ways of our nation. Yes! Your decision can impact the ways of your church. Let’s get back to walking in the old ways. Let’s “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…” For the sake of America, get back to the old ways. For the sake of your church, get back to the old ways. For the sake of your family, get back to the old ways. For the sake of pleasing God and doing His will, GET BACK TO THE OLD WAYS!


Jonathan Wells

Youth Pastor of Parkside Baptist Church