God has ministered to my heart this week from I Samuel 12. I want to share what He has shown me. At this point in the history of Israel they have requested a King. Their rejection of the Lord has led them to this point. For a while, Samuel the Prophet has been their leader. God reminded Samuel that the people have rejected the Lord, not Samuel, as their leader.
In chapter 12, Samuel addresses the people of Israel just when Saul becomes the King. It was a final speech of sorts for Samuel. He told the people they had sinned and continued to sin in asking for a king. Now, they have king, and God judges them by sending rain and thunder on the harvest. They pray and ask Samuel to ask God to forgive them. Samuel’s words are encouraging:
20 Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the LORD. Instead, worship the LORD with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn away to follow worthless things that can’t profit or deliver you; they are worthless. 22 The LORD will not abandon His people, because of His great name and because He has determined to make you His own people.
Even though they have the King they asked for, God will still forgive their past sins! The consequences of their request are before them, but forgiveness is readily available. They are still able to choose on THIS DAY to serve and honor the Lord. God is willing to forgive their past sins and start anew today. The same is true in our lives. No matter what has happened yesterday, or last week, or last month, God is willing to forgive us when we come to Him in forgiveness and honor Him. Today is a new day! We have the choice, just like the Israelites.
Samuel goes on to say this to the people:
24 Above all, fear the LORD and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you. 25 However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away.
The people are encouraged to serve the Lord because of His love for them. We too should serve the Lord because of His great love for us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us, He is patient toward us, He is kind and merciful towards us. Because of His initiating love, we should serve and honor Him! There is a “however” in the statement. Samuel said, if they continue in evil, trouble will continue to come. It will continue for them and for their king. We know the story, they didn’t honor the Lord, their new king, Saul, didn’t honor the Lord, and trouble came. The same is true for us. This is a new day, we have choices to make. Trouble will continue if we continue in evil and do not honor the Lord.
There is such a picture of the Gospel in this passage. Jesus Christ died on the cross to offer forgiveness to all those who will ask Him. Once we come to Him for salvation, we have a new life to live. We make choices everyday to follow Him, or to not follow Him. He honors His children when we obey Him, and trouble comes when we don’t. Today is a new day. Ask for forgiveness for yesterday and honor Him today.