The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
Samuel encourages the Israelites that even though they have sinned they should not turn away from the Lord, but rather serve Him with all their heart. In the realization of sin the natural inclination is to turn away from the Holy One. We do this because:
• We are embarrassed
• We feel without value
• We are enticed to sin – we like it and don’t want to repent of it just yet
• We are sure that God has rejected us
Samuel says to the people, don’t turn away to useless idols. Don’t go there – run to God! He has decided to make you His own people, and He was pleased to do it! God was happy to make of sinners a people for Himself. It brought joy to His heart! So don’t turn away from this God. In the midst of your rebellion, turn toward Him. Run to Him for the greatness of who He is and what He has decided to do.
This is not a free pass to sin. Samuel said, “be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.” It is our hearts God wants… it is our worship/service that we are to give. In the midst of selfishness when we’ve disregarded God, this is the difficult thing to do! The place to start is considering all the great things He has done for us! This will bring us back from selfishness to worship. Consider how much the Father loves us! Think about His decision to make us His people.
Paul said that He will boast “all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). There is something divinely powerful happening here when people can see the power of God on display through their weaknesses.
Father, there is no one like You! You have done great things! Thank You for delighting over making me Your son through Jesus. You have added the greatest of value to my life! I find my purpose in You.