Today’s scripture: “If you fear the LORD and serve and obey Him and do not rebel against His commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God – good! But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against His commands, His hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors”…
The people 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.” “For the sake of His great name, the LORD will not reject His people, because the LORD was pleased to make you His own.” (I Samuel 12: 14-23)
How comforting! How reassuring! How compassionate! How gracious! God will never reject His people; not because of our goodness, but for the sake of His great name!
Israel had grievously sinned against God by rejecting Him and choosing an earthly King over Him. They had also rejected Samuel who was their God-appointed leader. To underscore the seriousness of their sin, Samuel called for a sign from heaven: “Is it not harvest now? I will call on the LORD to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the LORD when you asked for a King. Then Samuel called on the LORD and that same day, the LORD sent thunder and rain. So the people stood in awe of the LORD and of Samuel.” The people were terrified and asked for prayers from Samuel.
Was God pleased with them? Absolutely not! Could God have wiped them out? Certainly!
God did not wipe them out. God assured them that even though Israel had forsaken Him, He would not reject them for the sake of His Great Name.
Our sins always have consequences as Israel found out from the wickedness of their Kings in later years. God’s word is true and therefore we will always “reap what we sow.” If that were not the case, God would be a mockery (Gal.6:7). But the truth is: When we turn back to God in repentance, He would always receive us with open arms, in spite of the consequences we rightly suffer. “For the sake of His great name, the LORD will not reject His people because the LORD was pleased to make you His own.”
God’s desire is that we remain blessed because His name is tied to our destiny. We will reap the consequences of our sins but God will never turn His back on us. His name is at stake in us!
Prayer: Lord, I am lost for words about your unflinching loyalty to me. Thank you. Amen.