Samuel’s Parting Shots

And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.” 1 Samuel 12:19-25.

As Samuel prepares to meet his God, he has some reminders for the people. Like, how wickedly they have behaved in the past, whoring after other gods. And reminding them how their God has delivered them whenever they have turned back to him. And all that happened without the dubious benefit of having a king. Then Samuel gives them a scary sign to reinforce the fact that this demanded for a king was yet another turn away from God.

In the past, God would raise up a strong leader of His choosing to turn the people back to the Lord. Now the people have demanded a strong leader to fight their battles. The were not turning toward the Lord, just after the results of turning to the Lord. They want peace and safety, not the provider of peace and safety.

We are no different today. We wanted a leader who would fight for us. We got him. But have we changed? Are we seeking first the kingdom of God? Are we preaching the gospel? Are we on our faces before God, interceding for our nation and repenting of our lukewarmness? Our focus on worldly pleasures? No, the church is still a self-help support group that is more concerned with saving itself from the lost than saving the lost.

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