"Guaranteed" Protection

Tim Savage

"Don't be afraid," Samuel reassured them. "You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don't turn your back on him. Don't go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you-they are totally useless! The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people. (1 Samuel 12:20-22)
The children of Israel have once again sinned against the Lord (thankfully we get to learn from their many mistakes!). Because of their insecurity and little faith, they crowned Saul as king without the guidance and or approval of God. The Israelites were scared of the enemies surrounding their land. These other countries had kings and powerful armies and Israel craved that same "guarantee" of protection and stability.

In their need to satisfy their wants and desires, they neglected the most important aspect of life - God. Instead of putting their faith in an all-powerful and all-knowing God, they put their confidence in a human being - flawed and fragile.

I said that we get to learn from their mistakes, but the truth is that we are no different. We sin all the time because of insecurities, lack of faith and upside-down priorities. The lessons to learn from this passage are that 1) God doesn't abandon us when we make mistakes and 2) we cannot abandon Him when we make mistakes. But here' s the hard part, we need to learn from those mistakes, repent and move on with improved attitudes and behaviors.
Insecurity is at the root of so many of our sins. In our jobs, families, relationships, ministry and life we are led around on a leash by our insecurities. The need to feel accepted, valued and loved often times rule our actions and decisions and this leads to pain, hurt and suffering. If the Israelites had been secure in their relationship with God, they wouldn't have needed a king. If I was more secure in who I am in Christ, I wouldn't need to find fault with others in order to build myself up, I wouldn't need to test others' love by hurting them, I wouldn't make choices out of my weakness, but, instead, out of my strength in Him.

I need to repent, but learn, and observe, but also apply these lessons.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Forgive me for the many times I let you down and sin. May my faith and security in You continue to grow so that I make wise decisions in all that I do. May my life, leadership and ministry inspire others to a deeper relationship with You and may I represent You well.

In Jesus name,

Devotions for April 11

1 Samuel 11,12
1 Chronicles 1
2 Corinthians 11

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