As a nation, this past week we were given a choice to decide which direction we wanted our country to go. It was a climactic ending to an intense year or two of political battles. Decision-time came and now we must live with our decisions. Thankfully, God’s overarching story of bringing men and women back into fellowship with Him runs undeterred.
After the time of the Judges, the Israelites were left with a moment of decision. Would they keep trusting in their King God who had lead them mightily out of Egypt and into the land of Promise? Or would they rather have an earthly king that they could see and touch and who could go out physically before them into battle? The Israelites made their decision and it was the same as it always had been, just “as they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods.”
And as all decisions have consequences, sometimes good and sometimes bad, this one did as well. The Israelites got a physically handsome and mighty king, but they forsook their true King. They had lost the desire to listen to God, clouded by their desire to be just like the other people around them.
That’s why the story of little Samuel stands in such stark contrast. Though he was young, he heard directly from God. And his response – “Speak, for your servant is listening.” He not only was prepared to listen, but was prepared to follow God. In his heart, he decided to follow God, no matter what. The consequence for his decision was that he became a mighty man of God that lead Israel and continually tried to draw them back to their true King.
Israel’s choice had consequences. Our choice, whether good or bad, will as well. God lets us make our own decisions, even if it isn’t His best choice for us. Thankfully, God’s Upper Story continues on. Thankfully, He is able to redeem the unredeemable. As you read this week’s chapter, ask God to give you ears to hear, a heart to comprehend, a mind willing to decide, and feet ready to move.