1 Samuel 12 recorded an evil thing the Israelites did in the eyes of the Lord. Instead of depending on God, they insisted on following the leadership of a king. Through the teaching of Samuel, we can all learn how to overcome sinful desires against God.
“Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!” they all said to Samuel. “For now we have added to our sins by asking for a king.” 1 Samuel 12:19
Here’s a phrase we hear pretty often which is usually said by kids and sometimes by adults. The phrase, “that’s not fair, how come they have one and I don’t?” That was just about the attitude the Israelites took with Samuel.
“Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” 1 Samuel 8:5
Israel was a nation full of sinful people. They admitted as much in verse 19 when they said, “we have added to our sins.” They didn’t realize that though, until Samuel asked God to reveal His power to them.
I will ask the Lord to send thunder and rain today. Then you will realize how wicked you have been in asking the Lord for a king!” So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day. And all the people were terrified of the Lord and of Samuel. 1 Samuel 12:17-18
Israel Had to Overcome Their Sinful Desires
The first thing Samuel told them was “don’t be afraid.” We shouldn’t be afraid of God either. However, we do need to fear the Lord. Or in other words, respect Him.
“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. 1 Samuel 12:20
“Worship God with all of your heart!” The view of worship for many Christians only happens on Sunday mornings in their church services.
The phrase “with all of your heart” goes beyond Sundays making it a lifestyle of worship. Look at what Jesus taught as recorded in the gospel of Matthew.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
A lifestyle of worship includes seeking God’s kingdom and living a righteous life. Which simply means living “right” in the sight of God. Look at what Paul said on this subject.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1
Sin Hinders Our Relationship with God
Samuel went on to tell the Israelites to stay away from worthless idols. The way that translates for us means not to prioritize anything hindering our relationship with the Lord.
Check out this related post called Don’t Settle For Less Than God’s Best.
Samuel also reassured the people of how the Lord felt about them.
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 12:22
We can also enjoy the same reassurance in our lives. He will never abandon us because He has promised that He would never leave or forsake us.
Check out this related post called 4 Consequences when Life is Overtaken by Sin.
Redemption is ours by accepting what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection. When you do, you become God’s very own.
Lord, just like Israel, we can easily add to our sins. Forgive us and help us to maintain a lifestyle of worship that pleases you. Help us to overcome our sinful desires.
Read an excellent post on Worship called, How To Worship God With All Of Your Life.
Check out this post on when we worship something other than God called Idolatry In The Bible.
Check out all of 1 Samuel 12.
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