Thursday, 31 March 2011

Promise and Comfort

Yesterday's devotion (at home) was a small passage in 1 Samuel 12.  It is a description of a moment in time when, like all of us, the Israelites realised the error of what they had asked God for.  They had wanted to be like the nations around them and have a king.  They would not be dissuaded and God gave them what they wanted.

Does that scare you just a little, as it does me?  God knew a king would not be in their best interest, but they were so determined that He let them have their way and experience the long-term consequences of their stubbornness.  I wonder how many times, in my life, I have pestered God for something that was outside of His will for me that I now endure consequences for?  I'm not sure I have the answer for that, because my life is full and rich.  But I can be stubborn and pester God!!!!  What about you?  Do you pester God like a petulant child when He doesn't give you what you thought you desperately wanted?

What I loved about this passage in verses 19-25 is that when the Israelites realised how wrong they'd been Samuel had comfort for them.  He reminds them to turn their hearts towards God, despite what they'd gotten themselves into.  Samuel reminds the people that God does not reject His people and promises to teach the people, again, the way that is good.  And he reminds them to remember all that God has done for them.

I think this is a beautiful picture of what God does and wants to do in our lives, when we've gone off the track He had planned for us.  It doesn't matter how wrong we've been, God just wants us to repent and return to Him.  We might have to live with the consequences off being on the wrong track for a long time, but God uses even those journeys for our benefit.  I know in my own life that the toughest times are those where I've learnt the most about God.  Not that I think we should all take off and do our own thing, because I do think God will teach us what we need to know of Him when we're diligently following His way!  But I think it's good to remember that all is not lost when we step away.

The other thing I love about that passage is Samuel's promise to teach the Israelites God's ways.  I am very grateful for a handful of friends who will courageously speak into my life the truths that I need to hear.  God uses these women to teach me and through their sage, Godly words I am able to seek out God's will in situations where I get lost in my own thoughts and forget to look up.  I believe God places people like that in the lives of all of His children.  But we need to choose to see those people and appreciate them as God's gift of teaching to us.

Finally, Samuel tells the people to remember the great things God has done for them.  When days are dark and we've nothing within us that can praise God with in our own strength, this is where to begin.  Look back and see what God has done in our lives.  If we look, there is plenty to see!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! So timely, thank you friend. xx

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I often wonder if I'm pestering God, and remind myself that if I've prayed for something once, God has heard me and will answer in His time.

Lovely post, Tracy. Lots to think about!


Tracy said...

I think the same Frances, but sometimes when I'm desperate I go round in circles and try to bargain with God. Very silly!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I've been known to do some bargaining myself. Silly indeed!