Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23, John 7:1-30, Psalm 108:1-13, Proverbs 15:4
I’m continuing to focus on faith and faithfulness this month. I think that the words “believe” and “belief” refer to faith or faithfulness and I’ll continue this study on that assumption. In John 7, Jesus was mocked by His brothers, who did not believe in Him. They said, “If you can do such wonderful things.” Had they seen any of Jesus’ miracles or only heard about them second hand. If they had seen it when Jesus turned the water into wine or when he healed the man’s hand and arm in the temple, surely they would have realized that something special was happening. Or maybe not. How often do we see God at work and dismiss it as something else – a coincidence or a merely human action.
The story of Israel’s first king just gets sadder and sadder in I Samuel 12-13. After Samuel chastised them for abandoning God as their king to seek a human king, he did provide these words of comfort.
20 “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. 21 Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless!22 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.
He assured them that God would not abandon them for His own name’s sake. He also challenged them to worship the Lord wholeheartedly and not to turn away from Him. Is that a part of faith? I remember that Caleb was repeatedly commended for following God wholeheartedly.
I find it very comforting that God gave us this message through Samuel – even when we have fallen short, God will not abandon us. He simply wants us to return to Him wholeheartedly. It all comes back to that first walk in the garden with Adam and Eve. He made us for fellowship with Him. I believe that is God’s first and highest priority.