Today in God’s Word
1 Samuel 12; Romans 10; Jeremiah 49; Psalm 26-27
Samuel’s farewell address in 1 Samuel 12 is touching and impactful and it is ever so clear here the wickedness of asking for a human King and yet he tells them not to fear and to simply ensure that the nation and the king both follow the LORD and serve him with all their heart. God saves for the sake of his great name. Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart! This is a people mourning their sin and the word from their prophet is to not fear, but to only fear and serve the LORD…interesting response in 1 Samuel 12:20-25.
Below I have restated and considered Samuel’s advise (from verses 20-25) for dealing with acknowledged and confessed sin that is still leaving me feeling guilty and condemned:
- v 20a. Do not fear that God will take your life, though you have surely done evil and deserve it. OR, “Slow down your thoughts…do not fear an outcome or a circumstance here…yes there is no ignoring the wickedness of your actions…”
- v 20b. But do not let this situation turn you away from God in guilt and shame…where would you go? Rather draw near and serve him whole heartedly for he is merciful and loving. OR, “Don’t throw in the towel because you failed…Go all in.”
- vv 21-22. Do not go after worthless empty powerless things that can’t help you deal with your troubles and failures and issues, rather turn to God because he does profit, he does deliver and because he does not forsake you even when you fail and sin…the world puts you out on the street. He does not since he acts for the sake of his own name, and it has pleased him to make you a people to himself. He set out a purpose for you…the fame of his name for the joy of the nations!
- v 23. I will keep praying for you and instructing you, though you fail and sin. OR, “as the LORD’s servant, I have not given up on you and I trust that God can and will deliver you.”
- v 24. But do this one thing…fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Yes, remember the great things he has done and let that reveal him awesome power and glory and love and may you be moved to serve him evermore. OR, “I know that I told you not to fear death, which is an outcome. I want you to fear a person…your holy and omnipotent and loving Father. Do not just make a decision to repent. Remember your God and dwell on him and seek him that you might have new desires and affections for him and follow him with sincerity from the heart…for he has set his love upon you.”
- v 25. Ignore this…turn from him…and you and your king will be swept away! Remember he has been pleased to make you a people unto himself…so honor him and be it.
In Psalm 26 David reflects beautifully on Psalm 1 and he expects it to be true. He expects to stand in the judgment and to sit in the assembly of the righteous (Ps 1:5) because he has not sought the influence of the wicked or allowed the wicked to draw him in (Ps 1:1). He now calls upon God to demonstrate the blessed outcome in his life and to bear him up and to protect him (Ps 1:6)…to prosper him in all he does (Ps 1:3)! Live or die, he will stand firm and he knows what company he will be in (Ps 1:5). It would almost seem like David has taken occasion to pray through Psalm 1 and such a lesson should be well observed and emulated by me in all of the Psalms.
In Psalm 27 David explains his peace and confidence and his secret to his fearlessness (Ps 27:1-3). He only desires one thing and this thing cannot be offered by any man nor can it be taken away by any man. He desires to seek and know the LORD (Ps 27:4). He trusts that the LORD will protect him and will allow him to seek him and will be responsive to him as he seeks and cries out (Ps 27:5-8). He asks that the LORD not leave him to languish, though he knows this could be the Lord’s just choice for a time (Ps 27:9-10). Then he reveals that in the midst of his confidence there actually is an earthly dilemma and he asks for instruction in it (Ps 27:11-12). But he has a confidence that he will yet remain alive and see the blessing of the LORD in deliverance from this situation, though the alternative is blessing and security in the next life all the more (Ps 27:13). And so he will wait patiently upon the LORD and trust in his deliverer with a delightful sense that victory awaits (Ps 27:14).
In Romans 10 Paul addresses the need for anyone form any heritage to know God’s righteousness. He makes a case that we can not look to our own righteousness and ask who will succeed or fail in it…but know that we must rely on God and cry out to him for mercy. We do not have a tribal God who rules over only one people…our God is the God of all peoples! He will deliver all who 1. Hear 2. Believe and 3. Call upon him in a saving way…that is to say we must call upon him 1. In truth 2. With fear 3. With loving devotion (cf. Psalm 145:17-20). The context of Romans 10 is the breadth of his reign and Psalm 145 explains better the depth of our call. Watch, listen, or read a message from Psalm 89 that expands on this HERE. Then Paul addresses the obvious objection that asks, “well if he is the God of all peoples, what has gone wrong with the Jews? Did they not get the message? Did they not understand it? Why have they not believed it and called upon the LORD in truth according to knowledge? Why did they not recognize Christ as the righteousness of God?”…Which takes us to tomorrow in chapter 11!
Soli Deo Gloria!