"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Lessons from I Samuel

A few things of note from my Bible reading this morning.

Hannah -- kind of fitting that I read of her since tomorrow is Mother's Day. I know several women who have been where she was in desiring a child. Most of them have had children or adopted, thankfully. I can't think of any right now who have not.

From Hannah's thanksgiving prayer this part stood out to me:

I Samuel 2:

9 [The LORD] will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
"It is not by strength that one prevails;

10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.

The part about it's "not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be shattered" is what really caught my eye. I have been reflecting a lot on powerful people and more particularly on powerful countries. Countries with so much military strength that they practically can rule the world .. or hold the world in its influence. Just made me think about the United States, supposedly the world's only remaining super power. Don't get me wrong, I love America. But anyone can tell we are a very wicked country increasingly opposing the Lord and His righteousness. I just wonder how much we are relying on our military might instead of focusing on the heart of the problem: our opposition to the Lord. Do we expect our military - which is stretched thin by all the conflicts we have involved ourselves in - to save us when God's hand comes upon us in judgment? Well, I think it's already here, and the military power isn't saving us from foreclosures, bank failures, businesses closing, lost jobs and our own immoral ways, addictions and family failures. Oh, that we would remember II Chronicles 7:14,

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

And then after the Lord calls Samuel, God tells him this about Eli in chapter 3:

11 And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, 'The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.' "

Is there any application here for me in knowing of sin and failing to restrain it? I'd hate to be guilty in God's eyes because I simply justified sin. Hmmm. You can read what God promised to do to Eli's family line here in I Samuel 2. God told Eli he was honoring his sons more than he was honoring God. I guess by overlooking their sins and not correcting them, God felt this way?? Hmmm.

From the notes in my Bible on chapter 4 verses 5, 7 and 10 where the Israelites toted around the ark of the covenant as if it were a good luck charm in battle, I learned that the important issue isn't whether God is on your side but whether we are on God's side. There is a difference.

No comments: