Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Samuel 12:24

Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

In this verse Samuel is addressing the children of Israel.  They have had a history of being faithful for a time then falling away from the LORD.  Samuel admonishes the Israelites for even wanting a king.  God was supposed to be the nation's king.  He (Samuel) says in verse 13:  And now, behold the king whom you have chosen (Saul), for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you. (14)If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.  (15) But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king.

At this point, the children of Israel have already received the ten commandments.   They have found that it is not possible to keep the commandments (law) perfectly, so God set up a sacrificial system to atone (pay) for their sins.

So back to verse 24,  Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart.  Since we already know that this is impossible, why would Samuel say this?  When one fears the LORD and serves him faithfully, it means that the individual is living a life of continual repentance.  NOT serving him faithfully will all of his heart.  Of course it is something we can strive for, but we should not judge ourselves by how faithfully we have served, because it is not quantifiable.  If it were, we would fall woefully short anyway.

That is why faith is crucial.  That is why Jesus died on the cross.  Hebrews 11:6 reads:  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

1 comment:

  1. Right, it isn't quantifiable when held up against God's perfect law, but in our day-to-day lives we can measure the things we do and see how selfishly we have lived.
    And if we are truly repenting from our hearts, Christ has and will continue to sanctify us. Works aren't completely thrown off the table. They were emphasized for a reason. We are called to live lives of holiness and obedience. Yet, that comes through sanctifying and the gift of repentance.