Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 12:7 (NIV)
Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.
1 Samuel 12:7 (MSG)
Take your stand before him now as I review your case before God in the light of all the righteous ways in which God has worked with you and your ancestors.
“Now then, take your stand, so that I may plead and contend with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and for your fathers.” -AMPLIFIED
Samuel, the prophet, takes his place before the people as acting judge. (Remember, he was the last judge of Israel.)Standing before the people he had already submitted for them to review his life of integrity. Now it is time for the people to be under review or basically on trial.
Samuel tells them that he will review their case right there before God and Every-man. He would lay out before them all the righteous acts that the Good Lord had done for them and their ancestors and let those actions, God’s His-story, speak for itself. He would also would also lay out their history, their track record, with God, and let it speak for itself. (It is a painful thing to be confronted with one’s sin, but it is the first step in making things right with God and coming to reconciliation.)
Samuel begins his argument back in Egypt; at the point when their ancestors were crying out to God for deliverance. “When Jacob [and his sons] had come into Egypt [and later when the Egyptians oppressed them] and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. But when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of Hazor’s army, and into the hand of the Philistines and of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. They cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘We have sinned because we have abandoned (rejected) the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now rescue us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal (Gideon) and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and He rescued you from the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in security.” -1 Samuel 12:8-11 (AMP)
Look at those last words, “He(God) rescued you from the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in security.” God rescued them again. God saved them from their enemies! God rescued them from their miserable selves.
You would think that they would have been so thankful that they would have pledged their undying allegiance to God. But Samuel goes on to tell them this was not the case. “But when you saw Nahash, king of the Ammonites, preparing to attack you, you said to me, ‘No more of this. We want a king to lead us.’ And God was already your king!” -1 Samuel 12:12 (MSG)
Basically, Samuel was telling them that they had opted to put aside their true KING, God, the Almighty One, for a lesser, inferior, secondary, king. (Remember, DO NOT settle for second best!) “So here’s the king you wanted, the king you asked for. God has let you have your own way, given you a king. If you fear God, worship and obey him, and don’t rebel against what he tells you. If both you and your king follow God, no problem. God will be sure to save you. But if you don’t obey him and rebel against what he tells you, king or no king, you will fare no better than your fathers.” – 1 Samuel 12:13-15 (MSG)
What the people had done to God was wrong. They had chosen to put someone else in His place. God gave them exactly what they wanted; even though it was not His choice for them. Now He expected them to accept His choice of king for them. To confirm to the people that Saul was God’s choice for king and to prove to them that what they had done to God was wrong; Samuel was pray and ask God to demonstrate HIS MIGHTY POWER! “Pay attention! Watch this wonder that God is going to perform before you now! It’s summer, as you well know, and the rainy season is over. But I’m going to pray to God. He’ll send thunder and rain, a sign to convince you of the great wrong you have done to God by asking for a king.” Samuel prayed to God, and God sent thunder and rain that same day. The people were greatly afraid and in awe of God and of Samuel.” – 1 Samuel 12:16-18 (MSG)
Once again God preformed a miracle to prove to them that HE was the Almighty One, He was the Great “I AM”, He was their One, True God. Going through their minds must have been the reoccurring thought, “What have we done?” Needless to say, we know that they were petrified. They realized their sin against their God; it was evident to them now. Their response? “Then all the people begged Samuel, “Pray to your God for us, your servants. Pray that we won’t die! On top of all our other sins, we’ve piled on one more—asking for a king!” – 1 Samuel 12:19 (MSG)
It is a difficult place to be when we are confronted with the evidence of our sin. It is painful to realize that we are not perfect (Funny thing is none of us are.) We do not like to acknowledge that we are wrong. Yet God has made a way for us once again to come back to Him. “As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end. But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” -Romans 6:20-23 (MSG)
Lord, the evidence speaks for itself; you are always faithful and I am not. Forgive me, please, for those times that I have not been faithful and true to you. My sin has been great and I am so sorry for them, Lord. Please, be the King of my life and help me to be what you need me to be; for your sake, Lord. I need you and your help; for I cannot do this on my own; my life is evidence of that fact. Be in complete charge, Lord, and help me obediently follow you leading in my life.