8. “When the Israelites were in Egypt and cried out to the LORD, he sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them from Egypt and to bring them into this land.
9. But the people soon forgot about the LORD their God, so he handed them over to Sisera, the commander of Hazor’s army, and also to the Philistines and to the King of Moab, who fought against them.
1 Samuel 12: 8–9 NLT
Today’s Passage is another brief foray into Samuel’s dedication of King Saul upon his official coronation after his defeat of the invading Ammonites. Being the Astute Leader he was, Samuel recognized the opportunity to utilize Saul’s momentum to his advantage.
He saw the shifting in the people’s perceptions concerning Saul and took the impetus to unite the Israelites under the young King’s rule. However, Samuel proves he is the Consummate Leader even as he solidifies Saul’s authority. He ensures the Israelites know God’s Position on all this simultaneously as he verifies Saul’s mandate.
Two things are happening in this Chapter; the first is that Samuel gives the rebellious Children of Israel what they asked for. God sanctioned their request for a King, but He was not happy about it. And that brings us to Today’s First Lesson. God has Permissive Will.
I’ve touched on this subject before in this study of The Story of Samuel, and I suspect it may come up a time or two again before it is all over. God has formulated a Plan from the beginning of the World for each individual, but that Plan can change, and one of the ways we can alter it is through focused, fervent prayer.
We can request that God amend or modify His original Will for us. But that doesn’t mean our choices are better than God’s. In fact, we know our life decisions are always inferior to God’s because He knows what will happen before it comes. Therefore, He can craft the perfect situation even out of chaos when we can’t see clearly enough to do the same.
But if God is willing to alter His Plans for the benefit of our education, what happens when what we ask for is harmful? Will God change our outcomes if we make bad decisions that go against His Perfect Will? The simple answer is no.
If we make choices that defy God’s Will, why would He then amend the outcomes? That would undermine the Lessons we could have learned from our ignorant Pride. It is the heights of arrogance to believe we know how to plan a better path for ourselves than God can. And the outcomes for enacting such a foolhardy tactic are about what you’d think.
The Second thing presented in Today’s Passage is that God reminds the Israelites why they should have trusted Him. Yes. God is giving the Israelites what they requested, but He also tells them in no uncertain terms that they were flawed in that request.
Through God’s prompting, Samuel is recounting His Mighty Works on the Israelite’s behalf. God went out of His way to ensure the Israelite’s Prosperity and Protection, and the moment they were safely away from the dangers of their Egyptian captivity, they immediately turned their backs on God.
Today’s Second Lesson is that God refuses to ignore our glaring flaws. If we are dedicated to following Him, He has a Standard we must adhere to. When we fail to live up to His Criterion, He reminds us of our Proper Position. We ignore His admonition to our peril.
God may indeed allow us things we do not need, but it is to teach us a Lesson in the Power of Faith. Trusting God is not always easy because we cannot see how things are progressing toward their God-intended end. But that doesn’t mean what He lets us have is necessarily good for us, and if it’s not, and we chose it, whose fault is that?
It is beyond arrogant to blame God for your discomfort when it was you who placed yourself in pain. No one wins when we fail to learn. That is what God is doing with the Israelites in Today’s Passage. He’s passing along an Essential Lesson on Faith.
The Israelites were fair-weather followers throughout their history with God. When things got rough, they almost always turned away from God, and these were His Chosen People! But Thank God they were so recalcitrant because, without their failure, none of us would have had the chance at Salvation!
The Israelite’s rejection led to our Salvation! As we read through The Story of Samuel, ask yourself whether you Trust God enough to follow Him without question or ignorantly framed request. If not, the remainder of this Chapter may hold a Valuable Lesson for you! Just something to consider as we continue through The Story of Samuel.
Have a Marvelous Monday, And Remember, Not Everything God Allows Will Be Good For Us, Because Sometimes We’re The Ones Calling The Shots!