That could’ve been us (1 Samuel 12)

One day, on the way to church, one of my friends slid in the backseat of my parents’ car, turned to me, and said, “You know when Jesus says ‘Why did you have no faith?’ I think that’s the saddest verse in the Bible.”

We were only sixteen, but I remember thinking that what she said was really profound. I mean, imagine if it were you.

Imagine if you had some money, life-changing money, and you knew someone who needed it and wanted it. So you offered it to them.

And they said no. They didn’t believe you, or they didn’t want anything from you.

How would you react?

Bad choice

1 Samuel 12 shows us exactly how God reacted in this situation. Only instead of rejecting money, the Israelites were rejecting Him.

Samuel the prophet was actually pretty salty about the whole situation. He got up in front of the people and gave a speech that sounds quite a bit petty if you don’t take into consideration how much Samuel loved his fellow Israelites.

He reminds them how good he was to them as their main leader and judge for the past few years. He even has them say it out loud, with their own mouths, just to be sure.

And then he moves on to the real issue: by demanding a king like the older, cooler nations around them, they were rejecting his leadership, but more importantly, they were rejecting God’s.

And then he says what has to be the second saddest verse in the Bible:

“You said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king.”

verse 12

Imagine choosing a small, corruptible, fallible man to lead a nation instead of the loving God who created that very same nation. Imagine choosing Donald Trump or Joe Biden or even Barack Obama as your leader instead of the King of the Universe?!

But we make that same silly choice every day.

We choose to idolize people rather than honor God.

We turn to emotional eating or TV or sex for comfort instead of going to the Comforter.

We define our self-worth by our work, our social media following, or our accomplishments and turn up our nose at the infinite worth God has already placed on our lives.

We say to ourselves, “No, I’ll figure out for myself how to be happy”—even though the Lord our God is our happiness.

“I am willing to let you go if it means you might find your way back to Me.”

He’s offering us absolutely everything: love, security, hope, forgiveness, blessings, companionship, and more – exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20 KJV).

And too many times, we just refuse to accept it. We don’t want to obey. We don’t want to sacrifice. Or it just doesn’t make sense to us yet. We still have doubts.

A normal reaction would be to write us off forever. At least after offering two or three or twenty times.

But when the Israelites rejected Him, God didn’t reject them back.

He accepted their decision. He left His arms open, waiting. He left open the option for them to choose Him.

No matter what we do, what mistakes we make, or what time we waste, God will never give up on us. He knows He is the better choice. He has done and will do everything in His power to show us that He is the better choice.

And then He will wait for us.

That is love. That is patience. That is a God worth knowing, a God worth choosing.

His arms are open. Let’s run into them.

What do you think? Why do you think God accept the Israelites’ decision?

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