Who Sits on the Throne of Your Heart?
Day: 12 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel
Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 12
1 Samuel 12:14-15 (NIV) “If you fear the LORD and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the LORD your God—good! But if you do not obey the LORD, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.”
Who sits on the throne of your heart? Or in simpler terms, to whom do you give your allegiance? God or man? That is the question the Israelites faced at this critical point in their history.
The Israelites had asked God for an earthly king. God gave them Saul, who led them to victory in their very first battle. That victory led to an important question: Would God’s people see that victory as evidence of God’s blessing and favor and give Him glory or evidence of Saul’s strength and power and give him glory.
Samuel, anticipating this quandary, preached his final sermon in response. He opened his message with a brief history lesson, reminding the Israelites of God’s incredible faithfulness. By reciting God’s acts of righteousness, Samuel ensured the Israelites understood an earthly king was not the key to their success. The key to Israel’s success was walking in trust and obedience to her God.
Samuel recalled how God freed their forefathers from bondage in Egypt, delivered them into the Promised Land and continued their deliverance through the book of Judges, despite the people’s unceasing wickedness and rebellion.
After the history lesson, Samuel issued a clear warning: If the Israelites lived in fear of the Lord, if they wholeheartedly served and obeyed Him, if they did not rebel against His commands, it would go well with them. But if they failed to fear the Lord and failed to walk in obedience to His commands, God’s hand would be against them.
This was not a new concept for them. They and their forefathers had heard it before. When we submit and obey, we receive God’s favor and blessings. When we rebel and disobey, we receive God’s judgment and curses. (Deuteronomy 28)
Knowing their tendency to forget, Samuel asked God to send an impressive display of power that would confirm his warning. He specifically prayed for God to send thunder and rain, a sign that would speak volumes because it was dry season, and it rarely, if ever, rained, let alone stormed. The Lord sent the thunder and rain, and the people stood in awe. Fear overcame them, causing them to soften their hearts, confess their sin and ask for prayer. All evidence they were turning their allegiance back to God and Samuel. God’s favor again rested on His people.
This story offers words of hope and encouragement for you and me as we consider who sits on the thrones of our hearts. We are not unlike the Israelites; we too are sinners. (Romans 3:23) We too become infected by our sin-soaked world. We disappoint God. We forget the good things He has done for us.
Thankfully, God’s grace is bigger than our sin. When we keep our allegiance with God, we cannot out sin His amazing grace.
Our hope is based not on perfect performance, but on God’s grace. When we walk outside His will, we need only acknowledge our sin and trust in the One who came to pay the penalty for that sin! Jesus. When we do, God promises His forgiveness, His favor and His blessings.
Prayer: Father, I long to please You in what I say and do. But, I confess sometimes it’s far easier to talk about obeying than doing it. Give me a heart of obedience, even when it’s hard and may cost me. When I disobey, convict my heart of my sin. And, most of all, thank You for Your grace that forgives me and draws me back when I have gone astray. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Samuel knew the place and the worth of prayer in his life. Because he knew the heart of God, he... Read More
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