November 19 – A King is Coming – Blessing and Obedience

Read 1 Samuel 12:1-25

Although Samuel will live on for several more chapters, seemingly in anticipation of his death, he takes hold of an opportunity to address the people of God.  In chapter 12, he attempts to communicate three things.

  1. He wanted to clear the air if anyone has anything against him.  Thankfully, Samuel had lived an upright life of integrity.  Though not perfect, he had sought to live his life in a way that honored God and valued people.  Can that be said of you?
  2. He wanted Israel to understand that their desire for a king was yet another in a string of acts of national sin.  Having rejected God as their king, they wanted a person who would lead them.  Thankfully, the people recognized this sin and repented.
  3. Samuel wanted the people to understand the conditions for their future well being.  If both they and the king would fear, serve, and obey God, they would experience His blessing.  If they failed to do so, God would not act on their behalf.

In this last of the three primary emphases of Samuel, he points out a conditional aspect of God’s relationship with His people.  Let’s face it, most of us prefer an unconditional response from God.  We like it when He, in spite of our sin, offers us undeserved forgiveness through the death of Jesus (Rom. 5:8).  We love the fact that God “made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).  We are so blessed to know that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39).  All of that is unconditional!  Thank you, God!

Nevertheless, there is a very real conditional aspect to our faith.  Oh, it’s true that we do not always witness or experience the repercussions of our obedience/disobedience immediately.  Nevertheless, sooner or later, now or in eternity, there will be blessing for obedience and consequences for unconfessed sin.

Does anything need to change in light of that?

Steve Kern

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