Don’t Turn Away

 

1 Samuel 12:19-25

Then all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king." Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. "You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile. "For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 4 "Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. "But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away."

 

“Then all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king”. 

 

When people are convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), they recognize someone must intercede for them before God, and make atonement for their sin.  Jesus Himself is our atonement and the One who ever lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25-26). 

 

We cannot reconcile ourselves to God and we have no way of atoning for our own sin.  We need to be saved from the wrath of God and this is accomplished by the righteousness and love of God in the cross of Christ (Romans 5:8-10).

 

“Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart”.

 

The little word, “yet” reveals the love of God as a Father tenderly caring for His children. The last thing God wants is for people to perish; for people to live without being in fellowship with Him. 

 

Even though we commit sins and rebel against Him, and we are unfaithful and don’t naturally desire to obey Him, God is constantly calling us back to Himself because of His great love for us, to do us good (Ezekiel 33:11) (2 Peter 2:9).

 

“You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile”.  

 

In the light of eternity, life without God is futile.  The world-view which claims there is no god and there is no life after death, ends up being a futile, wasted life (Matthew 16:24-27).

 

“For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself”. 

 

God is faithful and always keeps His promises to His people who trust in Him.  He even takes oaths to make His promises even more compelling and certain.  Throughout Biblical history, God has proven Himself to be faithful to His people, and He delights and loves His people beyond anything we can comprehend. (Hebrews 6:13-14) (2 Timothy 2:13).

“Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way”. 

 

Do you pray for God’s people?  Do you pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ?  Jesus lives to intercede for us and if we are followers of Jesus - we need to pray for each other on a regular basis (Mathew 25:40, Acts 9:5).

 

“Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you”.

 

This is the plea made from God to all people, everywhere.  To fear God and sever Him in truth. To love Him with all our heart. mind and soul is the call of God.  There is no other sound option (Mathew 7:13-14). We are either on board with God’s plans or we are against Him. 

 

We are either following Jesus and walking towards God in humble submission and obedience, or we are walking away from Him in rebellion and sin.  If we are not following Jesus, it means we do not see or appreciate all the great things God has done for us in Christ (Titus 3:3-7).

 

“But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king will be swept away”.  

 

God demands repentance, which means we fight against our sinful desires and bring our hearts into submission to His will by His Spirit.  Repentance is a resolution of mind which says, “I hate what I am doing  and I hate my sin, and I never want to do it again”.  The repentant heart cries out to God and sincerely asks for forgiveness and strength, wisdom and understanding to stop sinning and to become more like Jesus. 

 

And even though we fail many times, we continually come back to God and sincerely repent, and continue to fight and struggle against our sin.  In the end God will deliver us from all unrighteousness and will make us like Christ at the resurrection. 

 

But if we continue to sin without any intention to repent or if we deceive ourselves into thinking we can get away with sinning because God is gracious, then we will prove by our actions that we don’t truly believe and trust in Christ, and our end will be that of the wicked (Romans 8:12-14).

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Our Christian belief is in agreement with the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Apostle's Creed.

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