Saturday, June 22, 2013
Heart of Praise
Look Back so you can Move Forward
1 Samuel 12:24 NKJV
"Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you".
Lately; I find that I have been reading quite abit about the life and times of Samuel. It's pretty fascinating. If you haven't already read it - you should. It's completely full of all kinds of wisdom. I'll give you the short version of the story and then you can go back and fill in the gaps on your own.
It's starts out with his mother "Hannah" who was a barren woman- unable to have children. Hannah was married to Elkanah - who had another wife named Peninnah. Penennah wasn't very nice to Hannah. She had a couple of children by Elkanah already, but since Hannah did not she thought that made her better than Hannah.
Every day Hannah went down to the Temple ... crying, starving herself to death etc. etc. because she can't have a baby. One day she decides that she will try and strike a bargain; cut a deal, with God and so she promises Him that if He would give her a son then she would give it back to Him and never cut his hair.
Though God really isn't in the bargaining business - He gives her a son (Samuel) and in due course Hannah takes the baby to the Temple and drops him off to be raised by the Temple Priest named Eli. Because Hannah kept her end of the bargain God ends up given her a whole lot of children.
Well; Eli (the Temple priest) had two sons - who were just completely awful people that eventually they get what is coming to them in a hair raising battle- so exciting! Eli- who by then is old and blind hears of his sons deaths and falls off of his seat, breaks his neck and dies.
Samuel - who grew up to be a righteous man - steady, kind, reliable (all the things that a good man should be) then became the Temple priest, a Prophet of God (God spoke to Samuel of thing to come) and eventually went on to be the Judge of Israel.
The story doesn't stop there; in fact, it gets even better. Samuel's has children of his own. He appoints his two oldest sons (Joel and Abijah) to be judges of Israel also but they end up being two completely horrible men that stir up all kinds of trouble ... but you'll have to read that for yourself. ~wink ~
The point I want to focus on today is found in 1 Samuel 12:24 - Samuel reminds the people to take time to consider what great things God had done for them. Taking time for reflection allows us to focus our attention upon God's goodness in the past and strengthens our faith in the present and in the future.
Sometimes we are so "problem" or "what's going to happen in the future" oriented that we fail to take time to recall all the good that God has already done in our lives. We forget all of the bad times that God has seen us through. We forget all of the blessing that He has already given us.
Remember what God has already done for you so that you may continue your life with the purpose of gratitude already established in your heart. This same God that has taken care of you thus far is the very same God that will take care of you now and into the future.