Wednesday, April 10, 2013
How Easily We Forget
How Easily We Forget
1 Samuel 10:17-19
Saul Proclaimed King
Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all the kingdoms that were oppressing you. ’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said, ‘No! but set a king over us. ’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and by your clans.”
The people had cried out to Samuel that they wanted an earthly king. This had not been God's intention. His plan was that they would be his holy people and that he would be their king. They rejected God so that they might be able to look like an earthly kingdom.
They gathered at Mizpah for their new king to be revealed to them. This is the very place where Samuel had raised the "Ebenezer," the rock that was to remind the Israelites that God was their helper. And yet, there in the shadow that reminder, they rejected God, their strong helper, their rock and cried out for an earthly king. Whom did they want for their savior? A young man, tall and good looking, but shy and hiding away from the crowd. Their choice was there before them; God who had been their rock, or a man who might look the part. They rejected God, forgetting what he had done for them and placed their hopes in what looked acceptable to the world.
I have often been critical of the children of Israel, wondering how they could have experienced so much of God and yet turned their backs on him. At the same time I must be cautious to be too harsh because I myself have, at times, failed to remember all that God has done.
There a those Ebenezers in my life; great reminders of the times when God has been my strong helper. There have been the nights when The Lord has awakened me and called me to come and have conversations with him. There in the stillness I sense his presence and he speaks peace, wisdom and direction into my very being. How could I ever forget those hours? And yet when struck by the rays of daylight there is the temptation to forget those experiences in the very presence of God and look for human answers.
The Israelites wanted to look acceptable. We want to be acceptable in the eyes of the world. Why would they want to trust in a God who is unseen? They wanted something very material to grasp...they wanted an earthly king. We too seek for the material. We want to be able to understand and rationalize the things of God, and yet, when we do this we take the very nature of God and confine him within the limits of human understanding. God is so much greater. God is our rock. God is our helper. God is our sustainer. God will never let us down. And yet, we so easily forget.
Father God, forgive me for my doubts. Amen.