Thursday, April 11, 2024

1 Samuel 12:24

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.

Scripture Insights

Today’s beautiful scripture is actually an admonition issued by the prophet Samuel in a stern address to Israel. Previously a nation governed by judges, the Israelites decided they wanted a king, as was the custom of the surrounding nations. Samuel was not pleased—God alone is King, he warns. Yet, when he takes the matter before the Lord, God instructs Samuel to give the people their way. The resulting domino effect would change the destiny of Israel forever.
Samuel understands well that the people have chosen a lesser way. He knows also that God is faithful and merciful and will not turn his face from his children. Actions have consequences, he portends. Nevertheless, he continues, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and a wise person lives with a grateful heart.
We’re not so different today. Though we have stumbled many times, we are awestruck by the fear of the Lord and the demonstration of his continuing grace to save and sanctify us on our journeys of faith.
Ponder the words of this poignant African American spiritual that is familiar to many still today:
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Where you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. . .

Today’s Prayer

Lord, may we live in awe of you.

—Bonnie Perry
General Editor, Church of the Nazarene
Editorial Director, The Foundry Publishing

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