Why are some things difficult? Like figuring out which button to press on our new washing machine. Too many options. Do I press the ‘start’ button first? All those high/low/medium water levels. Is ‘simple’ in no one’s vocabulary anymore? Or would you rather not stand next to me for fear I might blow up our new house pressing the wrong switch for our natural gas?!
In our Bible story today, we’ll discover that King Saul has proven to be a very bad leader after all. Even God regrets making him the first king of Israel( 1 Samuel 15:35). But the Lord wants to move on. He has someone else in mind, one who will be close to His own heart. Where Saul blamed others for his failures and sins, David would take responsibility for his own. In 1 Samuel 16 we read of Samuel, who is told by the Lord to stop his endless grieving over the failures of Saul… and to move on.
Off goes Samuel to that ‘little town of Bethlehem’. Fearful of what Saul may do to him, Samuel is given a plan by the Lord that will protect. ‘ Have you not grieved long enough? I’ve got better plans ahead. I’ll protect you. Follow me.’ Can you hear the Lord saying something like that to Samuel? Can you hear Him saying that to you?
So many of us carry all kinds of excess baggage for too many years! Things we’d rather forget… that we can’t or won’t. Remembering sins, committed or omitted, whose dreaded memories are as fresh today as when they happened. Hard to forget, too easy to remember. Things we have asked the Lord to forgive. Probably hundreds of times. Truly seeking His help. But we keep drumming them up. Dragging them around with us when already forgiven and forgotten by our Lord.
Our present tense, His past tense. That’s His promise… found all through the Bible(Isaiah 38:17). What promise? When we ask…He will forgive AND forget. Why is it so hard for us to let go and be forgiven? To stop grieving over failure? Too comfortable hanging on to sin? An excuse for not serving Him now? A way out?
I ask myself all these same questions. And I hear Him in the distance saying–‘isn’t it long enough? Haven’t you chewed on that until it tastes horrible in your mouth? Wouldn’t you really rather trust Me that I have forgiven you… and even forgotten?’
How about it? After all, there’s more to do for the Lord than ever before. Get going! Fill your cup with oil from the Lord… and move on. I better practice what I preach! Suddenly it’s not about old Samuel…!
Prayer: Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief when it comes to moving forward in my life for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.