From Carson Rockett
“For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself” – 1 Samuel 12:22
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love… As you read through the story of the Israelites woven through the Old Testament, these words from the 18th century hymn Come Thou Fount ring true on nearly every page.
The context for 1 Samuel 12, is that Israel has sinned yet again against God, this time demanding from Samuel to have a king appointed, rejecting God’s way of leadership over them.
These countless accounts of Israel’s rebellion can remind us of just how sinful our own hearts are, how we are prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love. How we put our faith in earthly ‘kings’, our security in our savings account, our identity in our professional success or our social standing – all acts of cosmic rebellion against a Holy, Holy, Holy, God.
I have often experience dread at the thought of lacking repentance; what if God allowed me to wander so far as to actually leave him? What if, as described in Romans 1, God allowed me to exchange Him for the countless things my heart lusts after? It’s an utterly terrifying thought when you dwell on it.
This is why the words in 1 Samuel 12:22 are so sweet. For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself. O’ how sweet the promises of God can be. And the sweetest part of this word is ‘why’ he will not forsake us – for His great name’s sake. Had he chosen us for our good merits, we might fear he could cast us away for our bad merits. But, in God’s mercy, he promises to make us a people for himself – not based on our merit – but rather for HIS name’s sake.
Yes, we are prone to wander, to leave the God we love; however, take rest Christian, as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, God has declared that we, as believers in Christ, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9-10).
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I am 11 days away from being husband to Drue; we are both from the Gulf Coast of Alabama. I currently work in management consulting for Liberty Mutual Group – which is about a 9 iron away from the Church office. If anyone would like to drink sweet tea and watch Alabama football this fall please let us know. Roll Tide.