I have remained “stuck” on Samuel’s story since writing the last devotional. The words “for the sake of His great name” have been running through my head, and I keep looking at his story from different angles and vantage points.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, God asked Samuel to do a very difficult thing when the Israelites asked for a king. In order to be obedient to God’s direction, Samuel had to let go of all his own life’s work and trust that God knew what He was doing. Because Samuel was willing to do this, he was given the honor of anointing David (2 Samuel 16): a king after God’s own heart, who would unite all of Israel and who was the next “piece” in the plan of salvation leading to Jesus’s incarnation. What if Samuel had resisted God’s request? God would have done what He intended, but Samuel would have missed out.
Moses had reason to be upset with God too. He led the Israelites faithfully for forty years and endured heartache and contention and hassle along the way. In a moment of weak faith he disobeyed God’s command (Numbers 20), and consequently was barred from entering the Holy Land. Moses could have been bitter but instead, he ends his career in song saying, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord. O, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his ways are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). “Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo … the Lord showed him the whole land … And Moses the servant of the Lord died there… and [the Lord] buried him” (Deuteronomy 34:1-6). After receiving God’s rebuke, Moses could have carried on into the Promised Land in disobedience but he didn’t. Because he was willing to bow his will, God blessed him mightily: Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9 tell us that Moses and Elijah came to meet with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. In eternity I don’t think Moses was upset that he didn’t physically enter the Promised Land!
What these stories teach is that, while God’s plan may be very different from our own, His plans work out both for our good and His glory. As we serve Him, we have the choice to react like Jonah when plans change (ending our relationship in a dry and dusty desert rather than submitting ourselves to God’s providence – Jonah 4) OR trusting ourselves to God’s plan and having the joy of seeing His hand at work.
“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
“All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.” (Psalm 25:10)
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.” (Psalm 145:17)
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
Whose ways will you choose to follow today – yours or God’s?
Blessings on you,
Pastor of Women
Monday April 15th 7:00 pm, Lower Court
First session of Oasis Evenings: Bible Study “Faithful, Abundant and True”. Click on the link for details.
Friday May 10th 7:00 pm, Center Court
This Mother’s Day, let us expand your idea of family – “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10)
In the family of God, you don’t need to be married or have kids to be a mother or a sister! Join us on Friday May 10th as we hear from 3 Northview women who have expanded their family in unique ways.