Incline Your Heart to Serve

Read: 1 Samuel 12:13-25

Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart.” (v. 20)

When I was young, my friend and I hid from our mothers behind a slide at the city park. We thought we were funny, but our mothers did not, and we got in serious trouble on the way home. Later, I remember a deep sadness and fear that I could never make things right again. But my parents assured me of their love, and I was comforted even as they encouraged me to learn from the day’s hard lesson.

The Israelites are very much like naughty, immature children. They did not understand their true needs and thus demanded a king. It was also questionable whether they were able to follow God’s simple instructions to fear him, serve him, obey his voice, and not rebel but follow his commandments (v. 14). They were a total mess. They knew it, and they were afraid. Each time they witnessed the power of God, they remembered their unworthiness and saw how they had grieved God.

Samuel reminded the Israelites that they could not and should not run from the Lord but should make every attempt to serve God with their whole hearts. We are so very prone to running or hiding from God when we’ve messed up, but God simply wants our hearts to love him and serve him faithfully.

As you pray, confess any way in which you have hidden yourself from God. Commit your heart to God’s service.

About the Author

Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.

This entry is part 13 of 31 in the series 1 Samuel: Trusting God through Big Transitions