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FOR HIS GREAT NAME’S SAKE
1 Samuel 12:20-24
20 And 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. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 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. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
The context of this passage is that Saul has just been anointed as king of Israel. GOD has told Samuel that He considers this desire to be ruled by a human king, as a rejection of Him; Israel is doing an “evil” thing; and they will bear the consequences of their request. But think about the first line of this passage: even though the people have rejected GOD, He has not rejected them. Samuel tells the people to not be afraid to follow the LORD; GOD’s hand is still stretched out to His people. The prophet tells the people to not turn to empty things, i.e. kings, idols, wealth, etc., which have never delivered or helped them in the past. Samuel reminds the people a second time, that even though they have forsaken Him, GOD will not forsake them; He chose them and that choice is irrevocable; He’s committed to them to the end. Now why is GOD permanently faithful and committed to His people? The answer is provided – “for His great name’s sake”—that’s how He is—that is His nature. GOD is faithful; He is compassionate; He is merciful; He is just—THAT’S HIS NATURE AND IT IS UNCHANGING. So when He makes a promise, we can take that to the bank; it’s a done-deal. Samuel reminds the people one more time—remember and consider “what great things He (GOD) had done for you”.
…NOW I RAISE MY EBENEZER