Bringing it all together
|The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1Samuel16:7)|
I tried to think about how to conclude this powerful book.
We learned so much from the characters and objects in the book:
- Faith-full Hannah who longed and prayed and trusted.
- Elkanah her husband who was attentive and humble and willing to play second fiddle.
- Eli the priest, with his "hits and misses": Hearing what God was saying to Hannah and to Samuel, but missing it with his boys and his appetite.
- The ark of the covenant teaches us a lot because of the extremes of how people treated it. On the one hand the "fundamentalists" treated it like a remote control for God and on the other hand the "liberals" treated it like a tourist attraction. Both lost sight of the ark's role as a reminder of God's powerful presence.
- Samuel, the courageous priest and prophet who held the nation and king accountable and ended well.
- Saul - the tragic king who started so well, but let his insecurity turn him into a shadow of what he could have been.
- Jonathan, a man of great faith and trust who stays loyal to his father and his friend David.
- David - the man after God's heart - who stays close to God, acts wisely, cares for people, and refuses to take shortcuts.
As I read back through the book and the devotions, one truth stands out above all others...
Our hearts, which, in Hebrew culture, are the "control centre" of life, are very very very very important. What is in our hearts will impact our lives and the lives of those around us. It may even impact a nation. May we draw near to God in our hearts and in our lives. May we "guard our hearts" for they are the "well-spring" of life.
This brings us to the end of our series on 1 Samuel. I hope you have found it meaningful. You can download a pdf of this series from http://emmanuel.org.za/emmdev-archive/devotions-on-1-samuel/
There will be no devs next week as I take a short break from writing.
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You can see past devotions at http://emmdev.blogspot.co.za