1 Samuel 12:21-22 “You must not turn aside for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver, because they are futile. For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.”

Observation: Samuel had just reminded the people that they had sinned in asking that a king be appointed to rule them. Their motive was that they wanted to be like the other nations of the earth. Yet even so, the Lord had said if they would fear Him and worship Him, both the people and their king would do well.

Application: This is a huge, sweeping promise from God that if we will not turn aside from following Him (that is, going after futile things); if we will remain focused like a laser on Him, then He will keep us, He will protect us. Why would He do that? Not because of our goodness or our righteousness, but because of His great name! 

This would be echoed generations later when Paul asked, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8:35), and the answer resounded through the ages, Nothing! No one. “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 38–39).­­

Only one thing has the power to separate me from the love of God: my choice, my free will. I, like the Israelites of Samuel’s time, have the power within my mind, will, and emotions to decide whether I will serve and love Him above all else, or whether I will follow false gods.

Prayer: Father, there is no in-between, is there? This is light vs. darkness, good vs. evil, isn’t it? Make me a hot-hearted lover of You. Cause me to cling to You with a depth of passion and focus that only You can cause to rise up within me. I choose this day to serve and to love You above all else.