Highlights:

Samuel gives serious warnings (I Sam. 12:14-15,24-25); Saul's disobedience; He loses the kingdom (13:8-14); Jonathan leads a bold thrust to victory (14:1-23).

And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee (I Sam. 12:10).

Israel seemed to be in a continuously revolving state of turning away from God to false gods and then back again to God. They were constantly allowing themselves to fall prey to their surroundings. It would seem they adopted the gods of whatever people they came in contact with. God is clear in His Word about allowing ourselves as believers to become tied to the ways of the unbeliever. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (II Cor. 6:14).

Israel had worshipped Egypt's gods when they were in captivity. They had made a golden calf to worship while on their journey to the promised land. Now, they had adopted the gods of the heathen nations that inhabited the promised land. They were truly a backslidden people.

At this point in Scripture, Israel comes to the realization of the consequences of their betrayal of the only living God. They understood the fact that they had forsaken their Deliverer and turned to false gods. They were repenting of the wrong they had done.

Likewise, in our day and time we turn to other gods, often without realizing it. Most Christians know the grace, mercy and love that come from a relationship with Jesus, but still often follow in the path of the unbeliever. They unconsciously give their life over to earthly false gods. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods (Gal. 4:8).

It is easy to say that we have never served other gods. Many of us may have never followed another faith, but at times we, have given ourselves to the gods of money, carnal desires or simply recreation. How are these gods? Anytime, we give something place in our life above God then we have made it our god. Have you at times neglected prayer, reading God's Word, sharing the love of Christ or even church for other things that were much less important? Unfortunately, that thing became a god or an idol in your life. We know idolatry is listed as a work of the flesh and not of the Spirit: Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies (Gal. 5:20).

So, let us turn away from these things. We should be on guard daily; watching our lives to ensure God is always the focus of our very existence. He should always be our only recipient of worship.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matt. 4:10).

Thought for Today:

Are you spending your energies with eternity's values in your heart?

Christ Revealed:

By Samuel the intercessor (I Sam. 12:23). Right now Jesus is interceding for believers. . It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).

Word Studies:

12:4 taken ought, received a bribe; ought, anything; 12:21 vain, worthless; 13:10 salute, welcome, greet; 13:17 spoilers, raiders; 13:20 share . . . coulter . . . mattock, agricultural tools; 13:21 goads, iron points used to prod animals; 14:8 discover ourselves, let ourselves be seen; 14:16 melted away, scattered in all directions; 14:20 discomfiture, confusion.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Chris Robison • International Broadcasts: In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Harrison • Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects • Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism • 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that the Lord is faithful to keep His promises (Heb. 10:23).

Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 15:3