September 6, 2023

A Call to Repentance

3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord.
I Samuel 7

Author
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Casey Bush

Creative Director

The story in Samuel 7 is a call to repentance. It calls the wicked to turn away from idolatry and sin and look to the Father, who carries victory and forgiveness in His hands. The Israelites had fallen away from God, losing sight of where their strength came from for 20 long years. They find themselves away from their provider and protector by worshipping idols and attaching themselves to them instead of looking to the one true God. They mourn, knowing they have sinned against God and believe He abandoned them. Samuel tells them, “Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.”

Much like the Israelites, we can find ourselves away from our faith, allowing distractions, pressures, and idols of this world to overshadow our relationship with God. And just like the Israelites knew, we, too, know when we are putting things before God. Are we putting social media over the Word? Are we placing football over church? Does our status dictate who we are instead of what God says? Do we navigate our lives based on what the world says instead of what God says? He calls us to rekindle our spiritual devotion and seek Him earnestly through true repentance. To take a step back and assess if there are idols we put before God. Idols take the place and attention of God in our lives. Losing sight of where our provision comes from.

What is true repentance? Repentance is more than saying “Sorry God” and moving on continuing in our sin. It is a change in our hearts, way of life, and turning away from sin to run to the Father. Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Just as Samuel sacrificed a burnt offering to God, we have that same offering in Christ. His blood paid the price for our sins, and when we repent, we know that we are forgiven because Christ forgave us first. The victory is ours; all we have to do is set aside the things that aren’t of God and repent earnestly. We see in the Israelites that no matter how long we have been away from God, we can always return, and He will be there. He has been there all along, waiting for repentance.

A prayer of repentance

“Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your mercy, I come before you humbled, aware of my sin. Forgive me for I have sinned against you. Purify me, and help me to turn from the things that keep me close to You. Guide me to walk in your way, leaving behind my sinful ways and keeping You at the forefront of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.”

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