1 Samuel 8:7-8, “And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.’”
Were you ever the last kid chosen when classmates were picking sides? Or have you ever been the only one excluded from a social event? The pain of rejection is real, and it hurts. Every one of us has experienced that deep inner ache within our hearts.
God hand-selected Samuel, the priest, to lead Israel. Under his leadership, the nation experienced several decades of peace. So, imagine how awful it must have felt when the Israelites insisted on having a king to lead them. Reeling from rejection, Samuel prayed, and God answered.
There are two important takeaways from the Lord’s response in today’s reading. First, God consoles us by bringing clarity to the situation. As a man of God, their rejection of Samuel was really a rejection of God. And second, God identifies with our pain. Throughout history, humans – including us – have rejected God. He knows the pain of loving someone who walks away. But, here’s the great news: He is still willing to accept us. His love for us never fades.
Even as people shouted, “Crucify Him,” Jesus’ heart was set on paving the way for our acceptance into the family of God. The ultimate rejection – Jesus’ death on the cross – led to the ultimate reception – eternal life! His love for us is greater than the pain of our rejection. Have you accepted Christ?
Every day, we have the opportunity to turn toward God or turn away from Him. Take inventory of what you need to reject to protect your time with God. Look at your schedule and find at least a few minutes every day to acknowledge Him as your king. (Doing this devotional helps to accomplish that!)
Dear Lord, thank You for accepting me despite my past rejection of You. I take comfort in knowing You understand how I feel in every situation. Help me to extend the same love You have shown me, to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.