Daily D – 1 Samuel 12:22
The LORD will not abandon his people, because of his great name and because he has determined to make you his own people.
1 SAMUEL 12:22 (CSB)
We are all well acquainted with initiative and response. Ollie the Border Collie grabs a tennis ball and runs to the stairs. He stands on the first landing and waits for me. He drops the ball when I arrive. He loves watching it bounce down the stairs. When I stoop to pick it up, he lowers his head and gives every ounce of his focus to what I do next. The roles of initiative and response are then reversed.
He took the initiative. I responded.
I was engaged in deep work when my iPhone rang. When the house phone rings, it is usually a sales call of some sort. Those calls go to voicemail if I do not recognize the caller’s number. When I answered my iPhone, the caller said, “David?” I responded, “Yes.”
Then he said, “What kind of business are you in? I want to get it right for your yellow pages listing.”
I hung up.
Initiative and response. He took the initiative to cold call me. I responded by hanging up. He needed to move on to someone who might be willing to use the service he was providing. I needed to get back to deep work.
When it comes to our relationship with God, he always takes the initiative. He also responds. This verse indicates, along with many, many others, that this is God’s nature. It is how he does business.
He enjoys drawing men, women, boys, and girls to himself. He wants everyone everywhere to experience his great love. The ESV translates this verse in part this way: “because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.” God loves loving you.
The Message paraphrases this text this way:
GOD took delight in making you into his very own people.
Why does God not abandon you or forsake you? Why does he not give up on you? Because it is his joy to draw you into a relationship with himself that is real and meaningful, loving and purposeful. He wants to take the modeling clay of your life and turn it into a masterpiece reflecting his glory and grace.
God is determined to do you good.
Today is the one-hundredth day of the year. Psalm 100 is a good song for today. Right in the middle of it it says this:
He made us,
and we are his—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Acknowledge God. He made us (initiative). We are his. We belong to him. He is our Father in heaven (Matthew 6:9). His our Shepherd (Psalm 23).
How do we respond to him? Psalm 100 is a good guide. Sing and shout to him (verse 1). Serve him with gladness, with joyful singing (verse 2). Acknowledge him for who he is (verse 3). Enter his presence with thanksgiving and praise (verse 4). Know that he is good and that his faithful love endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations (verse 5).
Our response is to see all of life as worship. Our response is to live lives that honor him and serve others. Our response is to know God and to make him known.
God is calling you today. He will call you by name. Please do not send him to voicemail. Please do not hang up. A good response is, “Our Father in heaven, whatever you want, I want, too.”
I will respond to who God is and to what he wants.
Our Father, You are God. I belong to you. Whatever you want is what I want, too. Amen.
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Psalm 23:3, 4 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. (CSB)
Daniel 5:11 “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. (CSB)
Daniel 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and mediums in his entire kingdom. (CSB)