1 Samuel 12:16-25

Friday, August 7, 2020

Stand and Be Delivered


“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes.” 1 Samuel 12:16

Americans have been standing for the flag since June 14, 1777. On that day the Continental Congress declared “that the flag of the (thirteen) United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Thirty-seven years later while Washington DC lay in ashes, Francis Scott Key, a political opponent of the current president, was so moved at the sight of the U.S. flag still flying victoriously after the battle for Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, that he wrote the lyrics for The Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem. So we stand to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We stand not to focus on what divides us but on what unites us. We stand not in spite of injustice but to salute the principles of justice.

Though Samuel’s office as judge ended when Saul was made king, his office of prophet continued with his challenge to the Israelites to “stand still” and be delivered from the discipline of the Lord once again. Their wish for an earthly king was the crowning moment of a long history of rebellion against the theocracy of Jehovah. Samuel’s challenge to stand was not so much a directive for the posture of their bodies but for the consistency of their minds by serious and fixed attention to the power of the Lord. So they stood, not because of their sin but because of the forgiveness of it. They stood, not to honor their new king but to continue to honor the King of Kings. They stood, not in defiance of the Lord but in honor of His great mercy.