As I read this passage, I thought about the message I gave this past Sunday. In it, I talked about how the Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, to guide us, and intercede for us in our weakness and struggles with sin.
We see something similar here in this passage through the life of Samuel.
The people of Israel had sinned terribly by rejecting God as their king and asking for another. And when they realized the depth of their sin, they cried out,
Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so we won’t die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves. (19)
But Samuel answered,
Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord. Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart. Don’t turn away to follow worthless things that can’t profit or rescue you; they are worthless. (20-21)
Sometimes because of our struggles with sin, we think, “It’s not use trying to be good. I might as well give up.”
But here God tells us, “You may have sinned, but don’t give up. Don’t turn to the things of the worthless things of the world. They will only leave you empty. Continue to worship me all your heart.”
Then he encourages us,
The Lord will not abandon his people, because of his great name and because he has determined to make you his own people. (22)
I love that phrase, “He is determined to make you his own people.” He will not give up on us or cast us aside. Not because of how wonderful and good we are. But because of how wonderful and good he is. We are his.
And then Samuel encouraged the Israelites with these words.
As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. (23)
In the same way, the Holy Spirit never ceases praying for us. More than that, he is always by our side teaching us the good and right way. (Romans 8:26-27; Isaiah 30:20-21)
And because of that,
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
So as Samuel said,
Fear the Lord and worship him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things he has done for you. (24)
What has he done for us?
For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
This is getting long, but be sure to read Romans 8:31-39 too. And each day, rejoice in the grace we have received.