Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”
1 Samuel 16:1 (New King James Version)
A backdrop to tonight’s Scripture/post: God had just rejected Saul as king of Israel. In the previous chapter, God commanded Saul to turn the kingdom of Amalek into a parking lot-killing every living thing. However, Saul decided to spare the best sheep and oxen of the Amalekites; and the Amalekite King, Agag. Bad idea, Saul. God was not a happy camper and (through the prophet Samuel) served Saul notice that his king days were over. Samuel was upset with what happened and mourned over the whole deal.
Now we come to our Scripture. God’s asking Samuel how long will he pine over the rejection of Saul. Then God commanded Samuel to fill his horn with oil and head to Jesse’s house in Bethlehem so God can pick a king from one of his sons. And as you know, God eventually selected Jesse’s youngest, David to be Israel’s next king.
When we look at Samuel, we may tell him to get over the rejection of Saul. We may tell him that Saul would have wound up a lousy king after his affair with the Amalekites. However, when I looked at Samuel I saw us: how many times we mourn over something or someone that we need to let go and move on.
How many of us still pine over that past love because they were good in the sack, despite the fact they were wishy-washy in their affections towards us? How many of us pine over that lost job that might have paid a good salary, yet almost killed us with long hours and adversarial coworkers? How many of us pine over leaving the “old neighborhood,” despite the fact that it was changing for the worst? How many of us pine over the “good old days,” despite the fact they were some of the roughest times of our lives?
Like with Samuel, God’s telling to stop our crying and move on. We need to move on if we’re going to progress and live. Samuel had to move on from pining over Saul so he could be used to anoint David. We need to stop pining over that “ex” and enjoy the fact we have a loving spouse and a family. We need to stop pining over that killer job and enjoy our restored health and peace of mind. We need to stop pining over the “old neighborhood” and enjoy the benefits of where we live now. We need to also stop pining over our glorified past and enjoy the present we’re blessed with.
Many of us today still cry over the past, much to our detriment. We must stop our crying and move on so we can enjoy today and move on to the future. If we keep mourning over the past, we’ll find ourselves regressing. We’ll wind up behind in life whilst the present moves on without us. We could lose out on today’s blessings. Many of us wound up divorced, sick, broke, socially crippled, bereft of opportunities, etc because of crying over our past.
It’s time for us to stop crying over a lost past and move forward. God has great things for us today that we can enjoy. Remember, we can’t drive forward if we’re constantly looking in the rear view mirror! And nothing else, tomorrow’s not promised to us!
A little food for thought. Peace.
(Image: Abandoned house window. Baptistown, NJ).