You’ve seen it before. A young child is walking through a store with a parent when the child gets distracted and wanders off. But when the child realizes they can’t see their parent, they begin to feel vulnerable and scared. Their lip starts to quiver, tears begin to roll, and they cry out for their parent with increasing panic and volume.
This is a picture of 1 Samuel chapter 7. The children of Israel have wandered off from God to explore other things. When they begin to miss God’s presence, they mourn, believing God had abandoned them. (1 Sam. 7:2) Samuel points out it was they who abandoned God. (1 Sam. 7:3) Samuel calls them to stop chasing after things that don’t satisfy and instead seek and obey God. (1 Sam. 7:3)
The people respond rightly and return to God. In turn, God’s presence (not their prowess) saves them and brings them security. (1 Sam. 7:10-11)
Like that wandering child or those wandering Israelites, we get distracted by other things (success, financial security, material things, relationships, pleasure, etc.) and we wander off from God. We typically don’t realize it at the time…until things start to fall apart.
So how about it? Look around. Do you see God close by, or have you wandered off from Him. If you’re off by yourself…you now know what to do.