December 13 – Jesse Tree Story Day 14
I’m sharing some honest times in the life of my family today. When Advent started I was so excited to start the Jesse Tree Story as a devotional with my family. Sitting around the dinner table, everyone focused on God, nothing but love spewing forth—that was my perfect vision. And that didn’t happen. Instead, my family pretty much rejected the whole thing, and I gave up the struggle early on. I don’t deal with rejection well. How do you face rejection?
READ: 1 Samuel 3:1-21, 7:1-8:22, 9:15-10:9
Meet Samuel. He comes into the Jesse Tree Story at a time when the Word of the Lord was rare and there were not many visions (vs. 3:1). God called Samuel to a personal relationship with Him when he was a young boy; God spoke directly to Samuel (vs. 3:4-21). Samuel is considered the last of the judges but the first in a line of prophets leading straight to Jesus.
Chapter 7 describes a time when Samuel guided the people of Israel away from their idols to return back to God with all their hearts. Just as in yesterday’s reading in Judges, when the people drew near to God, He lovingly answered their cry for help. It’s like God is saying: “Show Me just a little love in return, and I will give you a glimpse of how I can shower you in protection and blessings if you continue to love Me back.”
In Chapter 8, the people of Israel again beg for a king. Why are they begging for a king? Surely it doesn’t involve comparison? Samuel is their leader, but he is getting old, and his sons have turned out to be bums, so a decision on Israel’s future leadership is necessary. God and Samuel talk it over, and how God responds to Samuel in vs. 8:7 is heart-breaking: “…they have rejected Me as their King.” How often have I rejected God? My heart aches reading these words, but have I caused God the same ache? Finally, God decides if it’s a king they want, it’s a king they’ll get, complete with all of man’s flaws magnified on a power trip.
Chapters 9 and 10 detail how God leads Samuel to Saul to be anointed as the first king of Israel. Verse 10:9 suggests that Saul needed a heart change to fulfill his new position. There aren’t many details in these chapters that describe Saul’s character, though later we find out that he struggled with pride. Nonetheless, Saul was the first in a line of kings leading straight to the King of Kings—Jesus.
God is deserving of all the love that I can give Him.
I come to You today seeking forgiveness for the times I have rejected You and made Your heart ache. I am so sorry. Help me to show You more and more love every day, consciously spending more time in prayer with You, worshipping You, and serving You each day. Also, as I press the reset button on my family’s Jesse Tree Story devotional and try again, please help me not to get discouraged but to use my time with my kids for Your glory. For me and my family, please focus us on the Greatest Gift of Christmas.