As I read the Old Testament more and more, the challenge of “foreign gods” and their distracting and destructive influence on the people of God is a clear constant. We are all worshipers of something – either the real and living God, or something or someone “foreign”. I see from the associations in this passage that what we worship is ultimately what we believe will bring our protection and deliverance. Israel was being encouraged by Samuel to move from holding to their Baals and Ashtoreths as their saving protection, back to God as their saving protection.
This passage makes me question – what alternatives do I look to for protection and deliverance in challenging, hard, or dangerous situations, other than God? For me, the alternative protections tend to be money, certain relationships, and even my own human understanding. I must respond to such awareness by allowing the Holy Spirit to search my heart for such foreign dependencies, rid myself of these foreign gods and commit myself to God in serving him only.
Lord, search my heart and see if there are any foreign gods that I am worshipping! Who or what am I looking to for my protection and deliverance other than you? I turn back to you with all my heart, ridding myself of these foreign gods and committing myself to serving You only. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh