1 Samuel 12:1-11

Samuel Addresses Israel

12 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me and I have [a]appointed a king over you. Now, here is the king walking before you, but I am old and gray, and behold my sons are with you. And I have walked before you from my youth even to this day. Here I am; bear witness against me before the Lord and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.” They said, “You have not defrauded us or oppressed us or taken anything from any man’s hand.” He said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and His anointed is witness this day that you have found nothing in my hand.” And they said, “He is witness.”

Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who [b]appointed Moses and Aaron and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt. So now, take your stand, that I may plead with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and your fathers. When Jacob went into Egypt and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron [c]who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. But they forgot the Lord their God, so He sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned because we have forsaken the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal and [d]Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around, so that you lived in security.

Just like the Israelites, there are two ways of looking at our circumstances. One is to say that God is responsible, and you had no say in the matter. He IS in control, after all.

But God gives us a great amount of self-determination in our lives (free will), and ultimately, it is our responsibility. Sure, things are going to happen outside your control. But you are responsible for your choices, for your action (or lack thereof), and you get to choose a great deal of your path here on earth.

Don’t take the victim mentality and let life happen to you. Take control of your life with God’s help, and see what He can help you accomplish for His kingdom.

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