Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the LORD with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your
images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the LORD and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:3
This verse seems to fit thousands of years ago, doesn’t it? You know, when people had carved images of gods they thought could come to life and save them? But, it isn’t for today. Or, is it? Do we need rescuing from the Philistines? Do we have foreign gods we need to get rid of? I think many do.
First of all, the Philistines. The Philistines have been tied with the Palestinians, been said to have been totally destroyed by the 5th century B. C., and been translated as any group other than the Israelites, and have been said to be the largest enemy of the Israelites. But, I think today we can safely look at this passage and see the Philistines as representing someone or something that you need rescuing from. It could be an abusive spouse, a burdensome job, heroin, or your addiction to anything unhealthy. It is something or someone that you can’t seem to get away from no matter how hard you try.
I don’t know about you, but I have been there, and did I get out my little statue of buddha and ask for help? No. In fact, long ago I threw away the little garden statue of buddha even though it had no religious connection for me. But, what strange gods do we turn to? One big one is money. Do you put money ahead of your love for God? What about pleasure? Well, I will stop someday, but right now it feels so good. If that’s how we are thinking, and the “it” means more than God does, then we have a foreign god called pleasure. What about a person. I love Tom so much and when we are together…. Your false god’s name may be Tom.
God is here to help you. If you give up your foreign gods and live and obey God, he will rescue you today, just as he did the Israelites from the Philistines thousands of years ago. Where does your heart turn? When you focus on what do I want most in the world, is the first answer a proper and positive relationship with God or is it a new house, a bigger boat, a new wardrobe, or unlimited quantities of drugs or alcohol? Set your heart on God and live your life in obedience, and He will rescue you from whatever situation you find yourself. I pray that today you will put your life in God’s hands and feel the many blessings.