“Some things never change.” We’ve all felt that, and we’ve likely all said it (long before the crew from Frozen sang it). We’ve said it in moments of frustration when we’re baffled that the same mistake or the same heartbreak happened again. And we’ve said it in moments of joy when we spend sweet moments with family and friends. And as we read 1 Samuel 8 and the record of Israel’s pursuit of the wrong king, we might have been tempted to say it then. Even as God told Samuel to warn the people, He seemed to know that they would persist in their desire for a king like the other nations. Some things never change.
But fast forward to 1 Samuel 12, and we find ourselves saying it again. In his final address to the people, Samuel tells the people to stand still so that he can plead the case concerning all the great things the Lord had done for His people. Then, he launches into this extensive–although nowhere near exhaustive–accounting of the ways the Lord had been gracious and faithful to His people even though they kept straying from Him. His conclusion? Considering all that God had done, His people should serve him with their whole hearts. Some things never change.
As we look at the people of Israel and then look around in our own lives, maybe we’re led to say again–some things never change–but the good news for us is that some things do change. God does not change. His word does not fail. His promises do not break. His character does not shift. His plans are unbroken. His love never fail. He still pursues sinful and broken people with His grace and for His glory, which means that something has to give. And when our sinful, broken hearts square off against God’s heart to deliver us and to reign in our lives, things do change. We change–because He never does. So, let’s find our hope today in our unchanging God, “For the LORD will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.” And let’s walk in the repentance to which He calls us and leads us.