So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” (1Sa 16:4 NAS77)
Samuel is coming! Samuel is coming! Quick, make sure everything looks right. Does anyone know what he wants? What do you think we did wrong? Why is he mad at us? What did we do? Or did we not do something? Oh, no. This is bad.
The elders came “trembling”. The assumption was, “we did something bad.” Why else would the great prophet, the judge of Israel come here, to little Bethlehem?
So much of the time we view God like this. The Cosmic Killjoy. The Angry Parent. Grumpy.
Whatever happened to, “if you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so your Father in Heaven”? He feeds the birds, “Are you not worth much more?” “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”.
When I was a kid, dad would say, “Come on. Get in the car.” You never knew where you were going. Maybe it was ice cream! (Actually, that didn’t happen very much. Only 3 or 4 times in 10 or 12 years. But … it was possible!) Maybe it was a cool place like the hardware store. Or, the magical land of the municipal waste collection center (city dump).
Once it was the dentist.
But even after the “dentist incident”, it never crossed by mind to ask, “where are we going?” I was going with dad. That was enough. (I miss him.)
Time and time again, in all circumstances, God has been there. I haven’t always been happy in the situation. I’ve often wished it could be otherwise, but His Peace, Grace, Comfort and Love are absolute.
God’s not sitting in the Lazy Boy saying, “that’s bad!” He’s standing next to the door, keys in hand, saying, “Come on! Get in the car.”