And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.
1 Samuel 12:23
When I was in high school we had one Wednesday every couple months where we got off of school about 3 hours earlier than normal. It was a time that teachers could get extra work done and always left a few hours to hang out with friends I might not normally have had time to hang out with. One particular early release Wednesday me and several friends decided to kill some time at Mcdonald’s hanging out and eating cheap cheeseburgers. Somehow the discussion turned to off-roading and pretty quickly we were in the range rover of one of the guys trying to see if it could really do what the range rovers in the commercials could do. We found an open area and he turned off the road slipping and sliding through the mud. It was so much fun…at first. We were all screaming and yelling and having so much fun until we unknowingly hit a creek. The car jolted violently and we heard the nasty crunch of his car bottoming out. Thankfully there was no permanent damage but there certainly could have been. The same thing applies to us: we risk lasting damage any time we turn away from God. In this part of 1 Samuel, the people have turned away from God and decided they didn’t need him as their king. They had sinned greatly. God offers forgiveness but warns them that turning away from him is empty and will never satisfy. We too tend to turn away from God and put our trust in empty things. God is the only One we can trust in that won’t fail to fulfill our every need. Let’s not turn away and chase after lesser, empty things.