5/2 1 Samuel 12:21

21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.

Samuel reminded the people of their history of turning away from God, suffering defeat, then returning to Him, and God sending a deliverer. He exhorted them to not turn aside from following the LORD, but to serve Him with their whole heart. That was followed by our verse for today. Don't turn to empty things that can't profit or deliver. They are empty.

We have the same problem because the heart of man never changes. As a nation we trust in military might or financial strength. Another nation can arise that is more powerful or sinister. Our economy can fail like the nations before us that kept demanding more and more handouts. Corruption can ruin the strongest and wealthiest nations. The more powerful and wealthy they are, the more likely they are to become corrupt.

Nations become vulnerable because the people turn aside to empty things. The nation is simply a reflection of its citizens. We personally turn to wealth, our own ability, or pleasure instead of our hearts following after the One that can profit and deliver us. He is the One that gives us power to get wealth. He is the One who preserves us from our enemies. Everything else is empty.

Take a twenty dollar bill out of your wallet and look at it. A million of them can't save you. It is an empty thing. Look at your hands. What would happen to them if you were diagnosed with a debilitating disease tomorrow? Your hands can't save you. Everything that we turn to other than the LORD is empty. Follow Him! Serve Him!

Prayer: Lord, when my heart turns to vain things, remind me how empty they are. Then remind me of Your great power to deliver and to make my life profitable. Help me to serve You with my whole heart.