Lord, have You abandoned me?
1 So the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the Ark to the hillside home of Abinadab and installed his son Eleazar to be in charge of it.
2 The Ark remained there for twenty years, and during that time all Israel was in sorrow because the Lord had seemingly abandoned them.
3 At that time Samuel said to them,
"If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your Ashtaroth idols. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines."
4 So they destroyed their idols of Baal and Ashtaroth and worshiped only the Lord.
5 Then Samuel told them, "Come to Mizpah, all of you, and I will pray to the Lord for you."
6 So they gathered there and, in a great ceremony, drew water from the well and poured it out before the Lord.
They also went without food all day as a sign of sorrow for their sins. So it was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel's judge.
(The Living Bible)
This is how the people of Israel felt at this time in their history and that sense of being left on their own went on for twenty years!
The Prophet Samuel gave them a solution. If they were serious about wanting to return to the Lord they should
get rid of all the foreign gods they had been worshipping
get rid of their Ashtaroth idols
determine to obey the Lord ONLY
come and allow the servant of God to pray for them
leave off food for a day and
acknowledge that they were the ones who had pushed the Lord away from them, not the other way round!
If you have been feeling abandoned by the Lord, or if you feel that You just don't have a clue about how to reach the Lord, then the advice the Prophet Samuel gave God's people would be a good place to begin your search for the Lord.
'But,' you say, 'I don't worship any foreign gods. I don't own an Ashtaroth idol! That doesn't apply to me.'
The sad thing is that some idols in our heart are not physical images or visible things.
Some idols are anti-God ideas which we keep holding on to.
Some idols are people who we put before God in our heart.
Some idols are ambitions and desires that we put before God in our heart.
Some of us love money more than God - and that can be so whether we are rich or poor.
All these are things that can come between God and us. Therefore whatever comes between God and you in your heart is really an idol. Having an idol in our heart is one of the chief reasons why we may feel that God has abandoned us.
What we do not realise is that it is WE who have frozen the Lord out of His rightful place in our heart. Here is what He says to us:
Hebrews 13: 5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have.
For God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (The Living Bible)