1 Samuel 7:1-4
1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all. Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.
As a child I was able to work with music on in the background,(loud and featuring guitars of course!), but a time came when this became a distraction to me, I couldn’t listen to it and focus on my work. Instead I’d find my hand reaching out for my guitar and playing along. I’ve learnt now to either work in silence or have different music in the background that doesn’t tempt me to grab my guitar. Samuel is warning God’s people that they need to learn this lesson if they’re truly coming back to God, they can’t serve him whilst having other gods in the background. They need to turn to him and turn away from them. Jesus similarly warns us that we cannot serve two masters.
As we start a new month, maybe this is a good time to ask if we need to recommit ourselves to God, and if there are distractions that we need to turn away from.