The Bible and Basketball (1 Samuel 12)

We are a basketball family and my 10-year-old son, Clayton, is a really good shot. He’s also not afraid to shoot the ball from nearly anywhere past the half-court line. Much of the time, his shots hit their mark- and it’s exciting! Sometimes it doesn’t matter where he’s shooting from, his shots just won’t go through the hoop.

After a particularly rough time shooting hoops in our driveway, Clayton came in the house in tears. He couldn’t hit a shot to save his life. He was so mad that he was ready to give up basketball forever. I said, “Clayton, you are a shooter. Get back out there and try again.” Momentary failure is not a reason to quit forever. There is a similar concept in scripture.

In the book of First Samuel, the Israelites had foolishly rejected God’s leadership and begged for a king. It didn’t take long for them to understand what an enormous mistake this was. They were actually so full of regret they thought they might die!

The people pleaded with Samuel to pray that God would forgive them for their great sin.

“Samuel replied, ‘Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the Lord. Instead, worship the Lord with all your heart.’” (1 Sam. 12:21)

Sometimes you and I, like the Israelite people in this case, will mess up dramatically. Our sin won’t just hurt us, it never does. It will hurt our families and others close to us. Sometimes the fallout from our sin will reach even further than that.

In those situations, the answer for us is the same as for the Israelites. Repent. Follow the Lord. Worship Him with all of your heart. If we do, we just might find that we have our own spiritual comeback story.

We are so glad to have you in Bible study with us! If you miss a devotion, you can find them archived at

Reading Plan- Week Four

Day One- 1 Samuel 12
Day Two- 1 Samuel 13
Day Three- 1 Samuel 14
Day Four- 1 Samuel 15
Day Five- 1 Samuel 16