“But My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you” (1 Samuel 7:15).
With one unique conjunction, but, there is a shift in the theological comprehension of God’s covenant with his people. Instead of it being understood as a conditional relationship, Saul being exhibit A of one who failed to live up to expectations, God’s unceasing lovingkindness becomes the unexpected hinge upon which the covenant will forever (v.16) turn. The world understands conditional love, a love based upon “if” and “when” certain expectations are met. What’s unexpected, however, is an unconditional love. Since God did not withhold it from us while we were yet in the world, we must not withhold it from the world we each day encounter.