Christian Devotions

Posts tagged ‘Saul’

The Danger Of Thinking

Focus verses: 1 Samuel 18:6-11

David was Saul’s servant, living in his household, playing the harp to sooth the fits that came upon him, serving in his army as a warrior. David did nothing to vaunt himself over Saul except to do his duty diligently.

But David’s exploits gained him fame with the people, and Saul became jealous. Saul wanted to be the center of attention. He didn’t realize that God’s spirit had left him in favor of David. God had already decided that David would be king.

Saul’s problem began with the big “I”. Remember two days ago, when in the reading Saul decided he’d do as he thought, not as the Lord told him. That arrogance that led Saul to believe that he could supercede the Lord’s commands was akin to the arrogance on which the serpent played when he tempted Eve to taste the forbidden fruit.

When we substitute “I think” for “the Lord said” we are on shaky ground. We tend to forget that God is infinite, and we are finite. He knows all things; we only know what we can see.

Years ago, I was taught that “JOY” stood for Jesus first, others second, yourself last. It is still a good frame of mind in which to work. If God is first in our lives, we will serve Him, not ourselves. Putting Him first is the pathway to a joy that cannot be stolen.

Father, God,

Save us from “I” trouble. Help us to keep our eyes focused on You. Grant that our obedience to you may be a channel of Your love to all your hurting creation. Convict us of our arrogance and keep us humble.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

The Sacrifice of Obedience

Focus verses: 1 Samuel 15:10-23

We get a fearful lesson in today’s reading. Saul was chosen by the Lord to be king of Israel. But Saul got carried away by his successes and decided that he knew better than God what he should do.

Saul’s disobedience grieved the Lord, and the consequence for that disobedience was the Lord’s rejection of Saul as king. When we reject the Lord, He withdraws His favor and leaves us to our own devices.

Every action carries within itself the seed of its own reward or punishment. No good parent stands between a child and the consequences of his own actions. Our God is a good and loving Father. He allows us to learn from our mistakes. But experience is an expensive teacher.

Saul could have avoided the negative consequences had he simply been obedient to the Lord.

“To obey is better than sacrifice.” Mark it well in 1 Samuel 15:22.

When we know what to do and refuse to do it, we sin. Sin separates us from God. Not a good place to be.

Father, God,

Give us ears tuned to hear You. Make our hearts ready to obey. Keep us from the sins of arrogance and disobedience.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Wait Upon The Lord

Focus verses: 1 Samuel 13:2-15

God’s timing is perfect. Our is flawed. Saul was preparing to fight the Philistines, but before he did, there was to be an offering. He waited for seven days, expecting Samuel to arrive to offer the burnt offering to the Lord. But the men were excitable and tremulous, so Saul took matters into his own hands and made the offering himself.

However, this was a huge mistake. He was not a priest. Samuel was appalled by this arrogance of Saul. With this arrogance, Saul forfeited his family’s claim to an everlasting throne in Israel. God was seeking a man after His own heart.

We often find ourselves running ahead of God. We get impatient and do not trust Him to know what and when is best.

This impatience has consequences. For Saul, his family was cut off from the throne of Israel. For us, the consequence is that we miss God’s best for us in favor of immediate gratification. How foolish!

Father, God,

Help us to wait upon You. Give us the grace to wait patiently as we seek Your face. Grant us the wisdom to be still until we have heard Your voice and the strength to do Your will when we have heard.

In Jesus’ most precious name.

Kingdom Come

Focus verses: 1 Samuel 9:15-17

The age of the judges was a mixed bag. There were good judges and there were those who were not so good. The people of Israel wanted a king. All the other nations around them had a king.

So God gave them Saul. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. Remember, those were the people who had been nearly annihilated some years earlier because of their infidelity to God.

Saul looked the part, handsome and a head taller than the rest. Boy, this is going to be good. Or is it?

As grandmother used to say, when God wants to let you know how small you are, He gives you your own way.

Now, instead of following an infallible God, the people are following a fallible man. In the future, they will have occasion to rue the day God set a king over them. But for now, they are pleased. With themselves, with Saul, with the kinddom.

Father, God,
Help us to understand that Your plans for our lives are infallible, just like You. Teach us to wait upon Your timing, to follow you whole-heartedley. And grant us faithful hearts to remain faithful to you.

In Jesus’ most precious name.