God chose Saul to be Israel's first king and He used him to rescue Israel. Saul was 30 years old when he became king and he would reign over Israel for 40 years. At first, Saul sought the Lord before going into battle, but soon he would begin to make his own decisions. In I Samuel, chapter 13, we see that the Philistines brought a great army against Israel. Saul waited 7 days for Samuel as he was instructed, so that together they could seek God's counsel. But when Samuel didn't appear, Saul decided to jump ahead and begin the sacrifice on his own against God's command.
We do this too. When we are faced with a trial, we began by praying and seeking God's guidance and wisdom. Sometimes, it seems that all we are doing is praying and that nothing is happening in turn. We begin to assume that God's not answering, and when we are desperate or impatient enough, we decide to "fix" the problem ourselves without waiting for God's direction. What we don't always realize, is that sometimes, that is the point of our trial. To test our faith and reliance on God. How will we react when God makes us wait?
Let's look at the consequence of Saul's decision.
"Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, 'What is this you have done?' Saul replied, 'I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn't arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. So I said, 'The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven't yet asked for the Lord's help!' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.' 'How foolish!' Samuel exclaimed. 'You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command.' " ~ I Samuel 13:10-14
Saul's impatience, lost him his kingdom. God had already picked someone else for the job because of Saul's disobedience. Only two chapters over do we see Saul's disobedience repeated. God allowed Saul to be successful in his battles, but he knew Saul would fail at obedience again.
"One day Samuel said to Saul, 'It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of His people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation - men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys." ~ I Samuel 15:1-3
These were God's instructions given to Saul through Samuel. Very detailed. How did Saul respond? With complete obedience? Verses four through nine, show us Saul's decision. He gathered his army of 210,000 men and together they slaughtered the Amalekites. Saul killed everyone but King Agag of the Amalekites and he kept the best of the livestock as well as anything else that appealed to him. God was greatly grieved over Saul's disobedience.
"Then the Lord said to Samuel, 'I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.' Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night." ~ I Samuel 15:10
This verse breaks my heart. Not for Saul, but for myself. How often have I not been loyal to the Lord and refused to obey His commands? Unfortunately, too many times to count. I know I have grieved Him because of my disobedience and that hurts me. I want to do better and my desire is to obey Him completely.
When Samuel confronted Saul about his disobedience, Saul tried to justify his actions by offering what he took as sacrifices to God. (I Samuel 15:19-21) May Samuel's response speak to you the way it has spoken to me.
"But Samuel replied, 'What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.' " ~ I Samuel 15:22-23
Are we obedient to God's voice?
Do we listen and obey His Word?
Do we obey some of His commands but not others, because they don't fit into today's culture?
Do we justify our disobedience by what we have to offer back to Him instead?
What do we have to offer God that He hasn't provided for us? His Son paid the sacrifice for our sins, our disobedience. Jesus covered that for us. So what do we have left to give?
As we go about our everyday lives this week, my prayer for each of us is to strive, seek and live out obedience to God's Word, His voice. He has much more to bless us with, if only we will obey Him and trust Him.
May God bless each of you this week.
Keep reading God's Word!
Good morning, Sweet Sisters!
We are nearing the end of I Samuel and what a ride we have been on! Our journey has been filled with adventure, suspense and abundant knowledge of God's sovereignty. Let's stay strong as we finish our first book of our summer study.
Here is this week's reading plan:
Monday- I Samuel 26
Tuesday - I Samuel 27
Wednesday - I Samuel 28
Thursday - I Samuel 29
Friday - I Samuel 30
My prayer for each of you this week, is that you continue to pursue time with God daily. Open His Word, study it, listen to Him and talk to Him.
Happy first day of summer! It is officially here and I am loving it! I have to apologize. For the second week in a row, I have been unable to post our study notes. I am so sorry. Life here has been extra busy for our family as we are preparing for our new little arrival, and helping my hubby with a small home business as he begins a new job today! So, this week we are able to get back to routine and I will be posting regularly again.
Here is this week's reading plan:
Monday - I Samuel 21
Tuesday - I Samuel 22
Wednesday - I Samuel 23
Thursday - I Samuel 24
Friday - I Samuel 25
This past week, we were introduced to David, a young man chosen by God. He wasn't perfect, as we will soon see, but He had a heart for the Lord and wanted to serve Him. My prayer for each of us this week, is that God will open our eyes, ears and hearts to all He wants to show us through these Scriptures. May God bless each of you abundantly as you are spending time with Him daily!
Good morning, Sweet Sisters!
Wow! What a week we had in our reading of I Samuel! We saw God's choice for king over His people, we were immersed in battles, we watched God bring about a victorious defeat, and we saw the fall of this first king. It was a week full of action, bound with lessons God doesn't want us to miss. Unfortunately, I was unable to get study notes up this past week due to a very busy week for me personally, but I will try to get a recap up at the end of this week.
We are nearing the end of I Samuel. We have almost made it a third of the way through our summer study! Keep up the good work! God has a lot in store for us over the next 9 weeks as we unwrap His Word.
Here is this week's reading plan:
Monday - I Samuel 16
Tuesday - I Samuel 17
Wednesday - I Samuel 18
Thursday - I Samuel 19
Friday - I Samuel 20
Let's pray for each other this week as we continue our journey through Scripture.
Good Morning, Sweet Sisters!
I am a little late getting this up for the week, but wanted to take a quick moment to send out our weekly reading plan!
Monday - I Samuel 11
Tuesday - I Samuel 12
Wednesday - I Samuel 13
Thursday - I Samuel 14
Friday - I Samuel 15
I'm praying for each of you this week as you make daily time with God, a priority. Check back at the end of the week for encouragement and soak God's Word up every day!
The Philistines had oppressed the Israelites for years. They had fought them and heavily defeated them. They had even taken the Ark of the Covenant for themselves. Unfortunately, that did not work out well for them. The Philistines' false gods bowed down to the Ark and their people were cursed with a plague of tumors and some, even death. Needless to say, God was in control and the Philistines had to come up with a plan to return the Ark to Israel, but they wanted some reassurance. So they yoked two cows that had just given birth and never been yoked, to a cart carrying the Ark to see if they would go across their border and into Beth-shemesh. I'm not sure it's a great idea to test the Lord, but I love to see the outcome when we do! The cows went straight to Beth-shemesh.
Even God's people can a get a little cocky sometimes. While the Ark was in Beth-shemesh, 70 men were killed for looking into the Ark. These were Israelites. They knew what the Ark was, and whose it was. They knew better than to look. When we know better, choose wisdom. The consequences of our curiosity isn't always worth the look. Because of what happened, Beth-shemesh sent word to Kiriath-jearim to come and get the Ark. Once the Ark was brought to Kiriath-jearim, Eleazer was ordained to be in charge of the Ark, and there it remained for 20 years. During this time, Israel mourned deeply, thinking God had abandoned them.
Samuel was a man of God. He sought God's direction and told the Israelites if they wanted to return to the Lord, they must do two things:
1- get rid of all of their foreign gods and images
2- determine to obey the Lord
Israel complied with these requests and repented their sin to the Lord. Samuel prayed for them, and this time, when the Philistines attacked, God confused them with His own voice and Israel defeated the Philistines. Oh, the power of God that is unleashed when we give up our idols, repent our sins and truly obey God!
Yet, even with God's power displayed, the Israelites were not satisfied. Samuel was Israel's judge at this time and he had appointed his sons, Joel & Abijah to be judges over Israel as well. Unfortunately, they were not like their father. These men were greedy and cared only for their own gain. Israel complained about these men to Samuel, and wanted a king to rule over them like the other nations around them.
"Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance." ~ I Samuel 8:6
Samuel knew what they wanted wasn't the right thing. It upset him. but instead of trying to handle it on his own, he went to God for direction. God told Samuel to do as the people asked, but also directed Samuel to warn Israel about how a king would rule over them. Obeying God's direction, Samuel told Israel how a king would rule and all that he would take from them. He sincerely warned them that they would regret the king and ask God for deliverance, but when that time came, God wouldn't deliver them. Up until this point God fought Israel's battles, but now they wanted someone else. They were rejecting God; they wanted a king.
"So Samuel repeated to the Lord what the people had said, and the the Lord replied, 'Do as they say, and give them a king.' The Samuel agreed and sent the people home." ~ I Samuel 8:21-22
Who do we want to rule over us? Are we looking to man for protection and provision or are we seeking the only One who can truly give us both? Israel knew God, and they knew ALL He had done for them. God's love, mercy and mighty miracles had both been seen by them and told to them for generations, yet, they rejected Him for a man, a king.
Are we much different? As redeemed, born again believers, we know God. Each one of us could write a book on ALL that God has done for us, yet, we keep searching for other things or people to care for us and fulfill us. Are we truly trusting God or are we rejecting Him? If we know He is our King of Kings, why is our faith in other things?
The Lord has taken my family on a wild and wonderful journey over the past 14 years. Like everyone else, we have experienced our own highs and lows, but this past year has brought more then we expected. Our faith has been tested and I'll be honest, I've had a hard time holding on at several points, but not once has God abandoned us. He has provided for us every month, at every step. One phone call and our heart breaks, yet God delivers a blessing of light at the same time. An unexplainable injury shortens our income, yet healing is given. We have had more than our share of mechanical failures over the last month, but God has given us quality time with each other as a family. Time spent loving each other, growing with each other and working side by side. God has used family, friends and our new church family to bless us in our time of need and I can't help but think: Why did I ever doubt you, Lord?
If I have learned anything, I have learned to trust Him. He knows our needs before we know we need them. He has a plan of provision for us before we start missing it. He begins healing our brokenness before that phone call, disaster or disease hits us, smack in the face. Who will we choose to reign over us? Will we trust in our own strengths, resources and abilities? Or will will trust In God Almighty, Creator of our very souls? The One who loves us mercifully, faithfully, eternally, unconditionally. Will we let Him be our King and trust His ways? I know I will. My faith may fumble, and doubts may sneak in, but I know God will never forsake me. And I choose to trust Him.
Dear Lord, shower us with Your Presence. Let my Sweet Sisters and I see You in ALL things. The big and the small. Let our faith grow immensely in You, knowing You will provide, protect, care and love us, always. May we put our trust in You and no one else. In the sweet name of Jesus, amen.
Keep reading God's Word!
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.