Thursday, April 10, 2008

King Saul

April 10: 1 Samuel 9-12

12 And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the Lord your God was your king. 13 And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well. 15 But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king. 16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call upon the Lord, that he may send thunder and rain. And you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.

19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
1 Samuel 12:12-25, English Standard Version of the Bible

King Saul

God was the king of Israel, so who was King Saul? That is the very point Samuel was making when he said to the people of Israel, And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the Lord your God was your king.


Though God was displeased, He appointed Saul to be the first King of Israel, with this warning, If you will fear the Lord and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well.

We are often like the children of Israel in that we, too, often want to see something tangible before us; though they knew God was their King, they could not see Him or speak personally to Him.

The words that Samuel spoke to the people in 1 Samuel 12:20-22 are poignant words that we would do well to apply to our own lives.

And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. 22 For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.

How quickly we find ourselves turning aside from God and chasing after empty things of this world that cannot profit us eternally. What else really matters than our duty to God our King? Go to Christ; serve Him and obey Him; that is to be our only focus while in this life. Whatever our occupation may be, it is always secondary to our service to God; our occupation is just a means God uses for us to reach those around us for Christ.

Ponder this verse as you go about your duties today.

Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

God Bless You,
Linda

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