The Christian Adventure......

Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Berean - 1 Samuel 13:6-14

 1 Samuel 13:6-14

(6) When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. (7) And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. (8) Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. (9) So Saul said, "Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt offering. (10) Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. (11) And Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and thatyou did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, (12) then I said, "The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the LORD." Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering." (13) And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. (14) But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to becommander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."
New King James Version   Change your email Bible version
I Samuel 13:1-15 recounts the story of an act of presumption by another well-known figure, containing another valuable lesson for us. Saul arranged with the prophet Samuel to perform sacrifices in an appeal to Godto intervene before Israel went into battle with the invading Philistines. Saul's sin was in presumptuously stepping in to perform Samuel's responsibilities when the prophet arrived later than the appointed time. Saul gave Samuel three justifications for his presumption: 1) The people were growing distressed and deserting him; 2) Samuel's late arrival; and 3) the growing threat of the Philistine army (verse 11).
On the surface, it appeared Saul and the Israelites were indeed in a difficult situation, yet Saul's reasons did not justify presuming to disobey what was commanded. He should have waited for Samuel to arrive and perform his responsibility. Saul, a Benjamite, could request a sacrifice be made and provide the animal for it, but he was not authorized by God to perform the sacrificial ceremony. Samuel was merely later than both he and Saul thought he would be.
Saul excused himself further by saying he "felt compelled." The King James Version records that Saul said, "I forced myself." This suggests that he was not ignorant of what he was doing but convinced himself it was more important to make the sacrifice than to obey God's instruction. He was immediately stripped of the opportunity of having his dynasty continue forever (verses 12-13), as God later promised David.
Many circumstances arise in a Christian's life when following God's commands runs counter to prevailing opinion and to our own fears about the threatening conditions we imagine are building around us if we obey God. Strong thoughts are then likely to mount, urging us to turn aside from what He says - "just this once" - to relieve the swelling pressures.
As our own children do not always understand what we tell them to do, we cannot always see why God tells us to do this or that. But can we trust God that His reasons are good? For instance, He tells us to set aside three tithes and to travel to far places to keep His feasts. He commands us to love our enemies and do good to them. He asks us to become like little children and to sacrifice ourselves in service when we would rather give orders. He tells us to submit ourselves to one another in love and to be subject to corrupt and unjust governments. Keeping these instructions is sometimes far easier said than done. Can we see God in the picture even in difficult circumstances and trust Him? In this case, Saul did not.
— John W. Ritenbaugh

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