Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 19 June 21:
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 — So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
The tragic life of Saul provides to those called by God an important lesson on remaining faithful to their calling and walking in continual fidelity to God.
Saul was miraculously called by God from humble beginnings to serve God mightily – “When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man of whom I spoke to you! He it is who shall restrain my people.” (1 Samuel 9:17) “Saul answered, ‘Am I not a Benjaminite, from the least of the tribes of Israel? And is not my clan the humblest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?’” (1 Samuel 9:21) God called Saul not to show what a great person could do but rather to what a Great God can do through a humble servant. This calling was for God’s glory, not Saul’s, and Saul was just as surprised as anyone else that God chose Him.
God empowered Samuel to do great works for His glory – “God gave him another heart…. the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them…. And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul.” (1 Samuel 10:9-10; 11:6)
God equipped Saul to great works for His glory, providing him with Samuel as a Spiritual advisor, giving him the support of his people, and providing Saul with 3,000 capable warriors – “Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.” (1 Samuel 11:15)
However, under pressure, Saul gave in to fear and pride; he trusted in his own judgment rather than God, and He disobeyed God’s commands for sake of expediency rather than waiting upon the Lord – “Samuel said, ‘What have you done? … You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:11-14)
Rather than repenting of his sin, Saul fell further out of fellowship with the Lord and turned to others (such as the medium) for answers rather than to God, “So Saul died for his breach of faith.”
God has miraculously called us all out from humble beginnings and has given us the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). He has entrusted us with the message of reconciliation as ambassadors for Christ. He has empowered us with His Holy Spirit and has thoroughly equipped us for the good works He has prepared in advance for us. Now, will we prove faithful to our calling? “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.”
“He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord…. He did not seek guidance from the Lord.” Learn from Saul’s tragic mistakes: Keep God’s commands, seek His guidance in Prayer and Bible study, and follow Christ alone. Fulfill your calling in the Lord – Know Him and make Him known. Faith trusts God today, and hope trusts God with the future. Be led by the Spirit, not by the flesh or the world. Pray continually, listen intently, and obey God in the moment, one day at a time; and seek the Lord’s guidance for the future, rather than other sources of ‘knowledge,’ of which there are many. Wait upon the Lord. When you fail, and you will, draw nearer to the Lord in humble repentance, not further away — “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 19 June 21: Today, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”