Read 1 Samuel 14:24-52
Saul commanded to destroy Amalekites; his disobedience; Saul rejected as king; David anointed king.
Samuel also said unto Saul . . . hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. . . . Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all. . . . But Saul and the people spared Agag . . . and would not utterly destroy them (I Sam. 15:1,3,9).
Influenced by the prophet Samuel at the beginning of his reign, Saul served the people as a servant of God. But it wasn't long before his decisions were calculated to heighten his own prestige.
After Saul's apparent success in defeating the Amalekites, he proudly announced: I have performed the Commandment of the Lord (15:13). However, the Command to utterly destroy all had been very plain. But, because it pleased the people, Saul had spared all the choice property. Once again it appears Saul used his own discretion and diplomacy in order to win the goodwill of the people.
This is the second time Saul used the excuse of desiring to sacrifice to the Lord, but in both instances, it was a matter of self-exaltation.
Pride held a firm grip upon his heart when he admitted that he feared the loss of popularity if he insisted that the people utterly destroy all, so he obeyed their voice (15:24).
Saul wanted Samuel's blessing, but if he had to make a choice between that or maintaining his popularity, he would go on his way without Samuel's approval.
There is nothing so subtle or so destructive to our spiritual growth as pride. Pride and self-will inevitably divert the Christian's attention away from the principle of obedience. Doing almost all of what God commands is the same as being completely disobedient.
Like Saul, it is possible to have selfish motives for obeying God and try to convince ourselves and others that we are serving the Lord. By reading all the Bible, our failure through ignorance to obey Him, will be exposed, whereas it might otherwise go unnoticed. For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
Nothing but the Word of God can expose the magnitude of our pride; and only Christ, the Living Word, can cast it out.
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5).
Thought for Today:
Pride always goes before a fall.
Through David's name (I Sam. 16:13) which means beloved. David is a type of Jesus, whom the Heavenly Father called My beloved Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35).
14:24 adjured, threatened under oath; 14:31 smote, struck down; 14:41 perfect lot, right answer; 14:47 took the kingdom, took possession; vexed, harassed; 14:52 sore, fierce, severe; 15:29 repent, change His mind; 15:32 delicately, fearfully; 16:18 comely, handsome.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Rodney Heikkila and Thursday Morning Prayer • Government Officials: Rep. Peter T. King (NY) and Rep. Reid J. Ribble (WI) • Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and local dialects • Religious freedom • 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks for the privilege of assembling with other Christians each week (Heb. 10:25).
Optional Reading: Acts 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 3:20