April 5

 

Read I Samuel 14:24 -- 16

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Saul's foolish oath; Saul commanded to destroy all Amalekites; he sins by sparing the enemy king; David anointed Israel's next king; Saul rejected by God as king

 

Few kings in biblical history were blessed with as many advantages as Saul, but within a few years he forgot the source of his success. He became more concerned with impressing the people than with pleasing the Lord. It was not long before Saul exposed his true character when Samuel came to him and said: Thus says the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have (I Samuel 15:2-3).

 

Saul defeated the Amalekites but then erected a memorial to himself at Carmel to commemorate his victory (see 15:12). He then returned. When Samuel met him, Saul said to Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD . . . and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites (15:20). Although there had been a great victory, Saul had disobeyed the command of God by sparing the Amalekite king and the best of the sheep and oxen. He tried to shift the blame by saying: The people took of the spoil (plunder) . . . to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal (15:21). Saul seemed blind to his own disobedience. To utterly destroy would have been a true burned offering to God. But, when the people kept the best, it probably was for themselves to eat as a peace offering.

 

Saul was more concerned about his public image before the elders of Israel than with his right relationship with God. Samuel asked: Has the LORD as great delight in burned offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. . . . Because you have rejected the Word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king (15:22-23). Saul finally confessed his disobedience by saying: I have transgressed the Commandment of the LORD, and your words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. . . . I have sinned: yet honor me now, I pray you, before . . . Israel (15:24,30).

 

There is nothing so self-deceiving as professing Christ as Savior and Lord when the real motive is to gain personal recognition and praise.

 

Then said Jesus . . . If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed (John 8:31).

 

Word Studies:

 

14:24 adjured = bound them under oath; 14:28 straitly charged = strictly bound; 14:31 smote = struck down; 14:41 perfect lot = right answer; 14:46 went up from following = stopped pursuing; 14:47 took the kingdom = consolidated his rule; vexed = harassed; 15:29 repent = change His mind; 15:32 delicately = cheerfully with confidence for his life had been spared by the king and he did not fear the prophet

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through David's name (I Samuel 16:13) which means beloved. David is a type of Jesus, whom the Heavenly Father called: My beloved Son (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35).

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for BP Staff: Rick Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Peter King (NY) and Sec. Colin Powell (Department of State) · Country: Somalia (7 million) on the Horn of Africa · Major languages: Somali and Arabic · Islam is officially favored and all other religions are opposed · 99.8% Muslim; .1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your heart to God in prayer (Lamentations 3:41).

 

Optional Reading: Acts 6

 

Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 5:15