April 5, 2006

Read 1 Samuel 14:24

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 he soon forgot the real 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 saith 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 and then erected a memorial to himself at Carmel to commemorate his victory (15:12). He then returned. When Samuel met him, Saul said unto 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. He tried to shift the blame by saying: But the people took of the spoil (plunder), sheep and oxen . . . to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal (15:21). Saul seemed blind to his own disobedience. To utterly destroy would have been a true burnt offering to God. But, when people kept the best, it was for themselves to eat at their next sacrifice.

Saul was more concerned about his public image before the elders of Israel than with his right relationship with God. Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt 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 thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king (15:22-23). Saul finally confessed his disobedience, saying: I have transgressed the Commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. . . . I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before . . . Israel (15:24,30).

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

Then said Jesus . . . If ye continue in My Word, then are ye 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 The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Lena Rufsvold · Staff: Mary Kay Wagner · Government Officials: Rep. Katherine Harris (FL) and Rep. Peter King (NY) · Country: Panama (3 million) in southern Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Limited religious freedom · 78% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant; 5% Muslim; 1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord, for He promises to answer you (Zechariah 13:9).

Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: I Samuel 15:22