Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 04/05/2004

April 5

Read I & II 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 he soon 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 (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. He tried to shift the blame by saying: But the people took of the spoil (plunder), sheep and oxen . . . 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 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).

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Peter King (NY) and Sec. Colin Powell (Department of State) · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state — no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31).

Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: John 5:24

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