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Bible Pathways - Apr. 5, 2008


April 5

1 Samuel 14:24-52

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Saul makes a foolish vow (14:24-30). Then he disobeys God's direct command. Here's a little history lesson: first we read of Eli the priest, then Samuel the prophet, and Saul the king. Next enters David the shepherd boy who becomes the God-ordained King David. He fulfills God's promise of a Savior who will become our High Priest, Prophet, and King. Don't miss the "rags to riches" miraculous account of the lowly shepherd boy.

Influenced by the godly prophet Samuel at the beginning of his reign, Saul served the people as God's servant. But it wasn't long before his decisions were calculated to heighten his own agenda.

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 that they have, and spare them not. . . . But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and of the oxen . . . and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them (15:1,3,9).

Saul wanted Samuel's blessing but, when he had to make a choice between Samuel's approval and maintaining his popularity, he chose to please the people.

Pride and desire for popularity held a firm grip on Saul's heart when he admitted that he was afraid of the people. Saul was more concerned about pleasing the people than in having God rule his life. He refused to obey God and did what pleased the people. Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the Commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice (15:24).

We need to remember and live by Samuel's powerful words: 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. . . . For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry (15:22-23).

There is nothing so subtle or destructive to our spiritual growth as pride. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. . . . if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (II Peter 1:4-10). Nothing but the Word of God can expose the magnitude of our pride. The Word of God is quick (living), and powerful (Hebrews 4:12) and will enable God to cast it out (Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:5-8).

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 Peter 5:5). The person that is truly called of God will recognize that their ability to fulfill His call comes only from the Lord and His Word. Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (I Corinthians 1:26).

Thought for Today:

The popular opinion of the majority often goes against God's Word.

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).

Word Studies:

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

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Government Official: Rep. Peter King (NY) • Country: Jordan (5 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and English • Religious tolerance • 93% Muslim; 5% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Ask that God's will be done in your life (Luke 22:42).

Optional Reading: Acts 6

Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:23

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