Thursday, April 12, 2012
Welcome to Day 102 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
1 Samuel 13:1 “Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel [forty] two years.”
Note: Some commentaries state that the word “forty” just means, “a long time.” Another stated that the word forty does not appear in the Hebrew and that he reigned only two years. (Perhaps it just seemed like a long time… a commander-and-king whose army has no weapons??) But in Acts 13:21 it states that Saul reigned forty years… Hmmm… It doesn’t make sense to me that his earliest recorded act was to offer a sacrifice, be chastised by Samuel, rejected by God then left to lead for forty years?
I digress… It doesn’t really matter how long he reigned…
1 Samuel 13: 7 “Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
1 Chronicles 2 and 3 provide again, the lineage from the twelve tribes of Israel through the lineage of David… (David hasn’t been anointed as king yet by Samuel, so Chronicles jumps ahead on the timeline…)
2 Corinthians Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” and his concern for the Corinthians, continuing to attempt to justify his straightforward approach in his first letter, and his apostleship.
As I touched on this yesterday, I’ll try to be brief today… regarding Saul’s foolish act of offering the sacrifice himself in stead of waiting on Samuel, who incidentally showed up shortly thereafter.
How often do we take matters into our own hands, rather than simply waiting on the Lord to act on our behalf?
I mean, it sounded like a good idea… Offering sacrifices is a good thing, right? Does it really matter who offers it?? Saul was the king! Kings do what they want, right? His armies were scattering in fear and frustration… he HAD to do SOMETHING! RIGHT??
Yes… but not offer the sacrifice himself.
He could have offered up a hopeful speech… knelt before his armies in prayer, inquired of the Lord as to where Samuel was… (I’ll forego the “Why didn’t you call me if you knew you were going to be late?” obvious cell phone reference.)
But he chose the wrong thing. To offer a sacrifice himself. Definitely foolish. Probably arrogant…
Bottom line? We all have a tendency to do exactly the same thing… to take matters into our own hands out of fear and frustration.
Make excuses: “Well… Samuel was late! Someone had to do something!”
Blame: “It’s your fault, Samuel! If you had been on time, this wouldn’t have happened!”
Rationalize: “I didn’t think it was THAT big of a deal that I offered the sacrifice myself…”
“Well… I can do whatever I want… then I’ll ask for forgiveness…”
“Well… We’re under grace, not the law… so you have to forgive me…”
“Well… __________________________” (You fill in the blank…)
A fancy title… a little power… losing sight of what’s really important… chasing after the wrong things… all add up to bad decisions and the loss of kingship.
Note to self.
Lord, help me to not believe my own press… to focus on your thoughts toward me, not on what others think of me… To always live according to your word. By your grace…
So I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe, of the One who gave it all. I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered, all… I am… is Yours…