Passage for Study: 1st Samuel 13: 1 – 15 … 1st Sam. 13 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Today’s text, which we’ve looked at in past days when we were studying David’s character, is an account of foolishness prevailing over faithfulness. It is an account of our sin nature not being checked by Godly accountability.
Saul failed in three areas. First, it was God’s way to prevent a Hebrew King from taking on the role of Priest and offering up sacrifices for the nation. That was God’s ordained role for only His anointed Priesthood. Secondly, Israel’s first king ignored his covenant with Samuel to wait until Samuel arrived before proceeding with preparation for battle with the Philistines. Saul panicked and rushed ahead, demonstrating his lack of faith and his desire to placate his own fears rather than to surrender to God’s will in this matter. And finally, Saul felt compelled to trust himself and to view the world horizontally, from a human viewpoint, rather than vertically, trusting in God for deliverance.
Saul saw his earthly army evaporating before his eyes; and he panicked. And this was like the Hebrew people who selfishly demanded a King to keep up with all those countries in the Middle East at the time who had kings who appeared so strong in their eyes. And these were God’s people who had forgotten their history of deliverance by God from their own sinfulness over and over and over again, from Moses delivering God’s people from Egypt down through all those times of deliverance from themselves which we read about in the Book of Judges.
How often are we like Saul, ignoring our accountability before God and going off on our own, trying to do things foolishly rather than faithfully following God and doing things in His will rather than our own? And my friend, do you have a “Samuel” in your life, one who helps you remain accountable to God and His will, faithfully confronting you when you have blown it or when you are being a selfish or sinful fool? We are human; and in our humanity, we need to be surrounded by strong and faithful accountability partners or groups, who help to see things from the vertical, Godly perspective, rather than the horizontal, selfish world view.
My friends, over the years, with the help of God’s word, a mentor, and other co-disciples, I have been fortunate to surround myself with a number of groups and individuals who will always keep me looking outward and upward rather than going inward, which is my default, human “M.O.” Without these accountability partners and groups, I’m convinced that I would not be able to resist my “Saulish” tendencies. And God has also brought some fellow believers into my life whom I can help in this way as well. We, as growing Christians all need a Samuel to follow; and prayerfully as maturing Christians, we also can be Samuels to others as well, … all of us working together to remain accountable to God’s will.
Dear one, we all must recognize that we’re vulnerable, as was Saul, to be impatient and selfish. It is our human heart and flesh operating (see Jer. 17: 9 -linked). Satan and his world are ever ready to pour gas on the flames of our fleshly desires, moving us to do things the way of the world rather than God’s way. So, we all need agents of ACCOUNTABILITY in our lives to help keep us on the path God would have us walk, that narrow path to glory that many fewer walk than that wider path to hell which is so popular in our world.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I pray for all who read here to follow Your Light and to walk in Your direction, ever following You to glory. Help us to help one anther be accountable to Your ways, the ways of truth spelled out in Your word. Amen