God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12 - 1 Samuel 15-17: God's Spirit Moves from Saul to David

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 15-17

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The final straw for God against Saul was his want to offer as holy what God told him was profane.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God sent Saul to destroy the Amalekites. The army kept some animals to sacrifice. God regretted appointing Saul as king. Samuel confronted Saul by saying God did not want his empty sacrifice but instead wanted Saul's obedience. Saul begged to worship God again then he and Samuel parted ways forever.
God wanted Samuel to find a new king from the sons of Jesse. The seven older sons were inadequate. David, the youngest, was chosen and given God's Spirit—the one once in Saul.
Goliath, an extremely-tall Philistine warrior, taunted Israel. David killed him in the name of God. Saul marveled.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

Saul's final sin as the legitimate king was disobeying with good intentions.

In what will become a theme for the duration of the Old Testament, Saul angers God for trying to be religious instead of obedient. God wanted everything associated with the Amalekites destroyed. This was to punish them for their disobedience. Instead, Saul kept some of the spoil. Even though Saul wanted to use these animals to sacrifice to God he was rejected as king. The reason is Samuel's response.

God delights in His Chosen People when they obey Him, not when they are "religious."

As Christians, Samuel's answer hurts.
Do you think all God wants are sacrifices - empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. (15:22-23, The Message)
We want God to delight in our religious sacrifices. We want Him to ask us to sing, pray, take communion, study the Bible, and give. That's easy. What is hard is obeying His will. What is hard is sacrificing our wants, our needs, what we think might be good because God has asked us to. Worship is not the goal of a Christian's life. Obedience is.
Today we tend to associate attendance at Sunday morning worship with obedience. When someone asks how large your congregation is, you don't tell them how many dedicated disciples there are. You tell them the average Sunday morning attendance. "Attendance" may be the greatest issue facing God's Chosen People today. God doesn't care what the attendance at your church is. He wants to know how many disciples are growing at your church.

God looks at the heart.

Saul's heart was the problem in all of his troubles. He never stayed wholly devoted to God but instead became more interested in his power and pride. He is not willing to obey God because he wants to remain in control, the definition of sin. That is why God rejected Saul. God does not want your body. God wants your heart. You body obeys your heart.

David receives God's Spirit.

This is an important point to remember, especially when David sins against God in the future. David prizes God's Spirit because it gives him life. God's Spirit gives life!

God's Chosen People fight in God's name. Their enemies fight with swords and spears.

David's answer to Goliath's ridicule gives the reason God is never equally-matched, "You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel's troops, whom you curse and mock" (17:45, The Message). Do not fear those who attack with physical weapons. They are no match for God's Chosen People who attack with the name of our God!

Has God helped you slay your giants?

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