Sunday, December 28, 2008

Made Me Do It

And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. (1 Samuel 16:1 KJV)

This morning our Sunday school class will begin a series of lessons on David. There’s a lot of background for such a study that must include Saul and Samuel. I was struck by God’s understanding of Samuel’s reluctance to move forward, for his mourning for Saul’s fall from grace through his willfulness.

In the previous chapter Saul was given specific instructions by Samuel, including the source of those instructions:

Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. (1 Samuel 15:1 KJV)

Saul chose not to follow the instructions to the letter, resulting in God’s displeasure:

It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. (1 Samuel 15:11 KJV)

Saul did not recognize his sin:

And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. (1 Samuel 15:13 KJV)

Samuel tried again to explain about rebellion against God’s will, and the resulting punishment:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23 KJV)

Saul, repenting with words, lays the blame on others and Samuel must repeat the punishment:

And 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. Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. (1 Samuel 15:24-26 KJV)

Adam taught us all so well: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (Genesis 3:12 KJV)

Eve did just as well: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. (Genesis 3:13 KJV)

How many times do we do the same? “See Lord, if it weren’t for [insert name] I would be doing your will.”

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