The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of April 16-22, 2017, is 1 Samuel 30:1-6. In this week’s passage we see the consequences of what happens when do not follow the Lord’s instructions. Our failure to obey the Lord can have disastrous consequences not only for ourselves, but also for others. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider how your actions may affect the lives of others.
Now when David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive. They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way. So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive. Then David and the men with him lifted up their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:1-6, AMP)
The disaster that befell David, his men, and their families was not one of their own making. In 1 Samuel 15:3, King Saul was instructed to kill all the Amalekites, “man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (ESV) Saul did not obey these instructions, allowing his men to plunder and keep the best of the best. He also failed to kill all of the Amlekites. As punishment, the Lord rejected Saul as king over Israel, but the story does not end there! As we see in this week’s passage, Saul failure to obey caused the pain and suffering of many more, years afterwards.
Our failure to obey may not always result in immediate punishment. We may not always see the result of our failure. But like David and his men, we may cause others to suffer by doing what we believe best, instead of following the guidance of the Lord. Have your actions hurt others? How can you atone for your mistakes?