March 28, 2023
1 SAMUEL 11-15
DAY 87 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verses For Today: 1 Samuel 15:22-23
Today’s journey through 1 Samuel 11-15 tells the struggles the young King Saul faced. Being from the smallest tribe, Benjamin, Saul struggled with pride, being made king over all the tribes of Israel. Saul’s personal insecurity, impetuous nature, and failure to develop a personal relationship with God exposed Saul as a weak personality, poor decision-maker, and lacking a mature relationship with God.
Take a few minutes to ask for God’s guidance and understanding as we journey through 1 Samuel 11-15. Read 1 Samuel 11-15. Let the journey begin!
1 Samuel 11-15: Saul unifies Israel and Judah under his leadership by decisively defeating the Ammonites who prepared to destroy Jabesh Gilead. Saul is confirmed as King a second time. Samuel surrenders his position of ruler of Israel to Saul. Samuel reminds the people that they had sinned by rejecting God as their King and choosing Saul to lead them as king. Samuel cautioned them that they and their king needed to be obedient to God if they wanted God’s providence. It was a warning soon forgotten, as Saul offers up burnt offerings to God seeking support against the Philistines in battle. Only a priest could offer a burnt offering to the Lord. Saul was not a priest and earned Samuel’s rebuke. Saul’s heirs would not take his position as king was God’s punishment for Saul offering a burnt offering. As King Saul cowered in fear, bewildered as to what should be done to defeat the Philistines, his son, Jonathan, sought God’s guidance and attacked the Philistines leading to their defeat. Jonathan knew it was not he, nor his father’s forces, that defeated the Philistines; Jonathan knew that God defeated the Philistines. Saul made an oath that no one could eat until the Philistines are defeated. Samuel tells Saul that God has rejected him as King of Israel. Saul’s response is to blame others: his men wouldn’t listen to him, he disobeyed God to get a perfect sacrifice to make to God, eventually claiming that he obeyed God by going on the mission on which God had directed him to go. Saul asked for forgiveness from Samuel. Samuel refused to forgive Saul. (1 Samuel 11:1-15:35)
Our focus verses for today:
22But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
(1 Samuel 15:22-23, NIV)
God gave specific instructions to Saul on how He wanted the war against the Amalekites conducted. (1 Samuel 15:2-3) Saul was responsible for making sure that battle was conducted as God directed. Saul did not follow God’s instructions. He blamed his men, indicating he feared them more than he feared God. He made lame excuses regarding prime meat for sacrifice to God. God expects complete obedience to Him and His commands. Saul wavered. No excuse was/is acceptable to God! Saul practiced justification. Do you? What reason do tell yourself for failing to follow God completely? Are you struggling with sin? Are you abiding in sin? God does not accept compromise. Where do you stand with God?
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