Scripture Read: I Samuel 13 - 14
Title: King Saul Sins Against the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "And Samuel said to Saul, 'You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which He commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.''" I Samuel 13 - 14
(E) Explain: King Saul was preparing for battle against the Philistines and the people were nervous and afraid to enter this battle. Saul waits seven days for Samuel to come to offer the burnt offering at Gilgal but he did not show up at the appointed time. Saul saw that the people were beginning to leave, so he ordered the burnt offering to be brought to him so he could offer it up to the LORD. This offering was reserved for the appointed person only, and in this case it was Samuel. Since Saul made the offering, he sinned against God's commands. Samuel confronts Saul and declares that his sin has disqualified him as king of Israel. His kingdom was coming to an end and God had sought out another man to take his place.
(A) Application: At the onset of this passage we can think that King Saul's punishment is a bit harsh. I mean what he did was not something that would bring harm to others, he simply offered a sacrifice to God. In fact, I am willing to bet that Saul's motive and heart was completely pure. I think that he did not intentionally disobey God... But the fact remains, he did. God has standards and rules and we must keep these rules. When Samuel came around, he could have easily overlooked this minor infraction and blessed Saul to go forth and conquer. Instead, Samuel confronts Saul. He confronts Saul because he committed a sin and this sin must be confronted head on.
Confrontation is never fun. I don't like to confront and I certainly don't like to be confronted. But as I look back over my life those many times when a person who cared for me and loved me confronted me (sometimes harshly and other times gently) I am thankful, because I realized I was doing something wrong and I needed to repent and change my ways. Unfortunately, we do not see this with Saul. We actually don't see any sign of remorse, he just went on with his life, his plan for battle and continues to spiral down a path that will lead to his eventual destruction. Godly confrontation may never be fun, but when done and received in the Spirit of Christ, it always leads to repentance and a changed heart.
(R) Respond: LORD, thank you for those people in my life who cared enough about me to confront me on my sins or disobedience to you. Thank you that these people lovingly confronted me and graciously led me to a place of humility and repentance. I am a better person for this and I am striving to become an obedience follower of Jesus, through the power of your spirit, as well.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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