Saul’s Disobedience

Saul disobeyed God by not waiting for Samuel after having been instructed to do so. He took matters into his own hands and usurped the authority Samuel had. This was his undoing. If he had obeyed God, his kingdom would have been prolonged. As it was, God took His mantle of leadership and gave it to little David, the musical shepherd boy.

Gratefully, God sent Christ to take the rap for our disobediences. We can confess them and be forgiven. He’s the God of the second chance, and the third, and the …

His mercy is unending.

READ/HEAR: 1 Sam. 12,13

Saul Chosen

When the Israelites wanted a king to rule over them, Samuel was disheartened. He knew they had actually rejected God as their leader. Uniquely, God had prepared a man to be the king and he told Samuel where to find him. Saul was a prime physical specimen, head and shoulders taller than everyone else. It’s as if God had prepared him for this challenge.

When Saul trusted the Lord and stayed in sync with Samuel, things went well. When Saul presumed against the Lord and failed to be obedient to God’s leading, he charted a path of destruction for himself.

As we stay close to God and His Word, our path will be successful. Launching out away from God and presuming upon our own abilities will end in disaster.

READ/HEAR: 1 Sam. 9-11

God’s Leadership

When Samuel was old, the Israelites wanted a king to rule over them. He knew they were asking for trouble, for he had consulted God about all leadership decisions. Human leaders all have faults, and they tend to try to do everything according to their own limited understanding.

A Godly leader acts like a priest in that he consults the Lord on how decisions affecting many are made. God can either give him/her the direction, or they can draw it out of other leaders God has placed around them.

God always knows best.

READ/HEAR: 1 Sam. 6-8

“Your Servant is Listening”

When God spoke to Samuel, he thought it was Eli calling out to him in the night. What a marvelous experience. Eli had the sense to direct the boy to realize it was God speaking.

How many times has the Lord desired to speak to us and we thought it was something else. Just like when you get the impression to fast a meal or to pray for someone impromptu … it surely isn’t the devil.

One of my lifetime verses is, “Blessed is the man that heareth ME, watching daily at My Gates, waiting at the post of My Doors.”  Pr. 8:34

God wants to speak. Are we listening?

READ/HEAR: 1 Sam. 3-5

Contrast in Children

Hannah brought her miracle boy, Samuel, to God’s house to be raised by Eli. It’s as if God was giving Eli another chance to raise a child the right way, instead of failing like he did  with his own sons, Hophni and Phinehas. What was the difference?

For one thing, Eli would merely “ask” his sons why they were so rebellious. Words alone don’t do it. There must be consequences to undesirable behavior in children. Yes, words are important, but when it comes to life behavior patterns, there must be painful consequences to change the behavior. Children corrected appropriately when they are young will prevent great grief when they are older.

READ/HEAR: 1 Samuel 1,2

Redeemer

Boaz redeemed Ruth’s future by purchasing a field that belonged to her former husband’s family, thereby qualifying to become her husband to raise up seed in his family line. This eventful marriage placed Boaz in the bloodline of David and eventually Joseph, Mary’s husband. God’s forethought amazingly orchestrated one of the beautiful love stories the Bible gives us. The principle of kinsman redeemer is also clearly established.

Jesus would become OUR Kinsman Redeemer many years later. Hence, our status as a purchased possession is made known. [1 Peter 2:9] I think of the hymn …

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thro’ His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.

READ/HEAR: Ruth 2-4

Naomi’s Misconception

Naomi considered herself forsaken of the Lord. She truly felt that God’s hand was against her. This was not true. Yes, she was experiencing grief for the loss of her husband and both sons, and hardship whereby she had to return to her family in Bethlehem for support. Little did she know that her daughter-in-law, Ruth, would marry Boaz who would become the great-grandfather of King David and an ancestor of Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

That same town, Bethlehem, would provide a fresh start for her, the fields and pastures where David would feed his sheep, and the birthplace of King Jesus.

Her frustration was a misconception. She was blessed beyond measure and didn’t ever realize it.

READ/HEAR: Judges 21, Ruth 1